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Death of a Fantasist

por Simon Mason

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812,158,286 (3)2
Geoffrey Dudley's retreat to never-never land in moments of crisis is getting too much for both his wife and his work. He choses to ignore the invitation to wake up and instead takes another leap into his imagination.
Adicionado recentemente porPaul_and_Jane, AllieW, baswood, doggybag, riaanw, lisa1, Auto_Da_Fe
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I don't know where I picked up this book, but the blurb on the front cover reckons it is 'One of the great comic creations of recent times' this is from the Observer newspaper and there are other glowing comments from The Sunday Times and Time Out. I looked on LT to find that only four other people have it in their libraries with no evidence of anyone having read it. Perhaps it is an undiscovered gem a real diamond in the rough; I started reading with anticipation.

The hero; Dudley the fantasist of the novel is in a deadend job in publishing in Oxford. He discovers his wife is having an affair and he finds it difficult to get out of bed in the morning. he has recently struck up a friendship with the morose Martin who he vaguely remembers from schooldays. Martin has been nominated for one of the advertising Oscars in New York and asks Dudley to accompany him. They fly to New where they meet Belle LaRose who will look after the pair for a week of publicity interviews culminating in the Oscar awards.

Dudley is not quite 'One of the great comic creations of recent times' (1994), especially as the author fails to elicit in me any sympathy for him. He stumbles through life with a vain hope of being successful and his only talent appears to be an ability to tell stories and to talk loquaciously about anything and everything. He soon finds out that his friend Martin is a sociopath and the trip to America brings out the worst in him. The novel takes on a darker feel as Martin soon becomes uncontrollable and purloins Dudley's razor.

The writing is witty and it kept me amused. There is plenty of healthy cynicism about the advertising industry and Dudley's wanderings in Central Park have a touch of underlying menace to them. The darker turn the book takes is handled well with Dudley managing to appear less and less connected to reality.
I think that Simon Mason struggles too hard at times to make the wit flow and overdoes it on occasions:

"Ask not for whom the car alarm whoops, it whoops for thee" is perhaps one of the worst witticisms in the book but there are others.

Not an undiscovered gem but not a bad read. The writing is for the most part intelligent and the novel builds towards its climax. I even laughed out loud a couple of times. ( )
  baswood | Feb 10, 2011 |
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Geoffrey Dudley's retreat to never-never land in moments of crisis is getting too much for both his wife and his work. He choses to ignore the invitation to wake up and instead takes another leap into his imagination.

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