By (author) Tim Parks
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Destiny by Tim Parks
Book Description'Some three months after returning to England, and having at last completed that collection of material that, once assembled in a book, must serve to transform a respectable career into a monument -something so comprehensive and final, this was my plan, as to be utterly irreftuable - I received, while standing as chance would have it at the reception desk of the Rembrandt Hotel, Knightsbridge, the phonecal that informed me of my son's suicide.' So unfolds the opening sentence of Tim Park's tenth novel. But why, on receiving this terrible news, does Christopher Burton immediately decide that he must leave his Italian wife of almost thirty years standing? Why does he find it so difficult to focus on his grief for his son? Burton feels his pious, raffish and mercurial wife gave him his life in Italy and his career as the foremost journalist on Italian affairs. But surely she ia also the person who has made life impossible for him. Was their son somehow a victim of their explosive love and hate? Or is that thought simply the expression of a deep paranoia?
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Book DetailsISBN: 9780436220883
(225mm x 142mm x 25mm)
Imprint: Martin Secker & Warburg Ltd
Publisher: Vintage Publishing
Publish Date: 2-Sep-1999
Country of Publication: United Kingdom
Books By Author Tim Parks
Calm, Paperback (June 2017)
How do we find calm in our frantic modern world? The author - lifelong cynic and spirituality-sceptic - finds himself on a Buddhist meditation retreat trying to answer this very question. With brutal honesty and dry wit, he recounts his journey from disbelief to inner peace and tackles one of the great mysteries of our time.
In Extremis, Hardback (March 2017)
Thomas knows there is something he needs to say to his mother before she dies. But will he reach her in time? And will he have the courage to say what he couldn't say before? His phone is buzzing, his mind is racing, and he can't concentrate on the significance of what is happening. Should he try to solve his friend's family crisis?
Thomas and Mary, Paperback (February 2017)View all books by Tim Parks
Thomas and Mary have been married for thirty years. They have two children, a dog, a house in the suburbs. But after years of drifting apart, things - finally - come to a head. This title recounts what happens when youthful devotion has long given way to dog walking, separate bed times, and tensions over who left the fridge door open.
UK Kirkus Review » This is the most gruelling book I've read in a long time. Imagine the worst anxiety dream you've ever had and raise it to the power ten, and you might get some ideas of the almost unbearably relentless and claustrophobic experience offered by Tim Parks's novel. 'Some three moneths after returning to England, and having at last completed - with the galling exception of the Andreotti interview - that collection of material that, once assembled in a book, must serve to transform a respectable career into a monument - something so comprehensive and final, this was my plan, as to be utterly irrefutable - I received, while standing as chance would have it at the reception desk of the Rembrandt Hotel, Knightsbridge, a place emblematic, if you will, both of my success in one field and my failure in another, the phone-call that informed me of my son's suicide.' This characteristically mannered and disjunctive sentence introduces the reader both to the narrator of Destiny, the expatriate British expert on Italian affairs Christopher Burton, and to the precipitating event of this journey into his personal heart of darkness. It turns out that Burton's son was not only a paranoid schizophrenic confined to a mental institution, but that he was probably having an affair with his step-sister, an adopted Ukrainian girl who loathes Burton's wife Mara and has just broken up with her plodding Italian husband. Mara in turn has a thing for her husband's principal professional rival, while Burton has been consoling himself with a certain Karen, who is half-black and hot in the sack. Everyone is very, very unhappy. Technically, this is a brilliant self-portrait of a charmless, self-aggrandizing obsessive going through a nightmare mid-life crisis. Parks seems to take an almost sadistic pleasure in tormenting his characters, and even the hint of deliverance at the very end is heavily qualified. Not for the faint of heart. Review by Michael Dibdin, whose latest books include 'Blood Rain'. (Kirkus UK)
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