The Perfect Man
By (author) Naeem Murr
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Perfect Man by Naeem Murr
Book DescriptionAt the age of five, Rajiv Travers, the child of an Indian mother and English father, finds himself shipped off to America to the house of his uncle's mistress, Ruth. The small town Ruth lives in turns out to be as exotic and strange to Rajiv as he is to its inhabitants. His close friendship with four local children helps him settle into his new life, but also leads to his discovery of a terrible secret that shadows the whole community. Ultimately, the chidren's changing desires and shifting loyalties, and the personal failings- and secrets- of the adults around them lead to tragic consequences...The Perfect Man was winner of the Commonwealth Writers' Prize and longlisted for the Man Booker Prize.
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Book DetailsISBN: 9780099450023
(197mm x 130mm x 27mm)
Publisher: Vintage Publishing
Publish Date: 5-Apr-2007
Country of Publication: United Kingdom
Books By Author Naeem Murr
Genius of the Sea, Paperback (June 2004)» View all books by Naeem Murr
Daniel is a social worker in his thirties, raised in a council-flat in south London by a single-mother. He has never known his father, nor even his identity. His wife is in a psychiatric hospital, following a break-down, when a case of benefit fraud is referred to him, involving a man who lives in the flat in which he had lived as a child.
US Kirkus Review » Both literary and lurid, Murr's third novel (The Genius of the Sea, 2003 etc.) uses the perspective of an alienated soul to examine a Missouri community in the 1950s stewing in a broth of violence, sexuality, bigotry and secrets. London-born, U.S.-based Murr stirs many extreme ingredients into the pot. He tells a tale of seething emotions, elegantly-phrased yet feverish, that's surely destined to erupt in dramatic fashion. The opening serves as a prologue, in which Gerard Travers leaves his illegitimate Indian son Rajiv with his brother Haig in post-World War II London. Rajiv is smart, a talented mimic and a misfit who will be passed on to the third Travers brother Olly, cohabiting with Ruth, a romance writer in Pisgah, Mo. - except that by the time Raj arrives, Olly is dead. But Ruth befriends the boy anyway, as do the local children: Annie, whose Italian father runs the local store and might have murdered a mentally-challenged boy named Roh; fragile Lewis, Roh's brother, who has become convinced - after two years in a mental hospital - that he killed Roh himself; Norah, who is attracted to Raj although he is more attracted to Annie; and creepy Alvin, who thinks mostly about sex, death and wounded animals. The parents and siblings of this group line up on either side of an extreme gender divide: Many of the men are brutish and vile (like Norah's cruelly voyeuristic father) and the women bovine, lonely or borderline insane. Ruth asks repeatedly: "Is there a single good man in the world ?" and the answer, when it eventually comes - after many, many episodes of depravity and tragedy, and considerably less innocence and hope - is a distinct Maybe.Murr's impressive literary abilities are applied to a gargantuan gothic panoramic spotlit with emotional insight. (Kirkus Reviews)
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Author Biography - Naeem Murr
Naeem Murr was born and raised in London and has lived in the USA since 1987. He has published a number of prize winning stories and novellas. His critically acclaimed first novel, The Boy, was published in 1998 and has been translated into six languages. Naeem Murr has won the Commonwealth Writers' Prize and the PEN Open Book Award, and has been longlisted for the Man Booker Prize.
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