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Description - The Wisdom of Crocodiles by Paul Hoffman

When Steven Grlscz saves a young woman from throwing herself in front of a train he finds himself consumed by a love affair which transforms her from a suicidal, angry anorexic into a happy and beautiful young woman. Then she vanishes without trace. Across the Thames on the morning George Winnicott, former head of the Anti-Terrorist Squad, is to begin his new job in charge of the City of London's most powerful anti-fraud body, he wakes from a nightmare screaming that he knows the meaning of life. Later that day, a huge bomb explodes in the centre of London. How are these events linked? What connects modern economics, a new take on the vampire concept, parachuting, pornography, the Leaning Tower of Pisa, financial fraud, terrorism, aliens, artificial intelligence, the meaning of life and the hardest crossword clue in the world? 13 years in the writing, this is a novel that engages with the way the modern world works - and in admitting that contemporary life is complex, impenetrable and often terrifying, it also asserts that there are ways to see the patterns emerging from the chaos.

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Book Details

ISBN: 9780552770828
ISBN-10: 0552770825
Format: Paperback
(198mm x 127mm x 36mm)
Pages: 608
Imprint: Black Swan
Publisher: Transworld Publishers Ltd
Publish Date: 1-Aug-2002
Country of Publication: United Kingdom

Other Editions - The Wisdom of Crocodiles by Paul Hoffman

Book Reviews - The Wisdom of Crocodiles by Paul Hoffman

UK Kirkus Review » This ambitious novel cleverly pivots around the medical understandings of the human brain, the mammalian, the reptilian and the rational. How do people operating with imperfectly evolved brains make sense of their lives within an increasingly complex society? For sociologists, society is a living entity, something that has consequences for each individual. Paul Hoffman attempts to intermesh the randomness and the interrelatedness of daily life, as well as our stumbling and faulty attempts to cope with it. We follow his characters as they plunge into tangled relationships and grapple with all the things that contribute to contemporary angst - computers, pornography, terrorist bombs, infidelity, murder, fraud and the machinations of high finance. Steven Grlscz is the loner whose love affairs have an horrendous and shocking predictability. Police Inspector Geoff Healey, following up the disappearance of one of Steven's girlfriends, has a desperate secret of his own. George Winnicott, newly appointed director of the fraud squad, suffers from ever-increasing psychological disturbances. Lecturer Anne Levels, herself pursued by Steven, needs to outwit the male sex to make a success of her career. The plot twists and turns and halts readers in their tracks with engrossing insights. 'In the future', declares Anne Levels, 'knowledge will not be consumed by fire as were the half a million scrolls in the great library of Alexandria, it will be smothered. And it will be smothered by itself. The truth of the high tech information superhighway is that we are researching for knowledge that we already possess but don't know that we possess.' As well as destroying knowledge by default, the author suggests that social control is now exerted entirely by economics. Instead of dismissing our servants we let their contracts elapse. Instead of coercing citizens by physical means, we curb consumers by orchestrating levels of anxiety and desire through interest rates. Absorbing and mind-expanding, this is an extraordinary novel unlike anything else; finding your way through the maze of ideas and dilemmas may take time but the intellectual rewards are well worth it. (Kirkus UK)

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Author Biography - Paul Hoffman

Paul Hoffman is a screenwriter. He used to be one of the senior censors at the British Board of Film Classification and was responsible for replacing the butter in Last Tango in Paris. He is the author of The Wisdom of Crocodiles, available in Black Swan paperback.

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