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Description - Water Music by T. C Boyle

The title of this book is Water Music and is written by author T. C Boyle. The book Water Music is published by Granta Books. The ISBN of this book is 9781862071551 and the format is Paperback. The publisher has not provided a book description for Water Music by T. C Boyle.

Book Details

ISBN: 9781862071551
ISBN-10: 1862071551
Format: Paperback
(198mm x 129mm x mm)
Pages: 448
Imprint: Granta Books
Publisher: Granta Books
Publish Date: 12-Jan-1998
Country of Publication: United Kingdom

Book Reviews - Water Music by T. C Boyle

UK Kirkus Review » Opening with Mungo Park displaying the whiteness of his buttocks to his Moorish captors, this romp moves from the deserts of Africa through the slums of Georgian London to the parlours of Scotland. The defiantly anachronistic tone of the opening chapter puts the reader in no doubt that here is a yarn. The novel is based around Park's efforts to find the source of the river Niger, but weaves in the tale of Ned Rise, a thief and confidence trickster who struggles to fulfil the promise of his name. Boyle's characteristic concerns of social justice and the force of destiny recur, the boisterous humour fading in tandem with the youthful optimism of the protagonists. Reissue. (Kirkus UK)

US Kirkus Review » Uneasily poised between literary parody and conventional history/adventure fiction, tiffs is an ambitious but unfunny and not-very-entertaining novel from a gifted humorist (Descent of Man). Boyle's historical base here is a 1700s expedition to find the African river Niger undertaken by young Scottish explorer Mungo Park. And, in true genre style, Park's career is paralleled by that of a scoundrel named Ned Rise: a sex-show entrepreneur, murderer, hanged man (he survives), graverobber, and convict whose fortunes will, of course, entwine with Park's. Thus, the narrative of Mungo Park's return to the Niger after the great but incomplete success of the first expedition (the river flows east - but to where?) now involves Ned as a crew member. There are hardships and fevers and attacks by every known tribe of natives around; Mungo and his men press on; and for a time they are guided by an English-educated black man named Johnson who, after having narrowly escaped a death-by-crocodile on the first Park expedition, has now demanded valuable books as recompense for participation in a second ("Listen. . . the Pope I want signed"). Nor is Johnson's modern wise-cracking the only bit of travesty here. Boyle supplies a superabundance of purposely corny narrative-adventure prose ("At night the banks reverberate with ghostly echoes - muffled snarls, startled cries, the eerie gloating snigger of hyenas - and the water boils with heart-stopping explosions. . ."). There are comic touches that are very knowing - as when Mungo's wife, committing adultery in a boat out on a Scottish lake (Ness), sees a monster's head looming up above her lover's shoulder. But Boyle is fatally iffy about this lampoon style: he never seems quite sure where to throw his weight, whether to write a send-up of historical adventure or to play it straight. And the result is an uncertain, unsatisfying compromise - with too tight a shackle on the comic gifts which Boyle has exhibited so freshly before. (Kirkus Reviews)

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