Marching with April, Hugo Charteris
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Hugo Charteris

Marching with April

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It is the early 1950s. Lionel Spote, a young London publisher, has just discovered that he has inherited a Scottish estate. He is also a rather bemused devotee of the couch — the psychiatric one. Full to the brim with misgivings and uncertainty, he arrives in the far north to discover that his newly-acquired property ‘marches’ alongside that of a formidable woman, April Gunter-Sykes, who is staring-eyed and direct — bluntly peculiar. It must be said that April’s elusive daughter Laura seems far more appealing. He also meets Sir Duncan Fidge, the local MP, an ebullient storm of a man, who insists immediately on regaling him with his Great Plan to boost local productivity and employment. In the meantime, the estate has to be run, locals met, visits from Lionel’s mother and his authors fielded and tolerated, an eccentric Pipe Major of the area’s Cadets negotiated, not to mention the estate’s bizarre housekeeper. An internecine war among the locals into which Lionel is swept up, centred around Sir Duncan’s Big Idea, proves a stubborn and intractable problem. Lionel can only try to concentrate on Laura, and keep playing for all he’s worth….Hugo Charteris’ second novel is a magnificent farce of vying intentions set in a far northern Scottish county, with a motley of disparate characters fiercely protecting their own interests in a choppy sea of suspicion and bewilderment. The author’s spare, intriguing and deadpan style embellishes this complex scenario with extraordinary flashes of insight and prodigious atmosphere. V. S. Pritchett said of this novel ‘What a relief to laugh, to go in for spoofing and madness. I think this is one of the funniest novels I have read since the early Evelyn Waugh.’

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229 afgedrukte pagina’s
Oorspronkelijke uitgave
2020
Uitgeverij
Michael Walmer

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