Overweight and overwrought, Howard Cleaver, London's most successful journalist, abruptly abandons home, partner, mistresses and above all television, the instrument that brought him identity and power. It is the autumn of 2004 and Cleaver has recently enjoyed the celebrity attending his memorable interview with the President of the United States ...
Overweight and overwrought, Howard Cleaver, London's most successful journalist, abruptly abandons home, partner, mistresses and above all television, the instrument that brought him identity and power. It is the autumn of 2004 and Cleaver has recently enjoyed the celebrity attending his memorable interview with the President of the United States and suffered uncomfortable scrutiny following the publication of his elder son's novelised autobiography. He flies to Milan and heads deep into the South Tyrol, fetching up in the village of Luttach. His quest: to find a remote mountain hut, to get beyond the reach of email, and the mobile phone, and the interminable clamour of the public voice. Weeks later, snowed in at five thousand feet, harangued by voices from the past and humiliated by his inability to understand the Tyrolese peasants he relies on for food and whisky, Cleaver discovers that there is nowhere so noisy and so dangerous as the solitary mind.
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Publishers Weekly, 2007-12-10 Through terse, confrontational prose, Parks puts on display the self-absorbed and egotistical mind of notable British journalist and womanizer Harold Cleaver. After sticking it to the unnamed (though unmistakable) current president of the United States in a television interview, Cleaver should be on top of the world. But his son's just-released damning roman-a-clef, In His Shadow, disrupts Cleaver's life and moment of glory. Cleaver sequesters himself in the German mountains inside a remote, ratty cottage-the former home of a now-deceased Nazi soldier-and finds that while he can flee his fast-paced existence, his psyche is not so easily quieted. With a doll named Olga and a dog named Uli as his only companions, Cleaver finds himself in constant debate about his deceased daughter, Angela, his attempt to replace her through extra-marital affairs, and his son's betrayal. As Cleaver battles his demons and tries to come to terms with his past, his food supply diminishes and a bruising blizzard rages outside. Parks (Europa) gives readers a robust protagonist riddled with doubt, and the path he sends him down is both treacherous and cathartic. (Feb.) Copyright 2007 Reed Business Information.
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