It all starts at Cambridge, in the rooms of Dr John Bentley, an eccentric don famous for his book-burning parties. Mike Smith is handsome, clever but untalented; Gregory Collins is unprepossessing of face and form, but, it will transpire, a novelist of enormous promise. When Gregory's first novel is published, he persuades Smith to take his place on the book jacket, on the grounds that nobody would buy a novel by an ugly novelist, however talented. Thus is set in train a chain of events which leads to Mike Smith becoming writer-in-residence in a mental hospital. The therapy of the charismatic but possibly fraudulent Dr Kincaid is based on the theory that people are driven mad by an overload of images; all such are banned in the hospital, but words are encouraged, hence Smith's job. It is only when a book of the patients' writings, teased out of them by Mike, is published and becomes a literary succes d'estime that this comedy of errors of judgement threatens to become a tragedy ...
- Paperback | 256 pages
- 128 x 197 x 22mm | 282g
- 06 Dec 2001
- Orion Publishing Co
- Phoenix (an Imprint of The Orion Publishing Group Ltd )
- London, United Kingdom
About Geoff Nicholson
Educated at Cambridge. Was a bookseller before becoming a full-time writer.