Skios

Skios

3.08 (3,184 ratings by Goodreads)
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Description

Longlisted for the Man Booker Prize

'Good God, thought Oliver, as he saw the smile. She thinks I'm him! And all at once he knew it was so. He was Dr Norman Wilfred.'

On the sunlit Greek island of Skios, the Fred Toppler Foundation's annual lecture is to be given by Dr Norman Wilfred, the world-famous authority on the scientific organisation of science. He turns out to be surprisingly young and charming - not at all the intimidating figure they had been expecting. The Foundation's guests are soon eating out of his hand. So, even sooner, is Nikki, the attractive and efficient organiser.

Meanwhile, in a remote villa at the other end of the island, Nikki's old school-friend Georgie waits for the notorious chancer she has rashly agreed to go on holiday with, and who has only too characteristically failed to turn up. Trapped in the villa with her, by an unfortunate chain of misadventure, is a balding old gent called Dr Norman Wilfred, who has lost his whereabouts, his luggage, his temper and increasingly all normal sense of reality - everything he possesses apart from the flyblown text of a well-travelled lecture on the scientific organisation of science...

And as the time draws ever nearer for one or other Dr Wilfred - or possibly both - to give the eagerly awaited lecture, so Skios - Greece - Europe - career off their appointed track.

Longlisted for the Man Booker Prize, Skios is a story of mislaid identity, misdirected passion and miscalculated consequences. Michael Frayn is also the celebrated author of fifteen plays including Noises Off, Copenhagen and Afterlife. His other bestselling novels include Headlong, which was shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize and Spies, which won the Whitbread Best Novel Award.
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Product details

  • Paperback | 288 pages
  • 126 x 198 x 18mm | 218g
  • London, United Kingdom
  • English
  • Main
  • 0571281451
  • 9780571281459
  • 135,434

Review quote

"A witty Rube Goldberg construction of a novel... Think "Being There" set to the staccato pacing of "Noises Off", and hold on to your funny bones."--"Library Journal""" "Truly does make you laugh out loud. I sniggered on the train and the bus; I sniggered in the kitchen, the bedroom and, on one occasion, in the shower. I wasn't reading the book in the shower, obviously. But I was thinking about it, and that was enough--"Skios" really is hilarious." --Rachel Cooke, "The Observer "(UK) "In the hands of someone less accomplished, the events in "Skios" would be too improbable... As it is, you can sit back and let the book lap over you like the warm waters surrounding this Greek isle." --Cressida Connolly, "The Spectator "(UK) "The pieces of this intricate farce click into place with all the assurance you'd expect from the author of "Noises Off"... The denouement is pitch-perfect. Guaranteed to make many an appearance on holiday-reading lists this summer." --Amber Pearson, "Daily Mail "(UK) "Awkward sexual encounters, mistaken identities and buffoonish caricatures of powerful men and women litter the plot of this engaging, even bawdy comedy... "Skios" sparkles with a precise, theatrical timing."--Yasmin Sulaiman, "The List "(UK) "A cracking read. At the almost-close of proceedings, Frayn lifts the curtain to map out what might have happened--revealing the authorial hand guiding the action. It's a deft and clever touch... If you've always regarded farce as something you don't have to dally with, "Skios" could well the book to change your mind."--"Bookmunch "(UK) "Expertly written, genuine fun... Frayn builds his puzzle so painstakingly and tells his story so engagingly, you want to jump in his lap and build a nest."--"The New York Times Book Review""" "Masterly crafted farce...Under Frayn's peerless choreography, the comedy gods of mistaken identity are having a mad romp. Frayn is so devilishly good at clicking the pieces into place that watching him build his contraption is its own entertainment." --"Entertainment Weekly" "Fiendishly funny... Frayn creates a convincing world so endearingly vulnerable to this kind of mayhem that farce seems inevitable, yet you wind up rooting for the irredeemably irresponsible protagonist to get away with it."--"North Coast Journal" "A witty Rube Goldberg construction of a novel... Think "Being There" set to the staccato pacing of "Noises Off," and hold on to your funny bones."--"Library Journal""" "Truly does make you laugh out loud. I sniggered on the train and the bus; I sniggered in the kitchen, the bedroom and, on one occasion, in the shower. I wasn't reading the book in the shower, obviously. But I was thinking about it, and that was enough--"Skios" really is hilarious." --"The Observer "(UK) "In the hands of someone less accomplished, the events in "Skios" would be too improbable... As it is, you can sit back and let the book lap over you like the warm waters surrounding this Greek isle." --"The Spectator "(UK) "The pieces of this intricate farce click into place with all the assurance you'd expect from the author of "Noises Off.".. The denouement is pitch-perfect. Guaranteed to make many an appearance on holiday-reading lists this summer." --"Daily Mail "(UK) "Awkward sexual encounters, mistaken identities and buffoonish caricatures of powerful men and women litter the plot of this engaging, even bawdy comedy... "Skios" sparkles with a precise, theatrical timing."--"The List "(UK) "A cracking read. At the almost-close of proceedings, Frayn lifts the curtain to map out what might hav "Immensely entertaining...Michael Frayn is a master of that most frantic of genres: the door-slamming, coincidence-splattered, slapstick-studded genre of farce."--Michiko Kakutani, "The New York Times
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"Expertly written, genuine fun... Frayn builds his puzzle so painstakingly and tells his story so engagingly, you want to jump in his lap and build a nest."--Alex Witchel, "The New York Times Book Review"
"Are you, perhaps even now, searching for the perfect comic novel for the beach, the hammock or some lazy summer weekend? Say 'yes' to any of these questions and you should immediately head for your bookstore to buy a copy of Frayn's new book, "Skios," a romantic comedy constructed with the quick cutting and pace of a Marx Brothers movie... This is one of the most amusingly complicated novels since David Lodge's "Small World." By page 2, readers will know without any doubt that they are in for a wonderful time."--Michael Dirda, "The Washington Post"
"A paragon of academic satire, this novel is also a shining example of the drama of mistaken identities... Like much of Frayn's work, "Skios" is a virtuoso performance, and very funny, but underneath it all is a melancholy truth: many people are unhappy with who they are and wouldn't mind being mistaken for someone else."--"The New Yorker"
"Masterly crafted farce...Under Frayn's peerless choreography, the comedy gods of mistaken identity are having a mad romp. Frayn is so devilishly good at clicking the pieces into place that watching him build his contraption is its own entertainment."
--"Entertainment Weekly
"
"Fiendishly funny... Frayn creates a convincing world so endearingly vulnerable to this kind of mayhem that farce seems inevitable, yet you wind up rooting for the irredeemably irresponsible protagonist to get away with it."--"North Coast Journal"
"A witty Rube Goldberg construction of a novel... Think "Being There" set to the staccato pacing of "Noises Off," and ho Long-listed for the 2012 Man Booker Prize
"Expertly written, genuine fun... Frayn builds his puzzle so painstakingly and tells his story so engagingly, you want to jump in his lap and build a nest."
--Alex Witchel, "The New York Times Book Review"
"Are you, perhaps even now, searching for the perfect comic novel for the beach, the hammock or some lazy summer weekend? Say 'yes' to any of these questions and you should immediately head for your bookstore to buy a copy of Frayn's new book, "Skios," a romantic comedy constructed with the quick cutting and pace of a Marx Brothers movie... This is one of the most amusingly complicated novels since David Lodge's "Small World." By page 2, readers will know without any doubt that they are in for a wonderful time."
--Michael Dirda, "The Washington Post"
"A paragon of academic satire, this novel is also a shining example of the drama of mistaken identities... Like much of Frayn's work, "Skios" is a virtuoso performance, and very funny, but underneath it all is a melancholy truth: many people are unhappy with who they are and wouldn't mind being mistaken for someone else."
--"The New Yorker"
"Masterly crafted farce...Under Frayn's peerless choreography, the comedy gods of mistaken identity are having a mad romp. Frayn is so devilishly good at clicking the pieces into place that watching him build his contraption is its own entertainment."
--"Entertainment Weekly
"
"Fiendishly funny... Frayn creates a convincing world so endearingly vulnerable to this kind of mayhem that farce seems inevitable, yet you wind up rooting for the irredeemably irresponsible protagonist to get away with it."
--"North Coast Journal"
"A witty Rube Goldberg construction of a novel... Think "Being There" set to the staccato pacing of "Noises Off," and hold on to your funny bones."
--"Library Journal"
"Truly does make you laugh out loud. I sniggered on the train and the bus; I sniggered
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About Michael Frayn

Michael Frayn was born in London in 1933 and began his career as a journalist on the Guardian and the Observer. His novels include Towards the End of the Morning, The Trick of It and A Landing on the Sun. Headlong (1999) was shortlisted for the Booker Prize and Spies (2002) won the Whitbread Best Novel Award. His most recent novel, Skios, was longlisted for the Booker Prize. His fifteen plays range from Noises Off to Copenhagen and, most recently, Afterlife. He is married to the writer Claire Tomalin.
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Rating details

3,184 ratings
3.08 out of 5 stars
5 8% (242)
4 26% (824)
3 40% (1,284)
2 20% (622)
1 7% (212)
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