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Set in 1912, Bedford Park is not just a place. It is a crucible for enlightenment and modernity inhabited by people who wish to better themselves - and those who should know better. It is a singular suburb architecturally sidestepping the modern whilst encouraging those with new ideas to take up residence. Into this mix sails Cal Kidd from America. In a coffee-house he ...more
ebook, 320 pages
Published April 11th 2013 by Weidenfeld & Nicolson
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Oct 13, 2014 Kathleen rated it did not like it · review of another edition
Chicago, Bedford Park, mystery. Such wonderful promise with a great cover illustration and on a display table at Hatchards. But inside was a narrative gone terribly wrong. Grimly persisted to the finish but heed the warning to not judge a book by its cover.
I enjoy and admire the articles I have read by Bryan Appleyard, so was very pleased to see this new novel by him out last year. His usual preoccupations (architecture and popular science) provide an interesting basis for it. A number of real, historical, people wander through it, playing supporting roles. But what, oh what, is it all about? There is a rite of passage (which lasts an entire adult life). There is a foreigner’s-eye view of London in general and the, apparently real, suburb of ...more
A book brimming with ideas that benefits from a rather colourless main character ,because he describes the charismatic, sometimes real life characters that come into his life. The dialogue is occasionally convoluted and needs rereading, but this may the pompous 'non-action' ideas of some of the characters. The book concludes in a rather melancholic way.