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The Conclave

3.67 of 5 stars 3.67  ·  rating details  ·  15 ratings  ·  2 reviews
The Conclave charts the first 30 years in the life of a suburban dilettante with aesthetic aspirations, who, in the 1980s, begins a lucrative career. The story roams from the edge of London to a well-heeled part of Bristol, and in doing so reveals a disturbing tale of loneliness and lost love.
338 pages
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Remarkable novel by a British social/art critic. Michael Bracewell who wrote a fantastic pre-history of the band Roxy Music, and I came upon his novel by accident. Just recently re-released by the very interesting Capuchin Classics publishing house.

"The Conclave" sort of reminds me of Patrick Hamilton in that he really gets into the heads of his main characters - which tells the bigger story of being on the move and on the up in 1980's England. In many ways this could be a 'Situationist' novel i
If Patrick Bateman from American Psycho lived in England and never thought of killing anyone he would be Martin Knight, the main character of this book. Written around the same time as American Psycho, The Conclave is one of those books that perfectly paints a picture of a certain place and time.

We follow Martin Knight from his middle class childhood to his pretentious prep school days to his money obsessed adulthood. Obsessed with the idea of beauty, Martin meets his match in Marilyn Fuller, a
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