What's the Name of That Book??? discussion

The Stranger at the Palazzo d'Oro
This topic is about The Stranger at the Palazzo d'Oro
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SOLVED: Adult Fiction > SOLVED. Short story where an elegant lady’s gloves are central to the plot... [s]

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message 1: by Cleo (new) - added it

Cleo Dupre | 3 comments I read this in the early 00s and am sure it was by a young author who was much celebrated. The protagonist is a young man who meets a beautiful woman of indeterminate age while traveling through Europe to grand tour-like destinations. She is accompanied by a companion who has an important skill (trying to avoid spoilers) ... I am traveling to Taormina soon and want to read it again before I go as I am also sure that was a destination in the story.

Thanks in advance for your help!


message 2: by Lobstergirl, au gratin (new)

Lobstergirl | 38140 comments Mod
It would help if you reveal the spoilers.

"A young author" - is this a classic work? When was the author "young"?


message 3: by Chrissie (new)

Chrissie (chrissiewhitley) | 138 comments Could it be Ernest Hemingway’s short story The Mercenaries, which I think can be found in this book, Along With Youth: Hemingway the Early Years?

I’m not sure about the details completely matching up, but I know it takes place in Taormina and the main character has an affair with a beautiful woman with lovely eyes, or something to that effect.


message 4: by Cleo (new) - added it

Cleo Dupre | 3 comments Thanks to both of you! Christie - it’s not The Mercenaries, but thanks for the tip; Lobstergirl - I’m really not sure how young the author was when I read the story, but I think he was praised as being “someone to watch” about 10+ years ago. Here come the spoilers as I’m having no luck with any of my searches: the woman the young protagonist falls for is much, much older than she looks and her traveling companion turns out to be her plastic surgeon who treats her as some kind of experiment - the only parts of her body that can’t be successfully rejuvenated are her hands, hence the gloves that she refuses to remove - hopefully someone can now help!


message 5: by Chrissie (last edited Aug 30, 2018 10:16AM) (new)

Chrissie (chrissiewhitley) | 138 comments I am fairly certain that is the title story from Paul Theroux 's collection The Stranger at the Palazzo d'Oro.

A review for that book states:
The title story, first in the line up deals with the loss of youth. It is more correctly a novella, and is considerably longer than the other stories. Set in Sicily, in the 1960's it tells the tale of a young man and his love affair with an older woman. Narrated by an elderly man, telling the story of his youth - as a young American art student travelling the world. He meets a sophisticated older woman at a hotel pool - she is a countess, travelling with her doctor companion.


And the Google book search displays this excerpt from The Literary Review for Issues 296-307.
By Paul Theroux (Hamish Hamilton 247 pp. ‎£14.99)
This book consists of a novella and five short stories (two long, three short). It is the novella that has given its title to the collection, and from the prominence accorded to it on the jacket one might assume, from a casual...
...provides not one twist but four. These reveal the woman to be far off the age that the youth had assumed; the doctor to be, in fact, a plastic surgeon constantly on hand to rejuvenate her; her even more aged husband to have been a clandestine witness in the hotel to the whole raging affair; and the affair itself to be both a repetition and a forerunner of others similar to it.


The only thing that does not fit is the "someone to watch" bit. Paul Theroux would neither have been young when this collection was published, nor would it have been early in his career as an author.


message 6: by Cleo (new) - added it

Cleo Dupre | 3 comments Chrissie you are brilliant- thank you! Don’t know why I got so muddled about the author, but suspect it might be because I was reading a 20 under 40 anthology around the same time...so happy that didn’t confuse too much and once again, a huge thank you! The older I get, the more frustrating it is to forget and you have truly rescued me...


message 7: by Rosa (new) - added it

Rosa (rosaiglarsh) | 5079 comments That’s great, Cleo. Are you sure that’s the one?


message 8: by Chrissie (new)

Chrissie (chrissiewhitley) | 138 comments Cleo wrote: "Chrissie you are brilliant- thank you! Don’t know why I got so muddled about the author, but suspect it might be because I was reading a 20 under 40 anthology around the same time...so happy that d..."

Excellent! You're very welcome. I'm so glad that's the one. One thing I love about finding other people's forgotten books is that you may get something interesting to add to your to-read list that you wouldn't otherwise. I may have to check this one out. So, thank you, too.


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The Stranger at the Palazzo d'Oro (other topics)

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Paul Theroux (other topics)