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The Restoration of Otto Laird by Nigel Packer

Sarah Broadhurst's view...

Famed architect returns to London to save his 1960’s building from demolition. In doing so he reflects on the past and invests in the future. This is about reconciliation, about building bridges and starting afresh. It’s one of those ponderous, life-affirming tales popular at the moment. Quirky and charming with likeable people and a clever story.

If you like Nigel Packer you might also like to read books by Jonas Jonasson, Fredrik Backman and Catharina Ingelman-Sundberg.

Who is Sarah Broadhurst


The Restoration of Otto Laird by Nigel Packer

Elderly retired architect Otto Laird lives a peaceful, if slightly bemused, existence in Switzerland with his second wife, Anika. Once renowned for his radical and controversial designs, he now spends his days communing with nature and writing eccentric (and un-posted) letters to old friends. But Otto's comfortable life is rudely interrupted when he learns that his most significant and revolutionary building, Marlowe House, a 1960s local authority tower block in south London is to be demolished. Otto is outraged. Determined to do everything in his power to save the building, he reluctantly agrees to take part in a television documentary, which will mean returning to London for the first time in twenty-five years to live for a week in Marlowe House. Once Otto becomes reacquainted with the city he called home for most of his life, his memories begin to come alive. And as he explores his past, ponders his present and considers the future -- for himself and his building -- Otto embarks on a most remarkable journey, one that will change everything he ever thought he knew about himself and those closest to him.


'I raced through this book in one day. The eccentric and engaging character of the ageing Otto me gripped from the start. I was very moved by his struggle with his 'buttoned-up
nature and avoidance of a painful past. Well-written and informative on many levels, this is a novel to savour.' -- Hilary Boyd, author of Thursdays in the Park

About the Author

During an eclectic career as a writer and journalist, Nigel Packer has been a music reviewer for BBC News Online and Ceefax, a reporting officer at the International Committee of the Red Cross and a contributor to various magazines and newspapers. He lives in London.

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Book Info

Publication date

30th November 1999


Nigel Packer

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