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Barbarians by Tim Glencross
  

Barbarians

Relationship Stories   Debuts of the Month   Literary Fiction   
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April 2015 Debut of the Month.

The Islington Labour Party set and a bunch of Oxbridge graduates in a delicious, slightly old-fashioned novel of “love, politics, art, money” but without much story. Gently satirical, clever and very well-written, this paints a fascinating portrait of a particular London set of people who probably believe themselves to be a little elite. They are certainly all on the make and most have a tale to tell. No real drama, no real plot but a lovely read; it would make excellent TV.

If you like Tim Glencross you might also like to read books by David Gilbert, Andrew Marr and Mark Lawson.

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Synopsis

Barbarians by Tim Glencross

'A dazzling debut' The Times It is 2008, late capitalism is in crisis, and the great and the good are gathered at an Islington house party. Hosting proceedings are waspish Sherard Howe, scion of a publishing dynasty and owner of a left-wing magazine, and his wife, Daphne Depree, whose feminist work The Third Sex is seen - to her increasing discomfort - as an intellectual cornerstone of the Blair era. The guests include cabinet ministers, celebrated artists and peers of the realm; but somehow it's doubtful that any number of grandees would overshadow Afua, the Howes' beautiful and supremely ambitious adopted daughter, already a rising star of the Labour Party. Into this world arrives twenty-four-year-old Elizabeth Buzzy Price, an aspiring poet only too aware of her suburban background. Moral support is at hand from shy but devoted Henry, the Howes' biological son - though perhaps Buzzy is most grateful for her friend's connection to her own unrequited love, Afua's boyfriend, the worldly Marcel. As the years pass and a coalition government takes office, Buzzy's fortunes rise and the elder Howes' lives threaten to unravel. But do the civilising possibilities of art involve enlarging Buzzy's romantic ambitions, or revealing their moral complacency? And could meek and gentle Henry, having angered his family by going to work for the political enemy, turn out to be steelier than anyone thought - as steely, even, as his formidable adopted sister? Barbarians is a debut of extraordinary scope and confidence; a fresh, contemporary novel about love, art and politics, told with a 19th century sensibility.

Reviews

'A very funny, clever and keenly observed political (and social) satire' -- Emma Healey Huffington Post Books of the Year

'It's refreshing ... Glencross is an astute, immaculately funny writer with a strong ear for the present moment. Elegantly witty sentences flow from his pen like wine from a bottle. He is particularly good at skewering the often gaping chasm between people's public and private selves' Claire Allfree, Metro

'Tim Glencross has set his sights high in this debut. Replete with references to Middlemarch, Can You Forgive Her? and other all-embracing novels of Victorian society, Barbarians aims to take the temperature of the times, using a group of Oxbridge graduates clustered around Labour's Islington set as its gauge. Along the way there are references to Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, namechecks for Melvyn Bragg and Ian McEwan, visits to Brixton, a Soho club and a north London luvvie party, off-the-page reports from Private Eye and the Daily Telegraph, and a walk-on part for Tony Blair ... Far from being mere ciphers, Afua and her friends are given sufficient spark to make them live on the page ... The satire, meanwhile, is subtle enough to be compelling, and the references glancing enough not to grate ... An engaging and often impressive debut ... Glencross feels like a writer to watch' Andrew Holgate, Sunday Times

'Entertaining, with a rich array of snobs and halfwits' Independent

About the Author

Tim Glencross

Tim Glencross studied modern languages at Cambridge University. He worked as a Shadow Minister's researcher and speechwriter before qualifying as a lawyer. He lives in London.

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Book Info

Publication date

26th March 2015

Author

Tim Glencross

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Author's Website

timglencross.com/

Publisher

John Murray Publishers Ltd an imprint of John Murray General Publishing Division

Format

Paperback
352 pages

Categories

Relationship Stories
Debuts of the Month
Literary Fiction

Modern & contemporary fiction (post c 1945)

ISBN

9781444788518

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