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The Hopeless Life of Charlie Summers by Paul Torday
  

The Hopeless Life of Charlie Summers

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Sarah Broadhurst's view...

A sad comedy of the boom and sudden fall of the hedge funds, of the American market affecting us, of financial risk and con all wrapped round the tale of a likeable character who eventually finds redemption in a clever twist. In my mind it’s Torday’s cleverest since Salmon Fishing in the Yemen.

Comparison: Justin Cartwright, David Nobbs.

If you like Paul Torday you might also like to read books by David Nobbs, Julian Barnes and Colin Cotterill.

Who is Sarah Broadhurst

Synopsis

The Hopeless Life of Charlie Summers by Paul Torday

Hector Chetwode-Talbot, Eck to his friends, has left the army and is slightly at a loss as to what to do next, when he is approached by an old army pal, Bilbo Mountwilliam. Bilbo runs an investment fund company and business is booming. Bilbo persuades Eck to join the company as a 'greeter' for moneyed clients. All Eck has to do is supply the contacts with entertainment and large G&Ts and then the fund managers will do the rest. Soon Eck is able to buy himself a luxury sports car and decadent flat. It is on a golfing trip to France that Eck first meets Charlie Summers, a fly-by-night entrepreneur whose latest scheme is to import Japanese dog food into the UK. Soon Charlie lands on Charlie's doorstep with his suitcase, intent on staying and relaunching his dog food business in the area. But with the financial crash looming, Eck begins to ask himself if they are so very different...

Reviews

'Torday is one of the most original voices in modern fiction'
LONDON METRO

'This hugely likeable book subtly highlights the surprising parallells between obvious con men and the rest of us who just want to make a fast buck.'
Elizabeth Buchan SUNDAY TIMES

'A lively credit crunch satire...This debonair and elegantly written farce borrows from Wodehouse and Sharpe.'
Emma Hagestadt INDEPENDENT

'A humorous and nuanced read'
SUNDAY BUSINESS POST, Ireland

'Dog food, stately homes, gullible rich widows and a hostage crisis all combine a tragicomical contemporary morality tale packed with wit, pathos and sharp class observation.'
Wendy Holden DAILY MAIL

'Poignant, funny, brilliantly-crafted, an outstanding story for our time.'
TELEGRAPH

& ARGUS


About the Author

Paul Torday

Paul Torday was our Guest Editor in April 2012 - click here - to see the books that inspired his writing.

Paul Torday was born in 1946 and read English Literature at Pembroke College, Oxford. He spent the next 30 years working in engineering and in industry, after which he scaled back his business responsibilities to fulfil a long-harboured ambition - to write. He burst on to the literary scene in 2006 with his first novel, Salmon Fishing in the Yemen, an immediate bestseller that has been sold in 25 countries. Paul Torday died in 2013.

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Book Info

Publication date

28th October 2010

Author

Paul Torday

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Publisher

Phoenix (an Imprint of The Orion Publishing Group Ltd ) an imprint of Orion Publishing Co

Format

Paperback
304 pages

Categories

Literary Fiction
Family Drama
Reading Groups
eBook Favourites

Classic fiction (pre c 1945)

ISBN

9780753823415

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