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Skios by Michael Frayn
  

Skios

Literary Fiction   Books of the Month   Relationship Stories   eBook Favourites   eBook Favourites   

RRP £7.99

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Selected by Sarah Broadhurst

April 2013 Book of the Month.

Longlisted for the Man Booker Prize 2012

This is a slickly written farce of mistaken identity set on a sun-drenched Greek Island which is hosting a ‘scientific conference’. In a recent Guardian interview Michael said of the book ‘'It had been in my mind for a while. Every time I arrived at an airport and saw the line of people holding up cards, I thought: "What would happen if I went up to one of them? How far would I get?".

Witty, laugh out loud funny and just a delicious treat, this book is not to be missed.

If you like Michael Frayn you might also like to read books by Howard Jacobson, Jonathan Coe and David Lodge.

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Synopsis

Skios by Michael Frayn

On the sunlit Greek island of Skios, the Fred Toppler Foundation's annual lecture is to be given by Dr Norman Wilfred, the world-famous authority on the scientific organisation of science.

He turns out to be surprisingly young and charming - not at all the intimidating figure they had been expecting. The Foundation's guests are soon eating out of his hand. So, even sooner, is Nikki, the attractive and efficient organiser. Meanwhile, in a remote villa at the other end of the island, Nikki's old school-friend Georgie waits for the notorious chancer she has rashly agreed to go on holiday with, and who has only too characteristically failed to turn up. Trapped in the villa with her, by an unfortunate chain of misadventure, is a balding old gent called Dr Norman Wilfred, who has lost his whereabouts, his luggage, his temper and increasingly all normal sense of reality - everything he possesses apart from the flyblown text of a well-travelled lecture on the scientific organisation of science...

Reviews

Immensely entertaining...Michael Frayn is a master of that most frantic of genres: the door-slamming, coincidence-splattered, slapstick-studded genre of farce. --Michiko Kakutani, The New York Times

Expertly written, genuine fun... Frayn builds his puzzle so painstakingly and tells his story so engagingly, you want to jump in his lap and build a nest. --Alex Witchel, The New York Times Book Review

Are you, perhaps even now, searching for the perfect comic novel for the beach, the hammock or some lazy summer weekend? Say 'yes
to any of these questions and you should immediately head for your bookstore to buy a copy of Frayn

's new book, Skios, a romantic comedy constructed with the quick cutting and pace of a Marx Brothers movie... This is one of the most amusingly complicated novels since David Lodge's Small World. By page 2, readers will know without any doubt that they are in for a wonderful time. --Michael Dirda, The Washington Post

A paragon of academic satire, this novel is also a shining example of the drama of mistaken identities... Like much of Frayn's work, Skios is a virtuoso performance, and very funny, but underneath it all is a melancholy truth: many people are unhappy with who they are and wouldn't mind being mistaken for someone else. -- The New Yorker

Masterly crafted farce...Under Frayn's peerless choreography, the comedy gods of mistaken identity are having a mad romp. Frayn is so devilishly good at clicking the pieces into place that watching him build his contraption is its own entertainment. -- Entertainment Weekly Fiendishly funny... Frayn creates a convincing world so endearingly vulnerable to this kind of mayhem that farce seems inevitable, yet you wind up rooting for the irredeemably irresponsible protagonist to get away with it. -- North Coast Journal

A witty Rube Goldberg construction of a novel... Think Being There set to the staccato pacing of Noises Off, and ho'


About the Author

Michael Frayn

Michael Frayn was born in London in 1933 and began his career as a journalist on the Guardian and the Observer. His novels include Towards the End of the Morning, The Trick of It and A Landing on the Sun. Headlong (1999) was shortlisted for the Booker Prize, while his most recent novel, Spies (2002), won the Whitbread Novel Award. His fifteen plays range from Noises Off to Copenhagen and most recently Afterlife. A collection of his travel writing, Travels with a Typewriter, was published in 2009, and a memoir, My Father's Fortune, in 2010. In April 2012 Michael Frayn was awarded the Sky Arts South Bank Lifetime Achievement award. He is married to the writer Claire Tomalin.

Author photo © Ekko von Schwichow

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Book Info

Publication date

4th April 2013

Author

Michael Frayn

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Publisher

Faber and Faber

Format

Paperback
224 pages

Categories

Literary Fiction
Books of the Month
Relationship Stories
eBook Favourites
eBook Favourites

Modern & contemporary fiction (post c 1945)

ISBN

9780571281459

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