Aldous Cotton, commonly known as Gus, a civil servant of dry and melancholy humour, stands observing the November dawn from his North London doorstep. His calm existence is about to be disrupted by two events: the invasion of that unloved piece of imperial territory on the other side of the world, known as the Selkirk Strip; and the arrival of his wife's mysterious cousin, Alan Breck Stewart, a survivor of mysterious pasts, unwitting provoker of destruction. While the entire country embarks on a patriotic binge, Alan Breck Stewart pursues his own peculiar path, leaving behind him a wake of sexual disaster and personal disintegration. Splenetic journalists, strong-willed women, tortuously bland civil servants and West Country Catholic gentry - all come under Ferdinand Mount's finely ground microscope in this tragi-comedy or manners and morals. And in Alan Breck Stewart he has created one of those extraordinary characters who burst from the page in embarrassing abandon.
|Publication date:||18th March 2010|
|Publisher:||Faber & Faber|
|Categories:||Classic fiction (pre c 1945),|
Ferdinand Mount was born in 1939 and won scholarships to Eton, Christ Church, Oxford and Vienna University. Novelist, The Sunday Times columnist and Conservative Party politician, Mount was head of the policy unit in 10 Downing Street in 1982-83, during the time when Margaret Thatcher was Prime Minister, and wrote the 1983 Tory general election manifesto. For 11 years (1991-2002) he was editor of the Times Literary Supplement. Today, he is a regular contributor to Standpoint magazine. He lives in London.More About Ferdinand Mount