Set in Berlin in the late 80s, this novel tells the story of Heinrich Himmler, a restless young man working part-time as a waiter, who takes on a mysterious errand for the shady Mr Picker. But Picker is a spy for an unspecified government, yet his plan goes humorously awry.
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Ten years after the fall of the Berlin Wall, Philip Hensher's third novel, Pleasured is perhaps the finest literary response to one of the most momentous events of the post-war period. Set in Berlin months before the fall of the Wall, it follows the lives of a disparate collection of characters, centring on Friedrich Kaiser, a Generation X slacker living in the hedonistic atmosphere of Kreuzberg in West Berlin. Hitchhiking back to Berlin from Cologne over New Year, Friedrich strikes up an unlikely relationship with the mysterious, rotund Peter Picker and Daphne, a wannabe urban terrorist. As Friedrich's incongruous relationship with Picker blossoms, they hatch an unlikely plan to free East Berlin from its Stalinist grip through the introduction of a little joy in the shape of a bag of Ecstasy.
Pleasured will undoubtedly draw comparisons with Christopher Isherwood's Goodbye to Berlin, with its brilliant evocation of 80s Berlin and the frustration and ennui which defines its comical, degenerate and often desperate collection of characters. Like Isherwood's novel Hensher vividly captures the Zeitgeist of Germany's painful reunification and the personal impact which the fall of the Wall had in both the East and the West. However, Pleasured is more than a meditation on the state of the German nation. It is also a wickedly observed comedy of manners, embracing drugs, terrorism, childhood, fatherhood and the vicissitudes of sexual identity in a series of elegantly drawn portraits and set pieces. Effortlessly written and beautifully structured, this is a great novel, which confirms Hensher as one of the finest novelists currently writing in English. -- Jerry BrottonReview:
'What starts out as a Pinteresque thriller turns out to be a rather touching love story… so good it gives you goosebumps.' Time Out
'Hensher's most ambitious novel to date, it is also his most satisfying' Alex Clarke, Guardian
'Highly original and accomplished… An engrossing read.' Barry Unsworth, Daily Telegraph
'A sublimely structured and sophisticated novel' Independent on Sunday
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Book Description Vintage, 1999. Paperback. Book Condition: Very Good. Very Good condition with no significant faults. Clearly used but very few minor defects. Will look good on your bookcase after reading but may not be suitable as a present unless hard to find elsewhere ALL ITEMS POSTED NEXT WORKING DAY. Bookseller Inventory # mon0000732788
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Book Description Vintage. Paperback. Book Condition: Good. Book shows a small amount of wear to cover and binding. Some pages show signs of use. Bookseller Inventory # G0099274442I3N00
Book Description Vintage 05/08/1999, 1999. Book Condition: Good. Will be shipped promptly from UK warehouse. Book is in good condition with no missing pages, no damage or soiling and tight spine. There may be some dog-eared pages showing previous use but overall a great book. Bookseller Inventory # 9053-9780099274445
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