The Bedroom of the Mister's Wife

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9780007180196: The Bedroom of the Mister's Wife

From the bestselling author of The Mulberry Empire comes ‘a masterly collection of stories… astonishing’ Mail on Sunday

Like the room from which it takes its title, THE BEDROOM OF THE MISTER 'S WIFE is a book full of secrets, partly revealed, partly concealed. A young couple are destroyed by the simple temptations of the ideal home; a shy Italian ends up in a stranger's hospital room when he rings a telephone number left in his back pocket; after a late-night excursion to Hampstead Heath; Stalin’s daughter changes the life of a Cambridge painter with the gift of a fridge; and a German police officer spends a day posing as a terrorist, discovering new possibilities within herself.

In this collection of thirteen stories, discrete and contained lives brush up against each other. With unerring precision, Hensher focuses on the small moments when lives alter, his characters enacting their quiet tragedies in rooms and streets which have the crystal clarity of dreamscapes and where banality can assume almost operatic proportions.

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Review:

Philip Hensher has been described as "the waspish wonder boy" of English fiction, following the publication of Kitchen Venom and Pleasured. In The Bedroom of the Mister's Wife Hensher proves that he is also rapidly mastering the art of short story writing. The 14 stories gathered together in this collection are remarkable for the sheer range of voices, places, moods and tones that Hensher is able to capture in his elegant and seemingly effortless prose. These are acutely observed vignettes of the sheer strangeness of people's lives and their invariably failed attempts to communicate meaningfully with other people.

The opening story sets the Chekhovian tone of the collection, with its account of the strange relationship between a failed painter and his faded Russian émigré landlady, whose attempts at finery leave her looking "like a slow-motion photograph of an explosion in a dairy". In subsequent stories London in the shadow of Thatcherism, ghosts on the internet, 1970s German terrorism, rogue Tory MPs on the loose in Europe and maps of gay life in London all come under Hensher's intense, acerbic and comical gaze. A man draws "a chart of who'd slept with who" with disastrous consequences; a widowed academic has a ghostly experience as he learns the joys of e-mail, "the magical compressor of distance, the instantaneous traveller"; a man wakes up to find himself in a room in Istanbul with a naked man, a briefcase full of money, a sore head and a growing realisation that "the worst thing in the world" awaits him just beyond the door. Hensher is the master of exploring how ordinary events can suddenly engulf peoples lives in extraordinary ways, and then become familiar once again through sheer habit. There is great pathos in these stories of the domestic, intimate minutiae of people's attempts to communicate with others amidst the noise of modern life. This is an absorbing collection. --Jerry Brotton

About the Author:

Philip Hensher’s novels include Kitchen Venom, which won the Somerset Maugham Award, Other Lulus and The Mulberry Empire, which was longlisted for the Man Booker Prize, shortlisted for the WH Smith ‘People’s Choice’ Award and highlighted by no fewer than twelve reviewers as their ‘book of the year’. Chosen by Granta to appear on their prestigious, once-a-decade list of the twenty best young British novelists, Philip Hensher is also a columnist for the Independent and chief book reviewer for the Spectator. He lives in south London.

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Philip Hensher
Published by HarperCollins Publishers, United Kingdom (2004)
ISBN 10: 0007180195 ISBN 13: 9780007180196
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Book Description HarperCollins Publishers, United Kingdom, 2004. Paperback. Book Condition: New. 197 x 130 mm. Language: N/A. Brand New Book. From the bestselling author of The Mulberry Empire comes a masterly collection of stories.astonishing Mail on Sunday Like the room from which it takes its title, THE BEDROOM OF THE MISTER S WIFE is a book full of secrets, partly revealed, partly concealed. A young couple are destroyed by the simple temptations of the ideal home; a shy Italian ends up in a stranger s hospital room when he rings a telephone number left in his back pocket; after a late-night excursion to Hampstead Heath; Stalin s daughter changes the life of a Cambridge painter with the gift of a fridge; and a German police officer spends a day posing as a terrorist, discovering new possibilities within herself. In this collection of thirteen stories, discrete and contained lives brush up against each other. With unerring precision, Hensher focuses on the small moments when lives alter, his characters enacting their quiet tragedies in rooms and streets which have the crystal clarity of dreamscapes and where banality can assume almost operatic proportions. Bookseller Inventory # AA89780007180196

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Philip Hensher
Published by HarperCollins Publishers, United Kingdom (2004)
ISBN 10: 0007180195 ISBN 13: 9780007180196
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Book Description HarperCollins Publishers, United Kingdom, 2004. Paperback. Book Condition: New. 197 x 130 mm. Language: N/A. Brand New Book. From the bestselling author of The Mulberry Empire comes a masterly collection of stories.astonishing Mail on Sunday Like the room from which it takes its title, THE BEDROOM OF THE MISTER S WIFE is a book full of secrets, partly revealed, partly concealed. A young couple are destroyed by the simple temptations of the ideal home; a shy Italian ends up in a stranger s hospital room when he rings a telephone number left in his back pocket; after a late-night excursion to Hampstead Heath; Stalin s daughter changes the life of a Cambridge painter with the gift of a fridge; and a German police officer spends a day posing as a terrorist, discovering new possibilities within herself. In this collection of thirteen stories, discrete and contained lives brush up against each other. With unerring precision, Hensher focuses on the small moments when lives alter, his characters enacting their quiet tragedies in rooms and streets which have the crystal clarity of dreamscapes and where banality can assume almost operatic proportions. Bookseller Inventory # AA89780007180196

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Book Description HarperCollins Publishers. Paperback. Book Condition: new. BRAND NEW, The Bedroom of the Mister's Wife, Philip Hensher, From the bestselling author of The Mulberry Empire comes 'a masterly collection of stories.astonishing' Mail on Sunday Like the room from which it takes its title, THE BEDROOM OF THE MISTER 'S WIFE is a book full of secrets, partly revealed, partly concealed. A young couple are destroyed by the simple temptations of the ideal home; a shy Italian ends up in a stranger's hospital room when he rings a telephone number left in his back pocket; after a late-night excursion to Hampstead Heath; Stalin's daughter changes the life of a Cambridge painter with the gift of a fridge; and a German police officer spends a day posing as a terrorist, discovering new possibilities within herself. In this collection of thirteen stories, discrete and contained lives brush up against each other. With unerring precision, Hensher focuses on the small moments when lives alter, his characters enacting their quiet tragedies in rooms and streets which have the crystal clarity of dreamscapes and where banality can assume almost operatic proportions. Bookseller Inventory # B9780007180196

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Book Description HarperPerennial, 2004. Paperback. Book Condition: Brand New. 256 pages. In Stock. Bookseller Inventory # __0007180195

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Book Description HarperCollins Publishers, 2004. PAP. Book Condition: New. New Book. Shipped from UK in 4 to 14 days. Established seller since 2000. Bookseller Inventory # FC-9780007180196

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Book Description HARPER COLLINS, 2004. Paperback. Book Condition: NEW. 9780007180196 This listing is a new book, a title currently in-print which we order directly and immediately from the publisher. Bookseller Inventory # HTANDREE0989495

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Book Description Harper Perennial, 2004. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Like the room fron which it takes its title, The Bedroom of the Mister's Wife is a book full of secrets. A recently widowed man takes to the internet, and finds himself haunted by mysterious email messages; a shy Italian ends up in a stranger's hospital room when he rings a telephone number left in his back pocket; Stalin's daughter changes the life of a Cambridge painter with the gift of a fridge; and in a police identity parade, every woman in the line proclaims herself to be the real terrorist. Bookseller Inventory # 000856

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