The Rules of Perspective

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9780099458890: The Rules of Perspective

It is April 1945, and the small town of Lohenfelde is about to be overrun by the Allied Third Army. Huddled in the vaults of the Kaiser Wilhelm Museum to escape the artillery bombardment, are Heinrich Hoffer, the Acting Director, and his three colleagues, two women and one man. Their petty rivalries and resentments surface quickly in their confinement, and the vaults become a stage for an intense psychological drama of secret histories and shared terror.

Above ground, picking through the rubble, is Corporal Neal Parry who wishes he was back in West Virginia studying art, and not dodging snipers. When he finds an exquisite painting in what remains of the museum vaults, he is immediately reconnected with a lost world of beauty and order: the world of art. It is this small 18th century oil — the appropriately titled Landscape with Ruins — that is the poignant link between the young soldier and the four charred corpses he finds at the same time. As the narratives interweave, the story of the painting reveals the hidden story of Herr Hoffer and his three associates — and in so doing, uncovers other, darker mysteries.

In this thrilling re-creation of the last months of the Second World War, Adam Thorpe has written a narrative tour de force. Through his beautifully drawn characters, Thorpe allows us to see — just as they begin to see — the possibilities of art and love: perspective, in the face of war.

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From the Inside Flap:

April 1945: a small German town is about to be overrun by the Allied Third Army. The vaults of the town's museum become a stage for an intense psychological drama of secret histories and shared terror, as four people prepare themselves for their fate.

About the Author:

Adam Thorpe was born in Paris in 1956. His first novel, Ulverton, was published in 1992. He has since written four other novels, most recently No Telling.

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