Tragic and hilarious in equal measure, Tim Lott’s story of Charlie and Maureen Buck’s ailing marriage and their climb up (and down) the social ladder during the 1980s is a wonderfully honest portrait of ordinary people living through an extraordinary time. Steeped in the decade’s cataclysmic events, packed with the crimes and misdemeanours we visit on each another, ‘Rumours of a Hurricane’ is a powerful tale of change, how we face it – and how we don’t.
‘An outstanding comic novel. Places the 1980s under sceptical and merciless scrutiny’ Literary Review.
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1991, London. A street drunk is rushed into casualty, the victim of a horrific traffic accident. He carries a social security card, a digital watch, and a torn and yellowed newspaper cutting - an obituary. But his relatives cannot be traced. How did he end up here? To answer that, we need to go back to 1979, a time before the Big Bang, before Margaret Thatcher came to power, before greed became good, before the hurricane.Review:
The death of homeless man Charlie Buck is unremarkable to everyone except the few passers-by who witness his drunken--and apparently voluntary--fall beneath a speeding lorry. No loved ones or friends attend his last breaths in hospital--his possessions amount to a National Insurance card, a digital watch and a newspaper obituary for a dead composer. But Charlie was a person. He had a wife and a son, his own set of dreams and personal demons, a biography no more and no less studded with dramas, defeats and victories than anyone else’s.
This is the mission of Rumours of a Hurricane, Tim Lott’s second novel: to chart the life of a single man, revealing it to be remarkable in its ordinariness and epic within its narrow confines. The backdrop to Charlie’s tragic saga is the relentlessly changing Britain of the 1980s, a nation twisted by greed and discontent. History weaves gracefully in and out of the tale, its hero riding high as he buys his own council flat and invests in the stock market; laid low as the great storms and the recession hit his home and his business. But Lott’s grasp of the recent past is by no means his most impressive talent--what dazzles on every page is his powerful grasp of the human soul and his ability to turn harsh truths into some truly fascinating fiction. Like Lott’s first novel White City Blue, this is an uncompromising book, one whose messages we ignore at our peril. --Matthew Baylis
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Book Description Penguin Books, 2003. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Bookseller Inventory # DADAX014028446X
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