Adrian Ludlow, a novelist with a distinguished but slightly faded reputation, is living in semi-retirement with his wife, Eleanor, in an isolated cottage beneath the flight path of London's Gatwick airport. Their old friend from college days, Sam Sharp, who has since become a successful screenplay writer, drops by unexpectedly on the way to Los Angeles. Sam is fuming over a scathing profile of himself by Fanny Tarrant, one of the new breed of pugnacious interviewers, in that day's newspaper. Together, Sam and Adrian plan to take revenge on the journalist, though Adrian is risking what he values most: his privacy. What follows is unexpected and upsetting for all of them, including Fanny.David Lodge's delicious novella examines with characteristic wit and insight the tensions between private life and public interest in contemporary culture.
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David Lodge's extended novella is a delicious contemporary comedy on the perils of celebrity. It concerns a plot for revenge hatched by two writers, Adrian, a distinguished novelist seeking obscurity in a cottage near Gatwick and Sam, a successful scriptwriter who drops in on his old university friend en route to LA. The object of their revenge is one of the new breed of Rottweiler interviewers, a young woman who writes vicious profiles for a paper and who has just published a particularly nasty profile of Sam. Naturally, it all goes completely wrong.Review:
Adrian Ludlow was "the white hope of the English novel once", his first effort, Hideaway, a searing exposé of adolescent angst. But now Hideaway is an A-level set text, and Adrian "stagnates", compiling the Paragon Book of Whatever's Been Commissioned, in unromantic seclusion with wife Eleanor in a cottage under a Gatwick flightpath. Their quiet life is cruelly disturbed when college friend Sam Sharp re-enters their life. A prolific and successful scriptwriter ("three BAFTAs, two Royal Television Society Awards, one Emmy, one Silver Nymph, one Golden Turd from Luxembourg"), Sam is now reeling from being "shat on from a great height by a bilious bird of prey", his treatment at the hands of The Sentinel on Sunday's celebrity interviewer Fanny Tarrant. It's not long before Sam and Adrian have invented a scheme to get even with Fanny, but in executing it, they only end up revealing more than anyone wants about the college threesome's complex history.
Based on his 1998 play, Lodge's novella is, in truth, little more than a slim script with some rather full stage directions. It's mildly diverting trying to pin down "educated estuary" Fanny to aspects of Lynn Barber and Julie Burchill, and there are a few thoughtful observations on the art of interview and "the culture of gossip", but what makes this of more than passing interest is its early treatment of the real news story of summer 1997--Diana and Dodi. That inevitably makes Home Truths impossibly dated, but it also provides its most telling statement on the fleeting phantom that is celebrity. --Alan Stewart
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Book Description Penguin Books Ltd, 2000. Book Condition: New. Adrian, a distinguished novelist seeking obscurity in a cottage near Gatwick and his friend Sam, a successful scriptwriter, want revenge on an interviewer who has just written a nasty profile of Sam. Naturally, it all goes completely wrong. Bookseller Inventory # 696388
Book Description Penguin Books 2000-01-01, 2000. Paperback. Book Condition: New. 1st Thus Edition. 0140290133 We guarantee all of our items - customer service and satisfaction are our top priorities. Please allow 4 - 14 business days for Standard shipping, within the US. Bookseller Inventory # TM-0140290133