Adrian Ludlow, a novelist with a distinguished reputation and a book on the A'level syllabus, is now seeking obscurity in a cottage beneath the Gatwick flight path. He and his friend Sam Sharp decide to take revenge on Fanny Tarrant, who wrote a savage review of Sharp's work in a Sunday newspaper.
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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 StewartFrom the Author:
You may be puzzled to find two books available by me, both called "Home Truths", and both published in 1999 by Secker & Warburg. The explanation is as follows. In February 1998 I had a play called "Home Truths" premiered at the Birmingham Repertory Theatre. When Secker & Warburg published the text of this play a year later, several people in the media and the book trade assumed it was a work of prose fiction and seemed to lose interest when they discovered it wasn't. This made me think that it might be a good idea to turn the play into a short novel, in which form it could reach a lot of people who would never see it on the stage and might not be inclined to read the script of a play. Since the subject matter has a certain contemporary relevance, I decided that the sooner I did it the better. In the process I changed some things and added others. But it is essentially the same story, so I kept the original title, though with a new subtitle: "Home Truths: a novella".
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Book Description Penguin Books Ltd, 2000. Paperback. Book Condition: New. book. Bookseller Inventory # 140293531