Critics have compared him to Martin Amis, Zadie Smith, Tom Wolfe, and Don DeLillo. Granta dubbed him �one of the twenty best fiction writers under forty.� Now Hari Kunzru delivers his �finest novel yet . . . bringing to the angry activism of the young in the late sixties all the suspense of a spy thriller.� (Lisa Appignanesi, author of Unholy Loves) Chris Carver is living a lie. His wife, their teenage daughter, and everyone in their circle know him as Michael Frame, suburban dad. They have no idea that as a radical student in the sixties he briefly became a terrorist�protesting the Vietnam War by setting bombs around London. And then one day a ghost from his past turns up on his doorstep, forcing Chris on the run. As Chris flees, he remembers his days as an isolated youth, hopelessly in love with Anna Addison, following her as she threw aside conventionality. Chris�s rival for Anna�s affections, the charismatic Sean Ward, was the leader of the radical August 14th Group.
It's the 1970s, and Chris Carver, briefly imprisoned for participating in a demonstration and increasingly disillusioned with the British revolutionaries with whom he's been involved since the 1960s, goes on the run, assuming the identity of one Michael Frame. Decades later, an ex-inmate of Chris tracks him down and pressures him to provide false evidence against another former comrade, now about to gain a powerful position in the British government. Unwilling to cooperate, Chris runs away again, this time to France, where he believes his old cohort, the supposedly dead Anna Addison, is hiding. As Kunzru (The Impressionist) shows how the present-day Michael's comfortable middle-class life has been interrupted, he reconstructs Chris's life story, focusing on his early interest in protests and his arrest while a student at the London School of Economics. With these simultaneous stories of Chris's early life and his evasion of his true identity, Kunzru creates a graphic and realistic portrait of the 1960s and beyond. Exciting, dramatic, and enthralling; recommended for all collections. [See Prepub Alert, LJ 9/1/07.]-Jim Coan, SUNY Coll. at Oneonta Lib. Copyright 2007 Reed Business Information. -- PUBLISHERS WEEKLY.
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January 23, 2008
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