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2 Burnside Literature- A to Z

Headlong

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Headlong Cover

ISBN13: 9780312267469
ISBN10: 0312267460
Condition: Standard
All Product Details

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Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

An unlikely con man wagers wife, wealth, and sanity in pursuit of an elusive Old Master.

Invited to dinner by the boorish local landowner, Martin Clay, an easily distracted philosopher, and his art-historian wife are asked to assess three dusty paintings blocking the draught from the chimney. But hiding beneath the soot is nothing less-Martin believes-than a lost work by Bruegel. So begins a hilarious trail of lies and concealments, desperate schemes and soaring hopes as Martin, betting all that he owns and much that he doesn't, embarks on a quest to prove his hunch, win his wife over, and separate the painting from its owner.

In Headlong, Michael Frayn, "the master of what is seriously funny" (Anthony Burgess), offers a procession of superbly realized characters, from the country squire gone to seed to his giddy, oversexed young wife. All are burdened by human muddle and human cravings; all are searching for a moral compass as they grapple with greed, folly, and desire. And at the heart of the clamor is Breugel's vision, its dark tones warning of the real risks of temptation and obsession.

With this new novel, Michael Frayn has given us entertainment of the highest order. Supremely wise and wickedly funny, Headlong elevates Frayn into the front rank of contemporary novelists.

Michael Frayn is the author of ten novels, including the bestselling Headlong, a New York Times Editors Choice selection and a Booker Prize finalist, and Spies, which won Britains Whitbread Fiction Award. He has written fourteen plays, among them Noises Off and Copenhagen, which won three Tony Awards in 1999. He lives in London.
An unlikely con man wagers wife, wealth, and sanity in pursuit of an elusive Old Master. Invited to dinner by the boorish local landowner, Martin Clay, an easily distracted philosopher, and his art-historian wife are asked to assess three dusty paintings blocking the draught from the chimney. But hiding beneath the soot is nothing lessMartin believesthan a lost work by Bruegel. So begins a hilarious trail of lies and concealments, desperate schemes and soaring hopes as Martin, betting all that he owns and much that he doesn't, embarks on a quest to prove his hunch, win his wife over, and separate the painting from its owner.

"Rueful and amusing . . . Frayn is that rare writer who succeeds as both a novelist and a dramatist."Randy Cohen, The New York Times Book Review

"Finely wrought and highly comical . . . a perfect introduction to a writer who likes to pull the rug out from under your feet while offering you the most seductive of smiles."Michael Upchurch, Seattle Times

"Exceedingly funny, both in event and in intellectual high jinx."Katherine A. Powers, The Boston Sunday Globe

"Part detective story, part art history lesson, part cautionary tale, and entirely funny."The New Yorker

"Frayn isn't stingy, even here, with the laughs, gleefully pricking holes in the overconfidence of academic art criticism. But just below the sugar powder you bite into his tough-minded essay on how history and individual human folly combine and conspire to manufacture art's 'message.'"Judith Dunford, Los Angeles Times Book Review

"Delightful . . . this novel, deadpan hilarious and wonderfully written, is as effective a work of historical reconstruction as it is a comedy."David Walton, Philadelphia Inquirer

"Headlong offers an enthralling and refreshingly grown-up take on the alarming speed with which our morals shift to accommodate our desires, and on the lofty and low ways in which the great art of the past continues to affect us."Elle

Review:

"Frayn has constructed an ingenious plot around a missing Bruegel painting as entertaining as it is intelligent, as stimulating as it is funny." Michiko Kakutani, The New York Times

Synopsis:

An unlikely con man wagers wife, wealth, and sanity in pursuit of an elusive Old Master.

Invited to dinner by the boorish local landowner, Martin Clay, an easily distracted philosopher, and his art-historian wife are asked to assess three dusty paintings blocking the draught from the chimney. But hiding beneath the soot is nothing less-Martin believes-than a lost work by Bruegel. So begins a hilarious trail of lies and concealments, desperate schemes and soaring hopes as Martin, betting all that he owns and much that he doesn't, embarks on a quest to prove his hunch, win his wife over, and separate the painting from its owner.

In Headlong, Michael Frayn, "the master of what is seriously funny" (Anthony Burgess), offers a procession of superbly realized characters, from the country squire gone to seed to his giddy, oversexed young wife. All are burdened by human muddle and human cravings; all are searching for a moral compass as they grapple with greed, folly, and desire. And at the heart of the clamor is Breugel's vision, its dark tones warning of the real risks of temptation and obsession.

With this new novel, Michael Frayn has given us entertainment of the highest order. Supremely wise and wickedly funny, Headlong elevates Frayn into the front rank of contemporary novelists.

About the Author

Michael Frayn is a celebrated British playwright and is also the author of seven novels and three screenplays. Headlong is his first novel to appear in the United States since Now You Know was published in 1993. He lives in London.

What Our Readers Are Saying

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Average customer rating based on 1 comment:

Zmrzlina, August 26, 2007 (view all comments by Zmrzlina)
Delightful read! A good deal of dry art history, mixed with astonishing 17th religious history (at least it was astonishing to me), stirred with charming British humour. There is a scene towards the end of the novel involving a car towing a trailer circling St. James Park that is just so absurd it begs for a setting of its own, performed on stage.

A real Bruegel was stolen from a museum in Paris when I was reading this fictional account of the very same artist's work. Made me remember I was reading something relating to Munch when The Scream was stolen. Perhaps I should alert art authorities when I read novels relating to Masters.
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(7 of 13 readers found this comment helpful)

Product Details

ISBN:
9780312267469
Author:
Frayn, Michael
Publisher:
Picador USA
Location:
New York
Subject:
General
Subject:
Fiction
Subject:
Painting
Subject:
Country life
Subject:
England
Subject:
Humorous fiction
Subject:
Art auctions
Subject:
Art historians
Subject:
Lost works of art
Subject:
Historians of philosophy
Subject:
General Fiction
Subject:
Humorous Stories
Subject:
Bruegel, Pieter
Subject:
Literature-A to Z
Subject:
Humorous
Copyright:
Edition Description:
Trade Paper
Series:
Bestselling Backlist
Series Volume:
450
Publication Date:
20000931
Binding:
TRADE PAPER
Grade Level:
General/trade
Language:
English
Pages:
352
Dimensions:
8.2 x 5.4 x 0.9 in

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Related Subjects

Arts and Entertainment » Humor » General
Featured Titles » Literature
Fiction and Poetry » Literature » A to Z
Fiction and Poetry » Mystery » A to Z

Headlong Used Trade Paper
0 stars - 0 reviews
$5.50 In Stock
Product details 352 pages Picador USA - English 9780312267469 Reviews:
"Review" by , "Frayn has constructed an ingenious plot around a missing Bruegel painting as entertaining as it is intelligent, as stimulating as it is funny."
"Synopsis" by ,
An unlikely con man wagers wife, wealth, and sanity in pursuit of an elusive Old Master.

Invited to dinner by the boorish local landowner, Martin Clay, an easily distracted philosopher, and his art-historian wife are asked to assess three dusty paintings blocking the draught from the chimney. But hiding beneath the soot is nothing less-Martin believes-than a lost work by Bruegel. So begins a hilarious trail of lies and concealments, desperate schemes and soaring hopes as Martin, betting all that he owns and much that he doesn't, embarks on a quest to prove his hunch, win his wife over, and separate the painting from its owner.

In Headlong, Michael Frayn, "the master of what is seriously funny" (Anthony Burgess), offers a procession of superbly realized characters, from the country squire gone to seed to his giddy, oversexed young wife. All are burdened by human muddle and human cravings; all are searching for a moral compass as they grapple with greed, folly, and desire. And at the heart of the clamor is Breugel's vision, its dark tones warning of the real risks of temptation and obsession.

With this new novel, Michael Frayn has given us entertainment of the highest order. Supremely wise and wickedly funny, Headlong elevates Frayn into the front rank of contemporary novelists.

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