A vivid and compelling portrait of a man at odds with himself; and an extended family of friends and lovers trying to take its proper shape. Lawrence Frost has neither father nor siblings, and fits so awkwardly into his worldly mother's life he might have dropped from the sky. Like many such heroes, he grows up happier with plants than people. While he is straightforward, honest, and a doting dad, he can be a difficult, taciturn husband - but he's the last person one would suspect of being a killer. Waking one morning to find himself branded a wife-beater and under suspicion of murder, his small world falls apart as he loses wife, daughter, liberty, livelihood and, almost, his mind.
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Patrick Gale is an original--at once very old-fashioned and very modern. Not for nothing has he been called "the Barbara Pym of the liberated set." In his warm, subversive comedies, characters of all sexual identities and ambiguities dance through endless configurations and marvelously contrived plots. And this English author's eighth novel, Tree Surgery for Beginners, is as full of coincidence and pleasurable surprise as ever. It begins, however, with a shock to the reader's system: arborist Lawrence Frost returns home after a night in his beloved Wumpett Woods to signs of great violence. Worse, he himself is the culprit, having beaten his wife in a jealous rage. Now Bonnie has, quite sensibly, fled with their daughter, Lucy--but even as our tree surgeon determines to make things right, a burnt, dismembered body that could well be Bonnie's turns up.
As Gale paints in Lawrence's background, he also provides strong, instant portraits of his mother, Dora; her twin brother, Darius; his father-in-law, and their town. Barrowcester (pronounced "Brewster") is alas a place where Lawrence will never again be at home--even after mother and child turn up safe. Not to worry, though, since the author next sends him and Darius on a rollicking Caribbean cruise. As constraints are loosened all around--on the Paulina, in the English provinces, and in Chicago, where Bonnie and Lucy end up--Lawrence cannot escape his emotional limbo. But then Lala, a chanteuse of a certain age and uncertain gender, captivates him:
He could not remember having his thoughts so jangled by the suggestiveness of a clothed female form since he fell in love with his French teacher at ten and began to receive even poorer marks than usual.Gale obviously adores his characters--including the possible transsexuals, definite murderers, and religious zealots--as much as he relishes working out his Shakespearean twists. (Tree Surgery for Beginners features the cameo appearance of a marauding but perhaps indecisive tiger.) Readers will be divided into those who delight in watching the author weave his people and plot strands together, elevating love over propriety, and those who consider him absolutely shameless. Few, however, can object to Gale's irreverent, bawdy vision of possibility and acceptance. --Kerry Fried About the Author:
Patrick Gale was born in 1962 on the Isle of Wight. He was educated at Winchester and Oxford and now writes full time.
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Book Description Hardback. Book Condition: Good. The book has been read but remains in clean condition. All pages are intact and the cover is intact. Some minor wear to the spine. Bookseller Inventory # GOR001729565
Book Description Hardback. Book Condition: Very Good. The book has been read, but is in excellent condition. Pages are intact and not marred by notes or highlighting. The spine remains undamaged. Bookseller Inventory # GOR001174431
Book Description Flamingo 19/01/1998, 1998. Hardcover. Book Condition: Very Good. Shipped within 24 hours from our UK warehouse. Clean, undamaged book with no damage to pages and minimal wear to the cover. Spine still tight, in very good condition. Remember if you are not happy, you are covered by our 100% money back guarantee. Bookseller Inventory # 6545-9780002256124
Book Description Flamingo, 1998. Hardcover. Book Condition: Used; Good. Bookseller Inventory # 1373713
Book Description -. Hardcover. Book Condition: Very Good. Tree Surgery for Beginners This book is in very good condition and will be shipped within 24 hours of ordering. The cover may have some limited signs of wear but the pages are clean, intact and the spine remains undamaged. This book has clearly been well maintained and looked after thus far. Money back guarantee if you are not satisfied. See all our books here, order more than 1 book and get discounted shipping. Bookseller Inventory # 7719-9780002256124
Book Description Flamingo; An Imprint of Harper Collins Publishers. Book Condition: Good. . Good dust jacket. Bookseller Inventory # D05G-00910
Book Description Flamingo, 1998. Hardcover. Book Condition: Good. Dust Jacket Condition: Good jacket. First Edition. Hardcover; English language; Good jacket; First Edition; 8vo - over 7.75" - 9.75" tall; good condition. Your book will be securely packed and promptly dispatched from our UK warehouse. For buyers outside the UK we now offer significantly lower rates on our airmail shipping. Bookseller Inventory # 10806col017
Book Description Flamingo, 1998. Hard covers, dust jacket. Book Condition: V.g. Dust Jacket Condition: V.g. 1st edition. Small tear to top edge of jacket. Weight: 1 Language: English. Bookseller Inventory # 17143
Book Description Flamingo, London, 1998. Hardcover. Book Condition: Near Fine. Dust Jacket Condition: near fine. First edition. Maroon cloth boards stamped in gilt on the spine. A clean, unmarked copy in a tight binding and bright, unclipped dust-jacket. Bookseller Inventory # 82351
Book Description Flamingo, London, 1998. Hardcover. Book Condition: Near Fine. Dust Jacket Condition: Near Fine. First English Edition. "With a bold mixture of tragicomedy, harsh truth and sublime fantasy, Patrick Gale has created a Winter's Tale for the millennium - a vivid and compelling portrait of a man at odds with himself and an extended family of friends and lovers trying to take its proper shape." Ships same or next business day. Book has minor edge wear, tiny bump and tear on spine head, light tanning on head edge of pages. Dust jacket protected in archival plastic cover. DJ has minimal edge wear, very light yellowing on head edges of flaps. ; 8vo 8" - 9" tall; 275 pages. Bookseller Inventory # 53353