This is the story of weatherman Giles Doughty. Giles does not wear sensible ties and knitted jumpers like other weathermen. Rather, his life is a whirlwind - of romance, sex and decadence. But then one day he is shocked out of his self-absorption by the reappearance of his childhood friend Stella Murdoch. Stella, who disappeared suddenly so many years ago. As the novel develops and darkens, Giles is forced into an exploration of his childhood, and of cruelty. He has to face what he has always tried to escape - a mystery, at the heart of which lies Stella. A confession, a journey, an enquiry - embracing the great storm of October 1987, murderous doings, and eccentric characters - this brilliant first novel from Tim Binding is bound to thrill and delight all its readers.
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Tim Binding was born in Germany in 1947. He is the author of the novels A Perfect Execution and Island Madness, and of the non-fiction work On likely Moor, which are all available in Picador. He lives in Kent with his wife and daughter.From Booklist:
Binding's first novel accomplishes something quite impressive: an egotistical, rather detestable lead character undergoes a transformation and is redeemed. Giles Doughty remains unfortunately unlikable for the greater portion of the book (he announces he's a cad on page one, but his innocent love for his little niece is devised to make him sympathetic). Giles is a middle-aged weatherman for the BBC, and much of the story's metaphoric situations involve weather, in particular a terrific thunderstorm that severely injures Giles' sister, Carol, while she is searching for their long-lost neighbor, Stella. Giles feels obligated to take up the search, in the process reminiscing about his cherished adolescence when he and Stella would adventure out into the streets of their suburban town naked. The entire second section of the novel is Giles' remembrances of youth, complete with the appearance of "Giles as a boy" to advise the adult Giles; this device works only sporadically. Some humor arises from the flashback section, and Giles eventually gets what he deserves in a thorough thrashing from one of his lovers' suitors. If the reader can wade through Giles' pretensions and self-absorption, the ending is crackling good fun. Joe Collins
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