In the wake of World War II, an eccentric European curator struggles to keep alive a greenhouse full of exotic, nocturnal plants, fending off financial threats to their survival and his own creeping insanity.
"synopsis" may belong to another edition of this title.
In a northern European city at the close of World War II, a greenhouse flourishes, kept alive through bombardment and occupation by a dedicated if eccentric gardener named Leon. The Palm House (as it is called) is Leon's whole world-"I don't want to see the real tropics," he confides to his plants-a place he retreated to long ago when his true love proved unobtainable. But the end of the war brings changes that destroy his little world: the Royal Botanic Society, which maintains the Palm House, may be forced to sell it off; an exotic Asian princess exhorts Leon to come work for her in the "real tropics"; and Leon has wrecklessly opened his heart to a Gypsy boy he rescued from a mob. The real world thus intrudes on Leon's artificially maintained privacy, and the glass ceiling comes crashing down. Hamilton-Paterson (Ghost of Manila, LJ 10/1/94) pads out this intriguing little idea with endless rhapsodic writing, some rich and rewarding (having the plants talk actually works rather well), some so overblown that even a neophyte writer would blush. The Gypsy's final betrayal creates some real tension in an otherwise slack plot, but it seems grafted onto the novel. For larger collections.
Barbara Hoffert, "Library Journal"
Copyright 1995 Reed Business Information, Inc.
Following his tropical tale of social chaos, Ghosts of Manila, Hamilton-Paterson's rather torpid new novel centers around a gardener's sealed-off hothouse paradise in a wintery, unnamed European city just after WWII. Leon, chief gardener of the Royal Botanical Society, has survived the war through a cloistered obstinacy, obsessively tending and communing with his 100-year-old banyans and tamarinds (which, in an odd touch, occasionally comment on the novel's action). In the unstable postwar milieu (the sort of place Hamilton-Paterson favors in his fiction), Leon's life and greenhouse are complicated by his director's idea of progress, his mute refugee assistant and a princess from the Far East who is as artificial a transplant as any here. Although the author's morally seedy landscape of shifty politics and individual despair echoes that of that of Graham Greene's The Third Man, his storytelling and characters lack the intensity necessary to cultivate tragedy. Instead, he creates a lush but ersatz atmosphere of sensuous details and mixed emotions, with botany serving both as parallel and counterpoint to European civilization's decline in the American century.
Copyright 1995 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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Book Description Vintage 19/05/1994, 1994. Book Condition: Good. Will be shipped promptly from UK warehouse. Book is in good condition with no missing pages, no damage or soiling and tight spine. There may be some dog-eared pages showing previous use but overall a great book. Bookseller Inventory # 9053-9780099809609
Book Description Vintage, 1994. Paperback. Book Condition: Good. Griefwork This book is in good or better condition. It has no tears to the pages and no pages will be missing from the book. The spine of the book is still in great condition and the front cover is generally unmarked. It has signs of previous use but overall is in really nice, tight condition. Shipping is normally same day from our UK warehouse. We offer a money back guarantee if you are not satisfied. Bookseller Inventory # 9053-9780099809609
Book Description Paperback. 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 # GOR001908122
Book Description Vintage, 1994. Paperback. Book Condition: Used; Good. Bookseller Inventory # 1263376
Book Description Vintage, 1994. Paperback. Book Condition: Very Good. Griefwork 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 # 7719-9780099809609
Book Description Paperback. 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 # FPS0099809605VG
Book Description Vintage, 1994. Soft cover. Book Condition: Good. 12mo - over 6¾ - 7¾" tall. Minimal wear. Bookseller Inventory # 025252
Book Description Vintage, 1994. Book Condition: Good. New edition. N/A. Shows some signs of wear, and may have some markings on the inside. Bookseller Inventory # GRP92648872
Book Description Vintage. Paperback. Book Condition: VERY GOOD. little to no wear, pages are clean. The cover and binding are crisp with next no creases. Bookseller Inventory # 2759039661
Book Description 1994. Paperback. Book Condition: Very Good. Bookseller Inventory # 7001558