Headhunter

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9780517598276: Headhunter

When Lilah Kemp, a schizophrenic, unemployed librarian and sometime spiritualist, accidently frees the evil Kurtz from the pages of "Heart of Darkness," she searches desperately for a Marlow to help her return him before it is too late

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About the Author:

Timothy Findley's recent titles include Pilgrim, which was a finalist for the Giller Prize and his first published in the United States; You Went Away; Dust to Dust; and The Piano Man's Daughter. He was also the author of the acclaimed Headhunter, Not Wanted on the Voyage, Famous Last Words, and The Wars. His most recent play, Elizabeth Rex, won the Governor General's Award for Drama. His work has won innumerable honors, including the Governor General's Award for Fiction and the Edgar Award. He was the only three-time recipient of the Canadian Authors Association Award, bestowed for fiction, nonfiction, and drama. He was an Officer of the Order of Canada and, in France, Chevalier de l'Ordre des Arts et des Lettres. He split his time between homes in Stratford, Ontario and the south of France. He died in France in June 2002 at the age of 71.

From Publishers Weekly:

Overlong and overwrought, yet compelling and powerful, Findley's ambitious chronicle of a society gone amok with greed, depravity and moral emptiness is sometimes maddeningly diffuse but always intriguing. The setting is a slightly futuristic Toronto, a city in the grip of an epidemic called sturnusemia, purportedly carried by starlings, who are being exterminated by death squads using a lethal spray. AIDS has run rampant; art, music and literature have become decadent. In this surreal landscape, Lilah Kemp, a former librarian suffering from schizophrenia, has "inadvertently set Kurtz free from page 92 of Heart of Darkness. " Rupert Kurtz, the latter-day incarnation of Conrad's epitome of evil, runs the city's leading psychiatric hospital. Brilliant but demented, Kurtz is secretly conducting drug experiments at his clinic, and he is also a member of the Club of Men, pornographers who do unspeakable things to children. Since his clients and co-conspirators all come from the wealthy and powerful segment of Toronto society (which Findley portrays with acidulous satire), Kurtz seems to be indestructible. But then, as he must, Marlow arrives: psychiatrist Charlie Marlow comes to the institute and finally vanquishes Kurtz once again. An hallucinatory, menacing tone permeates this complex tale. Some passages are brilliant, glittering with insights, while others bear the marks of haste and melodramatic excess. There are a stupefying number of characters and subplots. On the other hand, Findley ( Famous Last Words ) creates witty literary allusions: one character is a contemporary Emma Bovary; another is named Jay Gatz. His subtext is the power of literature: "We write each other's lives--by means of fictions . . . This way we point the way to darkness--saying: come with me into the light." Despite its many faults, the novel (a bestseller in Canada) is empowered by anger; it is a stirring indictment of the amorality that Findley sees as the plague that will usher out the 20th century.
Copyright 1994 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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