Richard Temple (Sound Library)

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9780792740520: Richard Temple (Sound Library)
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Available for the first time in the United States—a tale of art and espionage during World War II by the best-selling author of the Aubrey-Maturin series.

The eponymous protagonist of this novel is a prisoner of the German army in France; but as we soon discover, he is nobody's idea of a hero. In order to keep himself sane while denying the charges and absorbing the beatings of his captors, Richard Temple conducts a minute examination—one might almost call it a prosecution—of his own life.

Temple escapes from a blighted childhood and his widowed, alcoholic mother thanks to an artistic gift, which is the one thing of value he has to his name. His life as a painter in London of the 1930s is cruelly deprived. In order to eat, he squanders his one asset by becoming a forger of art, specializing in minor works by Utrillo. He is rescued by the love of a beautiful and wealthy woman, and it is the failure of this relationship, coupled with the outbreak of war, that propels him into the world of espionage.

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About the Author:

Patrick O'Brian, before his death in 2000, had attained, at the end of a long life, both literary renown and commercial success. In addition to twenty volumes in the highly respected Aubrey/Maturin series, his many books include Testimonies, The Golden Ocean The Catalans, and The Unknown Shore. O'Brian also wrote acclaimed biographies of Pablo Picasso and Sir Joseph Banks and translated many works from the French, among them the novels and memoirs of Simone de Beauvoir and Jean Lacouture's biographies of Charles de Gaulle. He passed away in January 2000 at the age of 85. There are over five million copies of his books in print.

From Publishers Weekly:

Loyal fans of the prolific O'Brian may welcome the opportunity to round out their collections with this first American edition of his 1962 novel about a bohemian artist in 1930s England, but those anticipating a rollicking yarn in the tradition of the celebrated Aubrey/Maturin series will be disappointed. It's 1944 when the novel opens on Richard, pegged as an Allied agent, withstanding torture and interrogation at the hands of the Gestapo in a French prison. In his cell in between beatings, he retreats to his memories, which make up the bulk of the novel. The story casts back to his bleak childhood as son of a strict rector and his pretty wife. He studies painting in France, and eventually returns to England, facing the life of a starving artist in London. There, he falls in with a gang of thieves and becomes a forger of famous paintings, drifting along hand-to-mouth until he coincidentally meets Phillipa Bret, a wealthy socialite who becomes his patron and object of desire. By this time, the Nazis have invaded France, and at Philippa's urging, Richard tries to enlist. Poor health leaves him fit only for intelligence-a career switch O'Brian quickly glosses over. This desultory character study will thwart readers looking for action and intrigue.
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Other Popular Editions of the Same Title

9780393330663: Richard Temple: A Novel

Featured Edition

ISBN 10:  0393330664 ISBN 13:  9780393330663
Publisher: W. W. Norton & Company, 2007
Softcover

9780007214983: Richard Temple

Harper..., 2005
Hardcover

9780393061871: Richard Temple: A Novel

W. W. ..., 2006
Hardcover

9780786289431: Richard Temple

Thornd..., 2006
Hardcover

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