Title: The Hide
Publisher: W. W. Norton & Company, Incorporated, New York, NY, U.S.A.
Publication Date: 1996
Binding: Hard Cover
Book Condition: Fine
Dust Jacket Condition: Fine
Edition: First Edition.
FINE/FINE unread copy protected by Archival Brodart Cover. Size: 8vo - over 7¾" - 9¾" tall. Bookseller Inventory # 000739
"[The Hide] has it all: imagination, character, dialogue and above all, plot. . . . It's a scary book, written by a master tale-teller."?Susan Salter Reynolds, Los Angeles Times Book ReviewThis early work by the Booker Prize-winning author Barry Unsworth chronicles one of his literary obsessions the corruption of innocence and forms it into a compelling contemporary narrative set in the rambling, overgrown grounds of an English estate. There, relying on his rich sister Audrey's beneficence, Simon obsessively digs a secret system of tunnels from which to spy on others. When Josh, a good-looking naïf, becomes a gardener at Audrey's home, the two women of the household, Audrey and her distant relative and housekeeper, Marion, find Josh's strength and seeming innocence a potent spell, and his response escalates unacknowledged tensions between them. Meanwhile, Simon, worried about Josh, takes steps to prevent the exposure of his underground labyrinth. The explosive chemistry between the characters will eventually rip apart and rearrange all their lives.
Review: The Hide is narrated by the two voices who conflict in this biting slice of life tale in an English countryside estate. Simon, whose sister owns the estate, provides one voice as he prowls through the property in a series of trenches--the hide--that allow him to spy on passing women on bicycles. Josh, the other voice, is the 20-year-old gardener brought to the estate whom Simon suspects is out to foil his trenchant wonderland. There's also Mortimer, Josh's older companion, plus a widow and the young female housekeeper. The characters' crisscrossing relationships and unspoken emotions make for a telling piece on English manners, and also a fine read.
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