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The Optimists

Miller, Andrew

297 ratings by Goodreads
ISBN 10: 034082512X / ISBN 13: 9780340825129
Published by Sceptre, London, United Kingdom, 2005
Condition: Fine Hardcover
From TransAtlantic Books (Wilton Manors, FL, U.S.A.)

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About this Item

The true first edition, an as new SIGNED unread copy. As with all new copies we have seen of this production run, the gathering at the copyright page isa bit open. In protective mylar dust jacket cover. Bookseller Inventory # 9530A

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Bibliographic Details

Title: The Optimists

Publisher: Sceptre, London, United Kingdom

Publication Date: 2005

Binding: Hard Cover

Book Condition:Fine

Dust Jacket Condition: Fine

Signed: Signed by Author

Edition: First Edition.

About this title

Synopsis:

Clem Glass was a successful photojournalist, fired by his conviction that only photographs could capture the world's true face. Then, in Africa, he witnesses the grotesque aftermath of a genocidal massacre and returns to London with the belief that people, including himself, are fundamentally wicked. Now nothing - work, love, sex - can rouse him, and no other outlook can shift his altered vision. Not his father's Christianity, nor the new-found humanitarianism of his friend and fellow journalist Silverman. The one close relationship Clem is able to maintain is with his older sister, Clare, who has been struck down by the return of a mental illness she had been free from for twenty years. Together they set up home in the rural Somerset of their childhood, and together they keep the darkness at bay. Then just as Clare begins to recover, news arrives out of the blue that the man responsible for the massacre has been spotted in Brussels. But is vengeance the answer? And can optimism ever be more than self-deceit?

From the Back Cover:

"Subtle, beautifully written . . . Miller's prose brings grace and lucidity to what is dark and baffling in Clem's predicament, the predicament of a caring man in an uncaring universe."--The Boston Globe
Clem is a successful photojournalist, firm in the belief that photographs could capture truth and beauty. Until he goes to Africa and witnesses the aftermath of a genocidal massacre. He returns to London with his faith in human nature shattered and his life derailed. Nothing--work, love, sex--can rouse his interest and no other outlook can restore his faith. The one person Clem is able to connect with is his sister, who has made her own sudden retreat from reality into the shadows of mental illness, and he finds some peace nursing her back to health in rural Somerset. Then news arrives that offers him the chance to confront the source of his nightmares.

This is a masterfully rendered novel that explores the perilously thin line between self-delusion and optimism.  Andrew Miller's first novel, Ingenious Pain, won the James Tait Black Memorial Prize and the International IMPAC Award. He was short-listed for the Booker Prize and the Whitbread Award for his novel Oxygen. He lives in Brighton, England.

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