By Neil Bartlett
Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing
Publication Date: 2014-07-31
Number of Pages: 289
Synopsis from Amazon:
Reggie Rainbow has chanced on the precise career for somebody who loves to continue himself to himself: it's his task to ensure that a few issues remain out of sight and out of brain. Reggie Rainbow is an offended younger guy who treads the behind the curtain corridors of down-at-heel theatres for a dwelling. formative years polio has left him with a limp, yet his powerful fingers and nimble arms are positioned to excellent use backstage, assisting the illusionist Mr Brookes to 'disappear' a sequence of glamorous assistants two times nightly. yet in 1953, bookings for magic acts are scarce, even in London. So whilst Mr Brookes is all at once provided a slot on the Brighton Grand, Reggie reveals himself again out at the street and dwelling in an odd new city. the ocean air starts off to paintings its personal ordinary type of magic, and, because the bunting is going up within the streets outdoors the theatre for the Grand's approaching Coronation astonishing, Reggie starts off to ask yourself simply how a lot of his personal lifestyles is an act - and what may have occurred to an individual who disappeared from that existence some time past. Set within the tarnished international of Nineteen Fifties type, The Disappearance Boy is a masterful and darkish story of affection misplaced and located; of blood, sweat - and all of the different secrets and techniques which are stored hidden away at the back of these pink velvet curtains.
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Additional resources for The Disappearance Boy
Few boatmen or traders invited him to share a hookah when he floated past the shikara moorings or one of the lakes’ many ramshackle, waterside provision-stores and tea-shops. ) It was an impression the boatman fostered by his chatter, which was fantastic, grandiloquent and ceaseless, and as often as not addressed only to himself. Sound carries over water, and the lake people giggled at his monologues; but with undertones of awe, and even fear. Awe, because the old half-wit knew the lakes and hills better than any of his detractors; fear, because of his claim to an antiquity so immense it defied numbering, and moreover hung so lightly round his chicken’s neck that it hadn’t prevented him from winning a highly desirable wife and fathering four sons upon her … and a few more, the story went, on other lakeside wives.
I rehearse it here in part because I worried from the beginning that incorporating such momentarily “hot” contemporary material in the novel was a risk—and by that I meant a literary risk, not a legal one. One day, I knew, the subject of Mrs. Gandhi and the Emergency would cease to be current, would no longer exercise anyone overmuch, and at that point, I told myself, my novel would either get worse—because it would lose the power of topicality—or else it would get better—because once the topical had faded, the novel’s literary architecture would stand alone, and even, perhaps, be better appreciated.
I swear: it is a too-bad thing. ” … Ghani the landowner snaps his braces with his thumbs. “A big chance, yes indeed. They are saying good things about you in town. Good medical training. Good … good enough … family. And now our own lady doctor is sick so you get your opportunity. That woman, always sick these days, too old, I am thinking, and not up in the latest developments also, what-what? I say: physician heal thyself. And I tell you this: I am wholly objective in my business relations. Feelings, love, I keep for my family only.
The Disappearance Boy by Neil Bartlett