Malcolm Knox
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Buy *Summerland* online


Malcolm Knox
272 pages
May 2002
rated 3 of 5 possible stars

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Richard sits on the shores of Sydney Harbor one night, putting away quite a few bottles of whiskey as he narrates the story of his devotion to his lifelong friend. Aristocratic, gilt-edged Hugh Bowman is the star of the show; he is feted, adored and indulged by Richard, his best friend, Helen, the woman he chose to marry, and Pup, the wife he chose for Richard.

Richard discovers that the others have been keeping him in the dark – or perhaps, he has been keeping himself in denial – about the intricacies of their associations with each other. Those he loves, the people that constructed the arcadia in which he resides, vitiate their own lives, leaving him on his own.

"I am telling the story of my blindness and how I came to see," observes Richard. His tale is compelling. It is deeply observant and cleverly effected. However, the composition and characters are all too familiar. Summerland, Knox’s debut novel, and an adaptation and reconstruction of works by F. Scott Fitzgerald and Ford Madox Ford, ultimately leaves the reader wanting more from him in the way of his perspicacity of life rather than that of sanctioned fiction.

© 2002 by Aneesha Capur for Curled Up With a Good Book

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