Sequel to Changing Places, and this is one I'd not re-read for over 15 years, mainly because I remembered it being a bit poor, with lots of disjointed things going on. But I really enjoyed it. There were quite a few separate threads and the action did move about but overall the stories of Persse looking for Angelica, and Morris trying to get the UNESCO chair kept it together really well. I laughed a lot.
I'd forgotten lots of it, including Philip's one-night-stand with Joy Simpson, who, so far as we are aware, was killed in an air crash, until this little paragraph gets tacked on to the end of a chapter:
And Joy Simpson, who Philip thinks is dead, but who is alive, somewhere on this spinning globe, stands at an open window, and draws the air deep into her lungs, and shades her eyes against the sun, and smiles.
I think that's so nice, because you now know something the main character doesn't, about someone who you'd thought it was safe to forget, and you have a delicious sense of anticipation in case they meet again (and presumably they will, otherwise why would this paragraph be there?). It's a momemt that made me thrill.
I'd also forgotten the bit about the academic who starts using Eliza, and confesses his obsessions to her:
'NOBODY SEEMS TO LIKE ME,' Robin Dempsey types.
'WHAT MAKES YOU SAY THAT?' replies ELIZA.
'IN THE STAFF CANTEEN I WATCH MY COLLEAGUES COMING TOWARDS MY TABLE WITH THEIR TRAYS AND THEN VEERING AWAY WHEN THEY RECOGNIZE ME.'
'WHY DO YOU THINK THEY DO THAT?'
'BECAUSE THEY DON'T WANT TO TALK TO ME.'
'WHY DO YOU THIHNK THEY DON'T WANT TO TALK TO YOU?'
'BECAUSE THEY'RE AFRAID I WILL TALK TO THEM ABOUT MY RESEARCH AND THEY CAN'T STAND THAT BECAUSE I DO MORE RESEARCH THAN THE REST OF THEM PUT TOGETHER.'
'TELL ME ABOUT YOUR RESEARCH.'
Robin Dempsey types for an hour without stopping.
Completed : 03-Oct-2017