In a dishevelled west London flat the body of a young man lies crumpled, the victim of a suicide. In a stylish family home less than a mile away is a writer: stranded in mid-life, his one triumph behind him, his family slipping away from him, all he has to hold on to is his self-belief that one day the world will recognise his talents. From these two seemingly unrelated elements, Terence Blacker creates a magnificently compulsive novel of ego, envy, self-deception and, ultimately, self-destruction. Gregory Keays is a man with a wonderful future behind him. A dazzlingly brilliant first work has led to a series of false starts, wrong turnings and critical cold shoulders. Reduced to compiling a book of literary lists and stuck in the mire of his latest fiction, Insignificance, Gregory's life turns around when he takes under his wing Peter Gibson, a promising student at the night school where he teaches creative writing. When Gibson kills himself following an argument with his mentor, Gregory pays him the highest compliment - he appropriates his work and passes it off as his own...But when Gregory realises that somebody else may know of the existence of the work, he has to decide just how far he is prepared to go for success. And when he calls in Brian McWilliam, ex-villain turned literary star for a spot of freelance work in his old game, it can only lead to one frightening conclusion. A towering literary achievement and a novel of compulsive readability, Kill Your Darlings vividly imagines the terrifying outcome of one man's Faustian pact with the demon of success.
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Terence Blacker is a writer and journalist. He writes regularly for the Independent and the Sunday Times.From Publishers Weekly:
One can't help wondering what Martin Amis thought of this dark and delightfully biting novel when it was published in England last year. Amis is the bˆte noire of Gregory Keays, the serenely unreliable narrator who keeps harking back to 1983, when he and Amis were both included in Granta's list of Best of the Young British Novelists. Now Amis is famous while Keays is teaching at a mediocre institute in West London, attempting to work on a new novel, unable to talk to his teenage son, certain that his wife is having an affair and totally blind to his own failings as a husband, a father and a writer. After Keays's nonchalant reaction to an impulsive tryst with his most talented student, Peter Gibson, ends in tragedy, Keays can see only opportunity: Gibson had completed a novel, the manuscript of which Keays is going to finish and publish under his own name. That's when the reader finally wakes up to the fact that Keays, while clever and mordantly funny, is so inhuman that the novel becomes a wonderfully creepy examination of the unreliable narrator convention. It's refreshing to see an author take a potentially slick concept and use it to open up the kind of dark places in the human heart that Keays criticizes Amis for never exploring, especially since those are places that Keays wouldn't know the first thing about exploring in himself. Further entertaining the reader with footnotes and Keay's memos to himself, Blacker captures perfectly the writing style of someone who walks the tightrope between "Look at what I just wrote!" and "Look at me; I wrote that!" Blacker should take a bow on both counts.
Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information, Inc.
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Descripción Weidenfeld & Nicolson Ltd, 2000. Hardcover. Estado de conservación: New. Never used!. Nº de ref. de la librería P110297646583