Sunday, 18 December 2011

The Father Figures

Title: The Father Figures

Author: William Camp

Year of publication: 1970

Back cover blurb: 'Sally, third wife of Fenton Howard (who's almost past it), is getting dangerously frustrated.  Harriet, spouse of cynical, unfaithful Giles Clare, is rapidly tiring of his drunk, decaying journalist lover Peter Dean.  Melinda, efficient, dependable and with a clockwork bedroom routine, has no idea of the lustful thoughts seething in the head of Edward, her would-be MP husband.  Now read on...'

Quick flick reveals:  I picked this book up because on the first page, Norman Shrapnel (great name) of the Guardian describes it as 'a downbeat comedy about aging hippies'.  This made me think of The Ice Storm by Rick Moody, and hoped it was something similar actually written at the time that book is set.  It isn't.  Instead it's just a bunch of pretty interchangeable and dull middle-class types having affairs (much like The Ice Storm, I hear you cry!).  Contains no hippies.

Random paragraph: 'So Sally's visit to him in Oxford ended in a shopping spree.  She had arrived in her shortest skirt, remained in it for about an hour, while he made her read a selection of his press cuttings, and then had had it removed from her so roughly that the zip had broken.  Jeremy was two people all right.  "Women," he said, as he set about her, "need to be treated very firmly."'


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