Sunday, 30 September 2012

The Bender

Title: The Bender

Author: Paul Scott

Year of publication: 1963, Panther edition 1975

Back cover blurb: 'Money and love
   George Spruce is suddenly faced with an urgent demand for the repayment of a debt which rocks his entire modest existence, especially since the claimant is his successful brother Tim.  But why is Tim so desperate for money?  Is it because his daughter Gillian, 17, is pregnant by a plumber's mate?  Will George's other brother, the dramatist, Guy, help?  Unlikely.  Guy is too busy satisfying the critics on the one hand and Anina, his houri in a sari, on the other.  In the resolution of George's dilemma, Paul Scott digs deep, intimately and unsparingly into the mind, manners and morals of the metropolis.'

Quick flick reveals:  Scott is best known, of course, for The Jewel in the Crown, but this is an earlier, much different type of novel.  The bender in question is an alcoholic one and not like Boy George or something.  Appears to be a kitchen sink novel revolving around a middle-class sink and drinks cabinet.

Random paragraph: '"I'm going to order more coffee," George said, "and then we can take all you've just said more slowly and point by point.  Would you like another cream bun?"'


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