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- KurzbeschreibungFrom the best-selling author of Longbourn, a haunting new novel of spies and artists, passion and danger, hope in the face of despair<br />Paris, 1939. The pavement rumbles with the footfall of Nazi soldiers marching along the Champs-Élysées. A young, unknown writer-Samuel Beckett-recently arrived from Ireland to make his mark, smokes one last cigarette with his lover before the city they know is torn apart. Soon he will put them both in mortal danger by joining the Resistance . . .<br />Through it all we are witness to the workings of a uniquely brilliant mind struggling to create a language that will express this shattered world. Here is a remarkable story of survival and determination, and a portrait of the extremes of human experience alchemized into one man's timeless art.
- AutorJo Baker
- SeriePantheon Books
- VerlagRandom House LCC US
- FormatGebundene Ausgabe
- Seiten304 Seiten
- Gewicht575 g
- LeseprobeCOOLDRINAGH<br />Spring 1919<br />The tree stirred and sound of the needles was sshh, sshh, sshh. The boy swung a knee over the branch, heaved himself up, and shifted round so that his legs dangled. The scent of the larch cleared his head, so that everything seemed sharp and clear as glass. He could still hear the faint sound of piano practice, but he could also see out across the fields from here; he could see for miles and miles, and the sky was wide open as a cat's yawn.<br />He heard the side door of the house go, and then her voice calling out for him, sing-song: "It's ti-ime."<br />He chewed his lip and stayed put. The door popped open, he could hear more distinctly the bright ripple of music, a stumble, and the phrase caught and begun again. Frank was trying hard to get it right. He, though, would not oblige. With her watching, he couldn't lose himself while playing; and if he couldn't lose himself, then what was the point of playing at all?<br />"I'm wai-ting."<br />He didn't move. She gave out a sigh and the door clacked shut behind her, and she came down the step, out into the garden, looking for him.<br />He dug at a scale of bark with a thumbnail.<br />"Where have you dot to now, you wee skitter?"<br />But it was herself that she was talking to as she marched through the garden, searching him out. He shuffled in against the trunk, wrapped an arm tight around it.<br />He watched her pass under his dangling tennis shoes-the white dividing line of the parting in her hair, her skirt snapping out with her stride. Her feet moved like darting arrows, pointing the way. The wrong way, but she wasn't going to give up on it. If she were to stop, and plant her feet and crane her head back, that would be that. But it didn't cross her mind: he simply couldn't be where he was not allowed to be. Up there, he had climbed out of her imagining.<br />The music ended. Frank had finished the piece. He was waiting to be excused.<br />She was out across the lawns now, and there was just the spiral stair of larch branches down towards the brown earth, the mat of fallen nee dles, and the sound of her voice, calling again and fading round the far side of the house.<br />He waited until he heard her footsteps return, and then the click and clack as she opened the side door and shut it again behind her. A moment later and the music started up again. Poor old Frank, he'd been lumbered with it; Frank was paying for his little brother's escape.<br />He too would pay for it, he knew, and in spades, when she found him; his mother had a strong arm. But for now, he had disappeared, and it was a miracle.<br />He shuffled forward on the bough, tweaking the legs of his shorts down, one and then the other, between the rough bark and the tender backs-of-knees. Gravity tugged at him now, teased at his core, making it lurch and swoop. A bird was singing somewhere-a blackbird, pouring its song up and out into the Easter air.<br />He sucked in a breath. It tasted of sap, and of spring, and of his rubbery tennis shoes. He let go of the branch; he let go of the trunk. He lifted his arms and spread them wide. The pause on the cusp, the brink. He dived out into the empty air.<br />Gravity snatched him. Air stuffed his mouth and ballooned his shirt and his shorts and pummelled him, and it was stacked with branches and they smacked and scurried past; twigs whipped his cheeks and legs and arms and belly and tore at his shirt.<br />The ground slammed up. It knocked the breath out of him, knocked the light out of him. Made him still.<br />He lay, his cheek on hard earth. No breath: empty, red and pulsing, and no breath. Gaping, but no breath; then, in front of his eyes, the dust stirred and the fallen needles shifted: he dragged in a lump of air and heaved it down him, and then pushed it out again. It hurt.<br />He felt too a hot pulse in his hand, a burn on his thigh: he noticed these parti
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