The Lepers Bell Paul Micou

ISBN: 9780140282290

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The Lepers Bell  by  Paul Micou

The Lepers Bell by Paul Micou
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‘Micou is a master of comic characterization and his writing style is often reminiscent of a young Graham Greene.’— The Times‘A slow-burning, carefully layered build-up is then propelled at breakneck pace towards a complex, unexpected denouement.’ —More‘Micou is a master of comic characterization and his writing style is often reminiscent of a young Graham Greene.’— The Times‘A slow-burning, carefully layered build-up is then propelled at breakneck pace towards a complex, unexpected denouement.’ — The Times Literary Supplement‘Micou’s prose style is spare and compelling, and his sense of structure flawless.’ — Yorkshire PostIt wasn’t Ben’s fault that he got fired from his high-status lawyer’s job.

It was just a structural thing during a period of cut-backs. And anyway, he was ready for a change of direction. At least, that’s what Ben told himself – and his wife Ellen too, when he did finally get around to telling her.It was a relief when Ben landed on overseas job with Planning and Resources. It was the perfect chance to put the past behind him, forget the embarrassing way he’d reacting to the sacking and, of course, widen the horizons of his children at the same time.At first the new country lives up to his hopes: wild desert terrain, a fascinating city of heat and noise surrounded by rocky hills, a dome-like old town sticking up like a beehive at its center.

All gloriously exotic. The job, too, is promising. Planning and Resources is involved in some big projects – infrastructure, like the ring road and the Meheti Dam – but Ben’s boss, Paul Mancini, hints at other activities, secret ones of a political nature.It all beings to go wrong when Ben takes his son Sean on a day trip to the Baram Caves.

They are an astonishing sight, but Ben is shaken by what he saw on the way there – he has to pretend to Sean that those men are lepers – and then something dreadful happens on the way back that he also has to lie to Sean about. When bombs start to go off in the city and Ben finds himself in a compromising situation with the local arms dealer and his companions, it seems that once again events are conspiring unjustly to bring him down.Paul Micou’s completely absorbing new novel, a portrait of a weak man undermined by circumstance, invites comparison with William Boyd and Graham Greene in the way it reveals the terrible comedy of human foibles.‘A gripping plot spirals towards a gut-wrenching conclusion that leaves the mind racing.’ — Metro Books‘And it is the best novel.

If you are like me fascinated by the idea of post-colonial indifference but you don’t know how it plays, then I think this is an extraordinary novel.’ — BBC Radio Open Book



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