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Water Music

Water Music (Paperback, New edition)

By Boyle, T. C.

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Set in 1795, Water Music is the rambunctious account of two men's wild adventures through the gutters of London and the Scottish Highlands to their unlikely meeting in darkest Africa. Boyle's other works include The Tortilla Curtain .

ISBN 9781862071551
Barcode 9781862071551
Published 1 March 1998 by Granta Books
Format Paperback, New edition
Alternate Format(s) View All (2 other possible title(s) available)
Internationally sourced; usually ships 2-3 weeks

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Full details for this title

ISBN-13 9781862071551
ISBN-10 1862071551
Stock Available
Status Internationally sourced; usually ships 2-3 weeks
Publisher Granta Books
Imprint Granta Books
Publication Date 1 March 1998
International Publication Date 8 October 2009
Publication Country United Kingdom United Kingdom
Format Paperback, New edition
Edition New edition
Author(s) By Boyle, T. C.
Category Modern Fiction
Historical Fiction
Number of Pages 448
Dimensions Width: 130mm
Height: 199mm
Spine: 29mm
Weight 308g
Interest Age General Audience
Reading Age General Audience
Library of Congress Niger River - Discovery and exploration - Fiction
NBS Text Historical & Mythological Fiction
ONIX Text General/trade
Dewey Code 813.54
Catalogue Code 792092

Description of this Book

The year is 1795: George III is dabbing the walls of Windsor castle with spittle, Goya is deaf, De Quincey is a depraved pubescent and young Ludwig van Beethoven is wowing them in Vienna with his second piano concerto.

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Awards, Reviews & Star Ratings

UK Review Opening with Mungo Park displaying the whiteness of his buttocks to his Moorish captors, this romp moves from the deserts of Africa through the slums of Georgian London to the parlours of Scotland. The defiantly anachronistic tone of the opening chapter puts the reader in no doubt that here is a yarn. The novel is based around Park's efforts to find the source of the river Niger, but weaves in the tale of Ned Rise, a thief and confidence trickster who struggles to fulfil the promise of his name. Boyle's characteristic concerns of social justice and the force of destiny recur, the boisterous humour fading in tandem with the youthful optimism of the protagonists. Reissue. (Kirkus UK)
US Review Uneasily poised between literary parody and conventional history/adventure fiction, tiffs is an ambitious but unfunny and not-very-entertaining novel from a gifted humorist (Descent of Man). Boyle's historical base here is a 1700s expedition to find the African river Niger undertaken by young Scottish explorer Mungo Park. And, in true genre style, Park's career is paralleled by that of a scoundrel named Ned Rise: a sex-show entrepreneur, murderer, hanged man (he survives), graverobber, and convict whose fortunes will, of course, entwine with Park's. Thus, the narrative of Mungo Park's return to the Niger after the great but incomplete success of the first expedition (the river flows east - but to where?) now involves Ned as a crew member. There are hardships and fevers and attacks by every known tribe of natives around; Mungo and his men press on; and for a time they are guided by an English-educated black man named Johnson who, after having narrowly escaped a death-by-crocodile on the first Park expedition, has now demanded valuable books as recompense for participation in a second ( Listen. . . the Pope I want signed ). Nor is Johnson's modern wise-cracking the only bit of travesty here. Boyle supplies a superabundance of purposely corny narrative-adventure prose ( At night the banks reverberate with ghostly echoes - muffled snarls, startled cries, the eerie gloating snigger of hyenas - and the water boils with heart-stopping explosions. . . ). There are comic touches that are very knowing - as when Mungo's wife, committing adultery in a boat out on a Scottish lake (Ness), sees a monster's head looming up above her lover's shoulder. But Boyle is fatally iffy about this lampoon style: he never seems quite sure where to throw his weight, whether to write a send-up of historical adventure or to play it straight. And the result is an uncertain, unsatisfying compromise - with too tight a shackle on the comic gifts which Boyle has exhibited so freshly before. (Kirkus Reviews)

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Author's Bio

T. CORAGHESSAN BOYLE is the author of nine short-story collections and thirteen novels, including Riven Rock, The Tortilla Curtain and World's End, which won the 1987 PEN/Faulkner Award for Fiction. Without a Hero, The Road to Wellville, Budding Prospects, The Collected Stories and Water Music are all published by Granta Books. He lives in the San Fernando Valley, Los Angeles. His website is www.tcboyle.com.

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