Roddy Parr takes us into the golden circle of a literary giant. It is a world of opening nights, importunate fans - and dark secrets. Roddy Parr is an outsider, an ambitious young man who has just completed his PhD on the legendary David Anthem, a writer regularly tipped to win the next Nobel Prize for Literature. Through Roddy’s friendship with Anthem’s publisher, the dazzling svengali Julia Collis, Roddy joins the Anthem household as David’s secretary. Julia’s not-so-secret agenda is for Roddy to become David’s biographer. Soon Roddy is indispensable, and finds his new status as insider increasingly addictive. Yet Anthem’s world is steeped in tragedy and its truths are not simple ones.
by Christine Gordon, Readings Events Coordinator
The book’s blurb talks about how Peter Rose takes us into the ‘golden circle of a literary giant as seen through the eyes of Roddy Parr, an outsider, an ambitious young man who has just completed his PhD on the legendary David Anthem’. While this is true, it does not do justice to the dazzling array of characters in this novel. All of the characters depicted in this tightly woven book could well star in their own volume. The layers of stories craft a portrayal of a society that hides behind fear, pain and anger. It is less than ‘golden’ and more about basic human traits. The novel is compelling for this reason.
Rose has written a novel about us all, although he has hidden it behind high profile characters living as the majority of us do not. Roddy Parr kept me there because of the grand story, and stays with me because of the kindness and empathy the author bestows on his characters.
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