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Hertfordshire Life - - CONTENTS - Christo­pher Best, Ware au­thor of Dream­cats

The Hu­man Stain Philip Roth

Is the novel dead? Any­thing less dead than The Hu­man Stain is hard to imag­ine. Pub­lished in 2001, it presents con­tem­po­rary Amer­ica warts and all – but mainly warts. Through its two main char­ac­ters

– an age­ing clas­sics pro­fes­sor with a dark se­cret in his past and a nov­el­ist – Roth, of­ten in daz­zling bravura pas­sages of writ­ing, sav­ages Amer­ica’s mores and morals.

Leave It To Psmith P G Wode­house

This novel is both a light com­edy, with all the wit and style for which PG is renown, and a crime-driven ad­ven­ture that cul­mi­nates in gun­play. Afi­ciona­dos will be happy to dis­cover that it be­gins in the Drones Club and the mon­o­cled old Eto­nian, Psmith, wins both the girl and the bat­tle against the forces of evil.

The Painted Veil W Som­er­set Maugham

In this short novel, pub­lished in 1925 to a storm of protest at its per­ceived im­moral­ity, Maugham ad­dresses the old is­sue of adul­tery; this time by the beau­ti­ful but shal­low wife. Her aus­tere hus­band ex­acts a ter­ri­ble re­venge; the two of them are plunged into a cholera epidemic in China. Iron­i­cally, he dies and she achieves a mis­er­able redemp­tion.

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