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The brilliant and outrageous debut novel from British actor, comedian, author, presenter, journalist and national treasure, Stephen Fry.
Adrian Healey is magnificently unprepared for the long littleness of life; unprepared too for the afternoon in Salzburg when he will witness the savage murder of a Hungarian violinist; unprepared to learn about the Mendax device; unprepared for more murders and wholly unprepared for the truth.
Praise for The Liar:
'A quite brilliant first novel' Sunday Times
'The Liar is hilarious - page after page of the most outrageous and often filthy jokes, delicious conceits, instant, brilliant ripostes that would only occur to ordinary mortals after days of teeth-grinding lunacy' Literary Review
Fry is a British polymath--actor, journalist, playwright--who is currently on view here as the eponymous hero of the Kenneth Branagh movie Peter's Friends . This book, his first novel, was a huge critical and popular success in Britain in both cloth and paperback, and it is surprising that the book has taken almost two years to make its way across the Atlantic. Perhaps part of the reason is its obsession with such arcanely British things as public school life, Cambridge academia and cricket. But it is coruscatingly funny, often quite shocking and profoundly irreverent. Its hero is Adrian Healey, who assumes a wildly gay persona (and is one of the few Wilde imitators who can verbally live up to the original) but whose besetting problem is a lack of contact with reality. Everything he does and says is a sly concoction, from his outre behavior at school and college to his period as a male prostitute (``rent-boy'') in London to his schoolteaching days and his eventual involvement, with his college tutor, in a bizarre espionage caper involving a Hungarian ``truth machine.'' The plot is in fact deliberately confusing and quite inconsequential. The book is enjoyable for its verbal dexterity, its often filthy but usually hilarious jokes and its reckless high spirits. Some readers may flinch from its callousness; many more will find themselves helpless with laughter.