Bestselling author Patrick Gale’s quirky and hilarious novel of English country life is “a ridiculously crazy tour de force” (Publishers Weekly).
The town of Barrowcester—pronounced “Brewster”—is English as can be. From its cozy little pubs to its immaculate cathedral close, the quiet city seems straight out of the pages of Thomas Hardy. For American academic Evan Kirby, it’s paradise, a welcome escape from the United States, where he was haunted by the grim memories of his brutal divorce. A historian of angels and demons, he has come to Barrowcester to explore the cathedral library. But he will find there are no angels in this peculiar little village—only demons lurking around every corner.
From the agnostic bishop and his cannabis cookie–addicted mother to the sex-mad cardinal and the schoolboy with a very unusual relationship with his spaniel, every Barrower has a secret, each more shocking than the last. Evan came to bury himself in work, but as redemption comes to Barrowcester one sinner at a time, will he find love instead?
Inspired by Patrick Gale’s own youth in England’s ancient capital, Facing the Tank is a loving satire of the absurdities at the heart of provincial life. An homage to Anthony Trollope, it is as sparkling a novel as Britain has produced in the last fifty years.
According to PW , Gale has ``carried off yet another ridiculously crazy tour de force.'' The English village of Barrowcester gets turned upside-down: an American authority on hell researches heaven; the bishop is having ``Doubts''; a Cardinal impregnates a villager; a schoolboy thinks he has fathered a litter of puppies.