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Losing Nelson
Losing Nelson by Barry Unsworth 0385486529 9780385486521
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Losing Nelson by Barry Unsworth

Barry Unsworth, author of the Booker Prize-winningSacred Hungerand the bestsellingMorality Play, has long established his genius for both historical narrative and for sharply observed, fantastically odd characters and stories. InLosing Nelson, Unsworths most brilliantly imagined novel yet and a nominee for the Booker Prize, he has enlisted all these proven talents in a way unprecedented in his earlier work. Every day, Charles Cleasby relives the events of Lord Horatio Nelsons life. He holds no regard for year-by-year chronology, so his life is a bustle of anniversaries: a political confrontation in 1797, for instance, might be followed immediately by a climactic sea battle in 1805. He reenacts the battles in his basement on a huge blue-glass table, moving the perfectly rendered ships that represent Nelsons Royal Navy and its enemies, thus reliving Nelsons triumphs. Losing Nelsonis a novel of obsession, the story of a man unable to see himself separately from the hero he mistakenly idolizes. Cleasby is, in fact, a Nelson biographer run amok. He is convinced that Nelson--Britains greatest admiral, who finally defeated Napoleon, and lost his own life, in the Battle of Trafalgar--is the perfect hero, but in his research he has come upon an incident of horrifying brutality in Nelsons military career that simply stumps all attempts at glorification. Admiral Nelson, faults and all, is a hero to many, but to Cleasby he is something more. Cleasby has come to think of himself as Nelsons dark side, the fallible human flip-side of the perfect man. And so Nelsons transgression represents more than just a chink in his thesis. Further, Cleasbys new assistant, Miss Lily of Avon Secretarial Services, insists on maintaining a running criticism of Nelson as she takes dictation, not to mention the objections she voices to the isolated, sheltered way Cleasby lives his life. Something has to give, and give it does--in the most astonishing and entertaining of ways.

Author: Barry Unsworth

Language: English

Edition: 1st

Binding: Hardcover

Pages: 352

Publisher: Nan A. Talese

Publication Date: 1999-10-19

Our Price: $4.09

ISBN: 0385486529

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Barry Unsworth (Edition: 1st) Hardcover

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