Clem Glass was a photojournalist, fired by his conviction that only photographs could capture the world's true face. Then, in Africa, he witnesses the grotesque aftermath of a genocidal massacre and returns to London with the belief that people, including himself, are wicked. Now nothing can rouse him, and no other outlook can shift his vision.
Clem Glass was a successful photojournalist, fired by his conviction that only photographs could capture the world's true face. Then, in Africa, he witnesses the grotesque aftermath of a genocidal massacre and returns to London with the belief that people, including himself, are fundamentally wicked. Now nothing - work, love, sex - can rouse him, and no other outlook can shift his altered vision. Not his father's Christianity, nor the new-found humanitarianism of his friend and fellow journalist Silverman. The one close relationship Clem is able to maintain is with his older sister, Clare, who has been struck down by the return of a mental illness she had been free from for twenty years. Together they set up home in the rural Somerset of their childhood, and together they keep the darkness at bay. Then just as Clare begins to recover, news arrives out of the blue that the man responsible for the massacre has been spotted in Brussels. But is vengeance the answer? And can optimism ever be more than self-deceit?
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'Dramatic and wide-ranging, written at the top of his form.' -- Tower Hamlets Recorder 'Exceptional' -- Sunday Times 'A profound novel, meditative, not conclusive, offering no simplistic answers to what Miller calls 'the vertigo of self-knowledge'. Yet despite the absence of an easy happy ending, it leaves the reader with a feeling of courage and, in the face of so much evidence to the contrary, hope.' -- Observer 'The writing is clear, precise, feelingly observant ... Miller is a fine writer.' -- Spectator 'A delight to read ... [Miller] incites thought without dictating it, and conjures emotion without prescribing it ... THE OPTIMISTS is a novel of great intelligence and understanding, populated by characters who are recognisable yet exceptional.' -- Alex Heminsley, Time Out 'The uncluttered narrative and the slow, quiet accumulation of everyday detail imbues this novel with a quiet grace' -- Daily Mail 'A powerful and lively book, seriously engaged and cathartic ... gently, almost imperceptibly, impelled by the nourishment of love.' -- James Urquhart, Financial Times 'In Clem Glass, Miller has created neither a victim nor a victor but a man driven by his own innate decency, a character in whom we can believe, a person about whom we care and that is what great writing is about.' -- Irish Times '[A] delicate, compassionate tale' -- Metro
About Andrew Miller
Andrew Miller was born in Bristol in 1960 and grew up in the West Country. He has lived in Spain, Japan, Ireland and France, and currently lives in Brighton. His first novel, INGENIOUS PAIN, was published by Sceptre in 1997 and won the James Tait Black Memorial Prize for Fiction, the International IMPAC Dublin Literary Award and the Grinzane Cavour prize in Italy. His second novel, CASANOVA, met with similar acclaim on its publication in 1998 and his third, OXYGEN, was shortlisted for the Whitbread Novel Award and the Booker Prize in 2001.
The Optimists by Andrew Miller
Used - Very Good
Hodder & Stoughton General Division
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