The History Man

Malcolm Bradbury

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Picador

9781509823390
272
Synopsis

With an introduction by James Naughtie

Take a Valium. Have a party. Go on a demo. Shoot a soldier. Make a bang. Bed a friend. That’s your problem-solving system . . . But haven’t we tried all that?

Howard Kirk, product of the Swinging Sixties, radical university lecturer, and one half of a very modern marriage, is throwing a party. The night will have all sorts of repercussions: for Henry Beamish, Howard’s desperate and easily neglected friend, and for Howard’s wife Barbara, promiscuous ’70s liberal and exhausted victim of motherhood.

The History Man is Malcolm Bradbury’s masterpiece, the definitive campus novel and one of the most influential novels of the 1970s. Funny, disconcerting and provocative, Bradbury brilliantly satirizes a world of academic power struggles as his anti-hero seduces his away around campus. But beneath the surface is an altogether more affecting portrait: it reveals a marriage in crisis and demonstrates the fragility of the human heart.

In the media
The funniest and best-written novel I have seen for a very long time

Auberon Waugh

Grim wit, chill comedy and a fictional energy which is as imaginative as the tale is shocking

A. S. Byatt

Malcolm Bradbury has come up with a novel that simply must be read

Elizabeth Berridge Daily Telegraph

Extremely witty . . . Bradbury writes brilliantly

New York Times