Remarkable second novel by the author of the highly-praised and controversial Politics.
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'The more I knew of Haffner,' writes Adam Thirlwell in The Escape, 'the more real he became, this was true. And, simultaneously, Haffner disappeared.'In a forgotten spa town snug in the Alps, at the end of the twentieth century, Haffner is seeking a cure, more women, and a villa that belonged to his late wife. But really he is trying to escape: from his family, his lovers, his history, his entire Haffnerian condition. For Haffner is 78.Haffner, in other words, is too old to be grown up.
A witty, irreverant and elegaic new novel...Haffner is a Quixote of our time
New York Times Book Review
A novel where the humour is melancholic, the melancholy mischievous and the talent startling
The Escape is one of the best British novels I’ve read this year for one reason; Thirlwell’s prose. At once effervescent and elegant, his narrative voice lifts the novel’s lecherous comedy beyond the sublunary lovers’ antics into a more rarefied sphere... The novel abounds, from start to finish, with graceful turns of phrase and slanting insights...
Sarah Churchwell, Guardian
Beautifully written, poignant and clever... Thirlwell has a genuinely unique insight into humankind
A wittily observant young author... Audacious
Joyce Carol Oates, New York Review of Books
Witty and engaging, erudite but fleet and sinuous; the questions he asks are lightly posed, his mock grandeur dispersing in a sea of ridiculous incident and comic undercutting… In this playful, eloquent novel, Adam Thirlwell demonstrates that knowing why one acts as one does is rarely the whole answer, or much more than the beginning of a question
Alex Clark, Times Literary Supplement
In The Escape, you can practically see Bellow’s Augie March, Roth’s Mickey Sabbath and Martin Amis’s John Self applauding, ghost-like, from the margins... The novel fizzes with intelligence, verbal skill and humour.
Simon Baker, Observer
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Adam Thirlwell is the author of two novels, Politics and The Escape; a novella, Kapow!; and a project including an essay-book – which won a Somerset Maugham Award – and a compendium of translations edited ...