In this bleak but beautifully nuanced tale of postadolescent alienation, Fergus Maguire shuffles aimlessly through night clubs and country houses with a funky pack of young Londoners on the fringes of the art world. He sniffs heroin because it's around, slips into various beds not out of urgency but because he's expected to and, unwilled, becomes involved in the tribulations of the Indian family in the flat below. Fear for their safety mounts in him, rising alongside his guilt over the death of his father. Back in Ireland for a weekend, Fergus had gone swimming with his father in order to explain his reasons for not finishing university. But the old man had responded with scorn, run headlong into the water and nearly drowned. The shock, compounded by bitter disappointment in his son, had stopped his heart. To expiate his father's death and to demonstrate a new sense of responsibility, Fergus decides he has a duty to protect Indian immigrants in England against racist attacks. But his long habit of disengagement gets in the way of his outrage and again the result is tragedy. This brief, eloquent novel, by the author of The Eleventh Summer, paints Fergus as a casualty of circumstances he feels powerless to control, acted upon by, but not acting in, the insouciant social set that has casually included him and will as casually let him go.

Work and Play by Carlo Gebler (used)

  • Fireside 1990

    Used paperback in very good condition

    151 pages