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Saturday, 1 September 2012

Michael Frayn - Skios

The Man Booker Prize 2012
After Harold Fry this initially felt rather light. It masquerades as a farce and indeed is very funny, I found myself, laughing out loud, giggling and talking to the pages.
An amoral charmer called Oliver Fox on a sexual whim passes himself off as a famous scientific manager about to make a prestigious speech at an international conference. This is without a thought of the poor scientist who ends up alone and confused elsewhere on the beautiful Greek Island of Skios. (note to self always pack mobile phone charger AND adaptor in hand luggage!)
As the various mismatched individuals approach the inevitable denouement, we await with anticipation for the downfall, the unmasking. Yes it happens, but what we realise is that this book is also a masquerade. This is a case of the Emperor's New Clothes, a comedaic exploration of modern manners, morality, and infantilism. We despair for just one show of common sense and where does it come from? A shady Russian businessman's wife Mrs Skorbatova, who definitely is not up for any phoks!

This would make a great reading group read.It is seldom that in reading groups there is enough light relief and this will fill a well needed gap, but will the book belie it's cover...

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