LINER

By: Barlow, James

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LINER by Barlow, James
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Hamish Hamilton. London. 1970. James Barlow's latest novel puts him in the front rank of storytellers. It reaches its crisis off Formosa where the decrepit Greek liner Areopagus, thirty years old and being thrashed to death by its owners, is placed in extreme hazard when her master, Captain Vafiadis, ignores the symptoms of a typhoon. The storm explores the weaknesses of the ship, her crew and her 550 passengers. No writer has ever more successfully depicted the variegated population of a liner on a long voyage. There is the old lady who has won her ticket in a magazine contest; a ruthless criminal on the run from the Mafia; Pauline Triffet, neurotic, sex-obsessed and determined to get the ship's surgeon, Daniel Demprey, as her lover. There is a pathetic family, the Burstons, who have emigrated to Australia, failed there and are now returning with their lives shattered and their marriage in danger. There is murder on a day's visit ashore, a superlatively exciting account of a tropical typhoon and an ending as dramatic as it is entirely unexpected. Fine condition. Illustratrated dust jacket over green cloth covered end boards. 457pp. 203 x 130 mm

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