Amazing Disgrace by James Hamilton-Paterson

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Synopsis

Gerald Samper is a ghost writer to the stars: rock singers, racing drivers and ski champions. And to Millie Cleat, the monstrous one-armed sailor, whose round the world voyage has made her the toast of Britain, and who has become the poster-girl for the Deep Blues, a mystical and nutty environmental group.

Gerald pines for greater things, however, and would prefer to write the memoirs of Max Christ, the celebrated conductor. While he schemes to land this unattainable catch, he muses hilariously and viciously on the world of which he is such an unwilling part, looking out from his Tuscan hilltop and pining for his neighbour Marta, offspring of a crime family from Voynovia, who disappeared one day into thin air. Has she been the subject of a 'rendition'?

Meanwhile, some oceanographers are planning revenge on Millie Cleat for her destruction of their greatest coup. Gerald convinces her that she has seen the face of Neptune in the depths ...

 

About James Hamilton-Paterson

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James Hamilton-Paterson is the author of the bestselling Empire of the Clouds, which was hailed as a classic account of the golden age of British aviation. He won a Whitbread Prize for his first novel, Gerontius, and among his many other celebrated books are Seven-Tenths, one of the finest books written in recent times about the oceans, the satirical trilogy that began with Cooking with Fernet Branca, and the autobiographical Playing With Water. Born and educated in England, he has lived in the Philippines and Italy and now makes his home in Austria.
 
Published October 4, 2012 by Faber & Faber Fiction. 328 pages
Genres: Literature & Fiction. Fiction

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Kirkus Reviews

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Narrated in the present tense, as if Samper is experiencing as he is writing, the story concerns his latest ghostwriting project, Millie!, the memoir of a plucky, intrepid, one-armed grandmother who has set a record for sailing around the world (“single-handedly”).

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The Guardian

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Implausibly yet also inevitably, Cooking With Fernet Branca ended with Marta taking a scandalised Gerald to bed.

Nov 04 2006 | Read Full Review of Amazing Disgrace

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