Armadillo by William Boyd

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On a cold winter's morning, Lorimer Black, an insurance adjustor -- young, good-looking, on the rise -- goes to keep a perfectly ordinary appointment only to find a hanged man.

His life is about to be turned upside down and in directions he never imagined. The elements at play: A beautiful actress with whom he finds himself falling in love after a quick glimpse of her in a passing taxi ... an odd, new, business associate whose hiring, firing and rehiring make little sense ... a rock musician whose loss -- in this case of his mind -- may be "adjusted" by the insurance company. What ties it all together: a web of fraud in which virtually everyone he knows is somewhat involved, a web in which he finds himself being increasingly entangled.

From the Hardcover edition.

About William Boyd

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William Boyd's first novel, A Good Man in Africa, won a Whitbread Prize and a Somerset Maugham Award; his second, An Ice-Cream War, was awarded the John Llewellyn Rhys Prize and was shortlisted for the Booker Prize; Brazzaville Beach won the James Tait Black Memorial Prize; and The Blue Afternoon won the Los Angeles Times Prize for Fiction. Boyd lives in London.
Published February 26, 1998 by Viking/Allen Lane. 388 pages
Genres: Literature & Fiction, Mystery, Thriller & Suspense. Fiction

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Kirkus Reviews

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He’s a rising star in his business, but one relentlessly shadowed by duplicities of his own: his real name is Milomre Blocj, he’s the descendant of gypsies driven from Eastern Europe, and he’s pursuing a hopeless infatuation with a wary model, married to a violently possessive husband.

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The Guardian

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Insurance companies turn to loss adjusters to put uncertainty into insurance, and thus reintroduce uncertainty to insured people.

Sep 02 2001 | Read Full Review of Armadillo

Publishers Weekly

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Boyd's comic writing is zesty and brilliantly on-target about contemporary Londoners, high and low, and Lorimer's adventures have enough of an alarming edge to keep a reader constantly, and delightedly, off balance.

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Entertainment Weekly

B- Originally posted Oct 23, 1998 Published in issue #455 Oct 23, 1998 Order article reprints

Oct 23 1998 | Read Full Review of Armadillo

(SALON) -- In the midst of the dully compelling puzzle that is William Boyd's "Armadillo" is a minor character named David Watts, a hugely successful rock singer.

Oct 16 1998 | Read Full Review of Armadillo


Playing Black as kind but a little disturbed, he turns in an ace perf as a suave looker with issues who gets taken advantage of until he just loses it.

Jul 29 2002 | Read Full Review of Armadillo

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