Destiny by Tim Parks

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" Christopher Burton, the protagonist of Tim Parks's masterful new novel, is one of Britain's foremost foreign correspondents, the acknowledged world expert on Italian affairs. Three months after returning to London with his Italian wife for an extended stay, Burton, while standing at the reception desk of the Rembrandt Hotel in London's Knightsbridge, receives a phone call informing him that his teenage son has committed suicide. Why, upon receiving this terrible news, does he immediately conclude that his marriage of almost thirty years is over? And why is grief so slow in coming? Burton feels his pious, mercurial wife may have given him his life in Italy, even his prestigious career, but she has also made his life impossible.

Was their troubled son somehow the victim of their long, explosive love-hate relationship? Looking back, Burton sees in his life a web of contradictions, unanswered questions, and confusions. And yet, this life has been his destiny.

Intensely dramatic, dark, and yet often hilariously funny, Destiny is a seamless, beautifully plotted story and a profound meditation on marriage and identity, at once romantic and callous, brilliant and blind. In Destiny, Parks offers us a searing account of what it means to tread the narrow line between sanity and psychosis."


About Tim Parks

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Parks is a novelist and translator
Published September 2, 1999 by Secker & Warburg. 256 pages
Genres: Literature & Fiction. Fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for Destiny

The New York Times

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Hudson, director of the library's map division, presents the history of the United States in the late 19th century as one long land grab, a continual westward expansion paralleled by expansions of geographical knowledge and mapping techniques.

Apr 20 2001 | Read Full Review of Destiny

Publishers Weekly

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and he and his wife used Marco as a pawn: ""We drove him mad."" Most of Burton's inchoate thoughts are highly inappropriate: he obsesses about an interview he plans to conduct, the day of Marco's funeral, with ex-prime minister Giulio Andriotti, who was indicted for criminal acts while in office.

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London Review of Books

that for all the beauty of their surroundings and indeed themselves these fortunate people are nevertheless obliged to think, obliged to be conscious.’ Once said, it’s so obvious, isn’t it: people like to look at pictures of models because they imagine the models’ heads to be empty, which allows ...

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Spunky Bean

Wow – like last year’s premiere, the opening scenes set the stage for the year’s key storyline with lots of action, suspense and new characters to develop.

Oct 04 2012 | Read Full Review of Destiny

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