The great master of farce turns to an exclusive island retreat for a comedy of mislaid identities, unruly passions, and demented, delicious disorder
On the private Greek island of Skios, the high-paying guests of a world-renowned foundation prepare for the annual keynote address, to be given this year by Dr. Norman Wilfred, an eminent authority on the scientific organization of science. He turns out to be surprisingly youthful, handsome, and charming—quite unlike his reputation as dry and intimidating. Everyone is soon eating out of his hands. So, even sooner, is Nikki, the foundation's attractive and efficient organizer.
Meanwhile, in a remote villa at the other end of the island, Nikki's old friend Georgie has rashly agreed to spend a furtive horizontal weekend with a notorious schemer, who has characteristically failed to turn up. Trapped there with her instead is a pompous, balding individual called Dr. Norman Wilfred, who has lost his whereabouts, his luggage, his temper, and increasingly all sense of reality—indeed, everything he possesses other than the text of a well-traveled lecture on the scientific organization of science.
In a spiraling farce about upright academics, gilded captains of industry, ambitious climbers, and dotty philanthropists, Michael Frayn, the farceur "by whom all others must be measured" (CurtainUp), tells a story of personal and professional disintegration, probing his eternal theme of how we know what we know even as he delivers us to the outer limits of hilarity.
About Michael FraynSee more books from this Author
It is not, it has to be said, an entirely successful experiment. It lands Frayn with characters who are genre-bound and tinny: bland romantic leads supported by by-the-numbers comic foreigners.Read Full Review of Skios: A Novel | See more reviews from Guardian
...a chaotic romp that is funnier than, really, it has any right to be, based as it is on the hoary convention of mistaken...identity, lost luggage and the apparently unplumbable gullibility of the human race.Read Full Review of Skios: A Novel | See more reviews from Globe and Mail
An aggregated and normalized score based on 153 user ratings from iDreamBooks & iTunes