Time's Fool by Glyn Maxwell

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Synopsis

Edmund Lea perpetually rides a ghost train -- except every seven years on Christmas Eve, when he is allowed to revisit his home town.
Like Wagner's Flying Dutchman, Edmund is condemned to eternity alone until he determines how to lift the curse upon him. Time passes, from 1970 to 2019, but Edmund remains seventeen, unable to age and watching the world grow older. He tries in vain to break the spell by way of true love, repentance, hedonism; he tries to change the world and he tries to die. Characters move in and out of Maxwell's story like Dante's figures in Hell, but Edmund's own Virgil is a careless and unhelpful poet, a portrait of the author as a student. The tale is told in formal terza rima, but its language and tone, its humor and sense of homesickness, are decidedly contemporary. It is a brilliant achievement.
 

About Glyn Maxwell

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Glyn Maxwell is the author of nine books of poetry, including, most recently, The Sugar Mile. He is also a dramatist whoseplays have been staged in New York, Edinburgh, and London. His latest play,Liberty,had its world premiere in the summer of 2008at Shakespeare's Globe.Among other honors, he has won the Geoffrey Faber Memorial Prize, the Somerset Maugham Award, and the E. M. Forster Prize. He was the poetry editor of the New Republic from 2001 to 2007.He lives in London.
 
Published October 16, 2000 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. 272 pages
Genres: Literature & Fiction, Science Fiction & Fantasy. Fiction

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Publishers Weekly

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""When the train stopped I started and woke up./ Was nowhere, as before, no change in that."" As the Flying Dutchman suffered aboard his ghost ship, so Maxwell's Fool, Edmund Lea, suffers alone aboard his train, waiting for redemption from a sin he does not even at first recognize as such.

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