[KINDLE] ❆ Headlong ❤ Michael Frayn – Bassgrotto.co.uk

Headlong A Young Would Be Art Historian Suddenly Sees The Chance Of A Lifetime The Opportunity To Perform A Great Public Service, And At The Same Time To Make His Professional Reputation Perhaps Even Rather A Lot Of Money As Well


10 thoughts on “Headlong

  1. says:

    The combined smell of mildew, old food and wet dog was about to make me heave undigested pot roast, when our host had finally gotten around to telling us why he invited us to dinner I heard you were something of a comic book aficionado and wanted your opinion on something I eyed my wife and gave her the secret why the hell did you accept this dinner invitation from these oddballs look She countered with the you re going to walk home if you give me that look again look.Getting up and walking t The combined smell of mildew, old food and wet dog was about to make me heave undigested pot roast, when our host had finally gotten around to telling us why he invited us to dinner I heard you were something of a comic book aficionado and wanted your opinion on something I eyed my wife and gave her the secret why the hell did you accept this dinner invitation from these oddballs look She countered with the you re going to walk home if you give me that look again look.Getting up and walking to their den was a matter of avoiding the crotch sniffing dogs and trying to breathe through my mouth to inhale as little as possible the noxious food odor that had built up and was forcing itself out of the kitchen and into the hall way.The room was filled with piles of books and old magazines A comic was not in sight He handed me a pile of a dozen of so that were under a wool sweater on his desk Looking through them I didn t find anything much of value, a few comics in poor condition from the fifties I ve had these things for years Can t even tell you where I got them from You might find a fewin a few of the other piles As I turned around to look, I caught a glimpse of my wife discreetly rolling her eyes I picked up a few magazines off the top of a stack of Redbooks and National Geographic s Halfway through the stack I saw it Action Comics Number One Superman lifting a car My heart stopped beating Breathing became forced The room began to spin I barely noticed the Labrador sniffing my crotch I am going to be rich , I thought to myself To our host, I don t think you have much of value here Would you mind if I take these home and cross check them with a catalogue The actual book revolves around a British philosophy professor soon to be amateur con man s attempts to swindle what could be a long lost painting by Brueghel the Elder out of its owner s hands There s a lot of interesting background on the life of Brueghel as our protagonist attempts to prove if the painting is genuine and how it came into the hands of his asshat neighbor Sadly, the hero has difficulty with the machinations of the con , zigging when he should have zagged misreading all of the players, including his own wife This is a droll book in the same vein as Julian Barne s Flaubert s Parrot


  2. says:

    I ve had it in my head to read this for a long time, as I enjoyed Frayn s Spies and the premise seemed one I d like I finally came across the book in a dimly lit very small branch library It was above my head and under a long blue tarp When I got the book into better light, I found the cover intriguing as it reminded me of the falling man in the painting in A Month in the Country Except for each novel s mysterious falling man, no other comparison exists I imagine Frayn s impetus to writi I ve had it in my head to read this for a long time, as I enjoyed Frayn s Spies and the premise seemed one I d like I finally came across the book in a dimly lit very small branch library It was above my head and under a long blue tarp When I got the book into better light, I found the cover intriguing as it reminded me of the falling man in the painting in A Month in the Country Except for each novel s mysterious falling man, no other comparison exists I imagine Frayn s impetus to writing this novel was his own disagreement with Bruegel scholarship and instead of letting his research go to waste, he incorporated it straight into this book As interesting as the research is, it didn t work for me as part of a novel The other element of the story a sort of bedroom farce just wasn t something I found funny or even appealing.The book got me googling various paintings though, and I enjoyed that immensely


  3. says:

    This book was a very different, and somewhat overwhelming, reading experience.Taking into account Michael Frayn s expertise as an excellent playwright, this book is not short in proving his prowess in dialogue development In it we are introduced to Martin, who narrates his moral and ethical struggles during a possibly history changing art finding.The fact that amazed me the most from the book is the author s ability to intertwine a monologue type of narrative with mid XVI century nederlandish a This book was a very different, and somewhat overwhelming, reading experience.Taking into account Michael Frayn s expertise as an excellent playwright, this book is not short in proving his prowess in dialogue development In it we are introduced to Martin, who narrates his moral and ethical struggles during a possibly history changing art finding.The fact that amazed me the most from the book is the author s ability to intertwine a monologue type of narrative with mid XVI century nederlandish art lectures, specifically about the work of master painter Pieter Bruegel the Elder fact that gives a fiction novel a very interesting and enlighting flavor.As mentioned above, the book is about Martin, a philosopher recently turned art historian who, coming upon a life changing art finding, narrates to us his decision making process in deciding how to proceed with the painting found The only thing I would consider slightly tiresome were the art descriptions, which are dense andextensive than needed, making the reader loose the line of the narration Nonetheless, Headlond is a very entertaining and funny book that, as the reader is drawn into the story in a swiftly fashion it also informs about one of northern Europe s renaissance master painters


  4. says:

    Huge entertaining and informative, Michael Frayn s book about an art historian turned frantic detective is a delight from start to finish I simply coudn t put it down and when it ended, I went straight to my local library to get out books about the Netherlands and old Dutch masters The book will not only appeal to readers who like art history, it s a hilarious account of an otherwise inept man trying to track down an old masterpiece A giant jigsaw puzzle that spans several centuries, the prota Huge entertaining and informative, Michael Frayn s book about an art historian turned frantic detective is a delight from start to finish I simply coudn t put it down and when it ended, I went straight to my local library to get out books about the Netherlands and old Dutch masters The book will not only appeal to readers who like art history, it s a hilarious account of an otherwise inept man trying to track down an old masterpiece A giant jigsaw puzzle that spans several centuries, the protagonist s rumninations about life, art, history, religion and political oppression of artists is thought provoking and handled in an entertaining way It s a great read but then this is Michael Frayn, a master storyteller at work


  5. says:

    I like boffin comeuppance humor the kind where some bloviating egghead from the remotest groves of academe finds that his cluelessness about real life can come back to bite him Martin, a second rate professor of philosophy and a first rate pedant, is the storyteller in this one As you already know, the joke is on him His new research interests concern art, iconology, nominalism, and assorted other obscurities His wife is an art historian specializing in iconography as opposed to iconology I like boffin comeuppance humor the kind where some bloviating egghead from the remotest groves of academe finds that his cluelessness about real life can come back to bite him Martin, a second rate professor of philosophy and a first rate pedant, is the storyteller in this one As you already know, the joke is on him His new research interests concern art, iconology, nominalism, and assorted other obscurities His wife is an art historian specializing in iconography as opposed to iconology, which Martin distinguishes as a difference that matters As they begin a working vacation in the country, they re asked by a loutish neighbor nearby to look at some old family paintings There s one the lout knows is worth something, but it s another that Martin believes through his particular expertise to be an unsigned, yet truly major piece by a noted Dutch artist Frayn s work here was very skillfully done As I ve now come to expect from just about every writer from the Isles, he has a real way with words But Frayn s accomplishment goes beyond that He gave Martin s first person narrative a book smart plausibility even as we readers were clued in to his debilitating lack of common sense The good professor s foil was the aforementioned lout, who was hoping to liquidate the remaining chunks of his inheritance But the truth of the matter is that Martin s biggest foe was Martin If you re like me and find yourself obliquely pulling for the guy, he ll jangle your nerves with his missteps And they were all so avoidable My dad couldn t bear watching I Love Lucy for similar reasons a heritable trait, I suspect Anyway, Martin could never see what the other players in the chess match might do how even a nakedly greedy lunkhead could outmaneuver him in matters of finance At the same time, he did superlative research into the neighbor s painting It was his id e fixe He shed all kinds of light on its religious and societal context And even the most abstract symbolism was explained or considered Actually, the art history wasinteresting than I would have thought even if it did, at times, go on for too long.I rate this closer to 4 stars than to 3, but somewhere in that range It was worth many a wry smile and even a few snickers I got caught up in the story, too, which was somewhat surprising since plot is often just along for the ride in the boffin comeuppance genre


  6. says:

    I m sure it is a well written and entertaining book for some people, clearly the author is a good one He is good with words and has excellent insights and ways to describe the tension and distance between wife and husband I hated reading this book, and could not wait until it was over I refused to put it down, and forced myself to get thru it I did not understand, nor was I interested in the descriptions of pieces of perhaps famous artwork These art history lessons went on for dozens of p I m sure it is a well written and entertaining book for some people, clearly the author is a good one He is good with words and has excellent insights and ways to describe the tension and distance between wife and husband I hated reading this book, and could not wait until it was over I refused to put it down, and forced myself to get thru it I did not understand, nor was I interested in the descriptions of pieces of perhaps famous artwork These art history lessons went on for dozens of pages at a time, all I was interested in was getting to the end


  7. says:

    What a frustrating book It should have been a very interesting book, good premise and good writer from other books I ve read of his prior to this one but somehow between way too much academic research and one dimensional characters it fell off the rails I really, really wanted to like it, but just didn t.


  8. says:

    A major disappointmentHere we have a perfect example of how a book can affect people in very different ways Highly recommended by several people whose opinions I value and with whom I often find myself in agreement, I assumed I would love this book Hmm When our first person narrator, Martin Clay, is invited by his cartoonishly oafish country bumpkin neighbour to look at his art collection, Martin though hardly an expert thinks he has spotted a missing Breugel Martin then plots how to acq A major disappointmentHere we have a perfect example of how a book can affect people in very different ways Highly recommended by several people whose opinions I value and with whom I often find myself in agreement, I assumed I would love this book Hmm When our first person narrator, Martin Clay, is invited by his cartoonishly oafish country bumpkin neighbour to look at his art collection, Martin though hardly an expert thinks he has spotted a missing Breugel Martin then plots how to acquire this painting for himself, ostensibly to have the honour of being the one who discovered it, but the two million or so he expects to get for it is a further motivation.There seems to be an unfortunate habit developing amongst authors whereby they do a ton of research and then decide they re going to use it all every single word loosely bunging a flimsy plot into the gaps and then calling it a novel At least sixty percent of this book is Frayn regurgitating the history of the 16th century Netherlands together with everything he could find on Breugel Not subtly weaving it into the story and not with any redeeming beauty of writing just pouring it out in aLook what I knowkind of wayOn the table in front of me I have Friedl nder of course , Gl ck, Grossman, Tolnay, Stechow, Genaille and Bianconi They quote each other freely, together with various other authors not available in the London Library Hulin de Loo, Michel, Romdahl, Stridbeck and Dvo k and they refer to the often mutually contradictory iconography used in two breviaries illuminated by Simon Bening of Bruges in the second and third decades of the sixteenth century, the Hours of Hennessy and the Hours of Costa in the Grimani Breviary, also done, a little earlier, by Simon Bening and his father Alexander Bening, although the calendar itself is attributed to Gerard Horenbout and in our own dear Calendrier flamand , as I think of it, in the Bavarian State Library The other forty per cent is a fairly unsubtle farce as our unlikeable, intellectually snobbish hero tries to do down his equally unlikeable half educated neighbours, while trying not to fall out with his enigma of a wife the woman with the least personality of any fictional character I have encountered There are some funny moments, but many of the jokes are inviting the reader to join with the author narrator in laughing at the bumpkins for their ignorance of art and philosophy or in mocking the narrator for his snobbery This combination means that the whole book has a sneering quality which left me unable to empathise with any of the overblown unattractive characters.Despite the fact that by a third of the way through I began to skip whole sections devoted to presumably partially made up art history, it still took me the best part of two weeks to plough through the remaining snippets of plot, mainly because I couldn t bear to read anyabout the tedious, self absorbed and yet apparently irresistible to women Martin And since the ending was pretty much inevitable it was hardly a surprise, except in that the author managed to make itunpleasant than I anticipated by adding in an incident of entirely unnecessary animal cruelty.Sorry to all of you who love Frayn you re obviously seeing something in this that I m notbut I m afraid I found this one a major disappointment and doubt I ll be seeking out anyof the author s work.www.fictionfanblog.wordpress.com


  9. says:

    Ever erudite, Michael Frayn always uses his deep knowledge of philosophy to inveigle something deeper into what, on the surface, might appear to be nothan comic novels At one level, Headlong is a comic romp we follow Martin Clay as he attempts to seize from his dull witted neighbour what he thinks is a long lost painting from Pieter Bruegel s series The Months On another level, Frayn is excellent on academic obsession What for some readers of this novel is a turgid interlude, for me at Ever erudite, Michael Frayn always uses his deep knowledge of philosophy to inveigle something deeper into what, on the surface, might appear to be nothan comic novels At one level, Headlong is a comic romp we follow Martin Clay as he attempts to seize from his dull witted neighbour what he thinks is a long lost painting from Pieter Bruegel s series The Months On another level, Frayn is excellent on academic obsession What for some readers of this novel is a turgid interlude, for me at least was an exhilarating detective story, as Clay pieces together clues as to what Bruegel might really be saying in his series of paintings a dark commentary on oppressive Spanish rule in 16th century Holland Cleverest of all is a distinction made between iconography roughly, conventional symbolism and iconology roughly, contextualized symbolism While this is ostensibly about the paintings, it is really a reflection on human psychology the signs we and the characters in this novel show to ourselves and those around us.Not as good as The Trick of It, or A Landing on the Sun, or Spies, but still pretty damn good


  10. says:

    I m normally a fan of all Frayn s work and count him as one of the best living writers we have However, I m sorry to say this book is on the whole a significant error of judgement in a wide variety of ways, and only just managed to redeem itself in the last one hundred pages or so This isn t enough to make it a great work of literature or even a good book.Here are the issues that are wrong with it Martin is a dull and weak man, who thinks of himself farhighly than he needs to As a resul I m normally a fan of all Frayn s work and count him as one of the best living writers we have However, I m sorry to say this book is on the whole a significant error of judgement in a wide variety of ways, and only just managed to redeem itself in the last one hundred pages or so This isn t enough to make it a great work of literature or even a good book.Here are the issues that are wrong with it Martin is a dull and weak man, who thinks of himself farhighly than he needs to As a result, he s neither strong enough nor attractive enough as a character to carry this story.The characters, particularly the wife Kate, are very shadowy indeed and reallycaricatures than genuine people.The long and dull ramblings about art and Bruegel are well long and rambling Mind you, the ability to make the magnificent Bruegel dull is itself quite impressive If Frayn had wanted to write an historical novel, he should have done so, as Martin is not strong enough to make the historical sections interesting It sof an info dump than a narrative.The first 280 or so pages are mind numbingly tedious.Here are the issues that are right with it After page 280, the plot suddenly becomes interesting and fast moving enough for the weak characterisation to be unimportant Actually, the plot did very much remind me of one of the episodes of Midsomer Murders, but for me that s no bad thing as it s a crime series I enjoy.The Lady of the Manor Laura finally comes into her own at the end of the novel, though she s still sadly underwritten.The final page is spot on, and possibly, though the jury s still out worth the 280 pages of drivel to get there Much like Wagner then in that you have to suffer through one hell of a lot of opera boredom to arrive at that glorious final note.Verdict 2.5 stars the 0.5 for that end page Rambling nonsense, with an odd spark of genius here and there


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *