A Book for All and None

A Book for All and None
Clare Morgan
Reviewed by Jonathan Ruppin
Weidenfeld & Nicolson
Thu, 02/06/2011
9780297863731
£12.99

Oxford academics Raymond and Beatrice have embarked on an affair fuelled by their research into a possible link between their respective specialities of Virginia Woolf and Friedrich Nietzsche.

Their liaison takes them to the Wales of Raymond's childhood, near where Woolf found inspiration for her novel To the Lighthouse. Meanwhile, a thrilling side-plot involves Beatrice's estranged husband, Walter, whose international construction company is playing a dangerous political game with its expansion into the Middle East.

Named after the subtitle to Nietzsche's Thus Spake Zarathustra, the book wears its scholarship on its sleeve, even with the author's caveat regarding her liberties with the facts.

Reflecting its modernist influences, A Book for All and None is a novel of ideas and aesthetics, exquisite in its descriptive passages, but driven by a tension between the cerebral and more fundamental emotional needs.

 

 

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