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Books Editorial

eurekabook.jpg Eureka
 

Anthony Quinn, Jonathan Cape

Eureka – along with Anthony Quinn’s two previous novels, Curtain Call, set in the 1930s, and Freya, set in the 1940s and 1950s – completes a kind of loose trilogy with characters cropping up, or being referenced, in subsequent stories. This time he’s plonked us into the heart of swinging London in 1967. Sgt. Pepper has just been released, acid is being freely consumed and Oscar winning screenwriter Nathaniel Fane is struggling – among bouts of drug taking and spanking sessions - to finish a trippy version of Henry James’ short-story, The Figure in the Carpet, which is being directed by German wunderkind Reiner Kerther Kloss. Quinn populates the story with a colourful cast of characters, including an actress gaining her first break, an actor on his way out, and assorted gangsters, molls and journalists, but he also finds time to pose the question: is the meaning in a work of art as important as its overall effect. He wears such queries lightly however, as this is never anything less than enormous fun throughout. It works as a stand alone story too, but I wouldn’t deny yourself the pleasure of the previous volumes, both of which contain a multitude of charms.