Fans of British humor (Kingsley Amis, David Lodge et al) will be disappointed at this lively but uneven and not much of a laugh-inducing farce ending with absurdity. More for fans of present day American sitcoms with situational rather than literary or character humor.
I particularly did not like this book.. i gave it a couple of chances readin it, but it bored me as a fudge..
Spent a very pleasant afternoon reading this Frayn novel. Laughed out loud several times. Nothing serious in this book as the author pokes fun at conference organizers, attendees, guests of honor, and relationships.
Having been in airports where meeters are present with name cards, I too have wondered what would happen if the wrong person approached the meeters identifying themselves wrongly as the named person. What a fun book! I'll try some of his other novels now.
Assumed identities, false assumptions, finding strangers in ones’ beds, pretensions, cads, bounders, clever maidens, and an exotic setting add up to a rollicking farce. Shakespeare’s comedies with air travel, cell phones and modern mores.
Frayn is truly a master of farce. This novel would make a great play à la "Noises Off".
A pleasant surprise, I wasn't expecting to enjoy it much after reading scathing opinions of Booker prize buffs when it was long listed last year. However, I found it funny and charming, characters believeable albeit in an intentionally unbelieveable setting of a commedy of errors. Good old fashioned fun.
I laughted out loud while reading.
Sort of like "What's Up Doc?" meets _Being and Nothingness_. The lives of two passengers on a luxury flight to Greece become hopelessly intertwined: Oliver Fox, charming n'er do well, walks off with the suitcase and identify of acclaimed lecturer and academic celebrity Dr. Norman Wilfred; meanwhile the real Dr. Wilfred finds himself staying in the villa (complete with perennially underclad girlfriend ) of Oliver Fox. What begins as a whimsical lark for Oliver becomes increasingly complicated as lovers and ex-lovers, socialites, international gangsters, saturnine cab drivers and a very confused conference director all become embroiled in his deception. Eventually, neither Oliver nor Dr Wilfred is completely secure in his own identity, as each slips further into the life of his doppelgänger. With an ear for pseduo-intellectual babble and a colorful cast of secondary characters, Frayn's satire on academic celebrity and the willingness to see silk purses in sow's ears will resonate for many.
Madcap comic tale set on a sun-drenched Greek island, with an unexpected ending the author doesn't seem to take seriously. A bit disappointing after Headlong.
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