Signed by the author
Hardback in good condition
Dustjacket in good condition.
This book exposes the lives of six people who attend a school in Oxford either as student or teacher. The narrator of the story, a middle-aged man of means, is almost as enigmatic as his subject, North, a strange, elegant, charismatic Anglo-American youth.
The handsome, precocious North begins a three-way relationship between himself, a beautiful 27 year-old woman teacher, and a young married, but bisexual, head of Physics who is good-looking, athletic and evangelically Christian. As the novel proceeds in various settings, Oxford, London, Ravello, Washington DC, a confidential intimacy evolves between the narrator and North and the suspense mounts as North reveals his plans for systematic seduction.
The players in the game of love become entangled in sexual anarchy that accelerates the novel towards its decisive, cataclysmic climax.
At the end there is an abiding mystery and an acute sense of potent evil. The reader is left wondering if there have been certain moral imperatives that have made the narrator tell less than the whole truth.Soon after arriving at his Oxford school, the enigmatic North has invited his female history teacher, Bernie, to lunch - and not, as she had thought, to discuss history.
When Monty, North's married physics teacher, makes it clear that he wants Bernie for himself, North seeks to mollify him in his own particular way: by seducing him. As North and his bizarre cohort travel across Oxford, London, Ravello, and Washington, the sexual anarchy grows ever more devastating, until eventually North's farcical menage-a-trois results in death and tragedy.
But what is the real story - and is the English master's version to be trusted?
A dazzling psychological thriller, North is by turns erudite, audacious and brilliantly witty. An utterly assured and wholly original debut.