Thursday, August 23, 2007

Book recommendation : The Fall

Simon Mawer is a versatile English novelist who lives in Rome, and whose novels don't seem to have made the general breakthrough they deserve. A biology teacher, his most recent book is a biography of the monk Gregor Mendel, subtitled 'Planting the Seeds of Genetics'. His website includes a recent essay from Nature magazine on 'Science in Literature'.

The Fall was published in 2003. The title combines two of the book's concerns: mountaineering and the loss of innocence. Mawer writes evocatively about climbing, particularly in Wales and on the Eiger mountain. His prose is clean and expressive, and the story rattles along. It is underpinned by a mind unobtrusively at work, examining the nature of love, friendship and the effects of time.

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