A House in Order
Admired by people as diverse as the American writer Diane Johnson and the British journalist Rod Liddle, this, the final novel of Nigel Dennis, should be better known. It is a short parable about how to make order out of chaos. The chaos is a third world war. The protagonist claims to be a cartographer, is suspected of being a spy and is most certainly a busy and dedicated coward. His world in the midst of war is a greenhouse, a privileged position for a prisoner who wants to keep out of things. All he wants to do is tend his plants through the long wicked winter. But he is persuaded to take a fatal and decisive role in the bickering rivalries between the captors who are themselves half afraid of his monumental fear.
Unavailable for nearly thirty years it takes its place on the Faber Finds list with Nigel Dennis's other two novels, Boys and Girls Come Out to Play and Cards of Identity .
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