The Trick of It

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ISBN 9780571204298 Format Paperback
9780571204298
Paperback
Published 03/07/2000 Length 144 pages
144

About Book

He knows everything about her before they meet; more about her nine novels that she does herself. He has devoted his life to studying and teaching them and yet he is four times as clever as she is. Now, as she steps off the train in London, something about her in the flesh sets him thinking. Maybe he has a chance to resolve the one remaining mystery at the heart of things. . .

Through a series of letters sent by a minor English Literature academic to his old friend in Australia, Frayn combines a vivid and moving study of obsession, with a witty and playful account of what it's like to be on the fringes of the creative process.

Michael Frayn is the celebrated author of fifteen plays including Noises Off, Copenhagen and Afterlife. His bestselling novels include Headlong, which was shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize, Spies, which won the Whitbread Best Novel Award and Skios, which was longlisted for the Man Booker Prize.

He knows everything about her before they meet; more about her nine novels that she does herself. He has devoted his life to studying and teaching them and yet he is four times as clever as she is. Now, as she steps off the train in London, something about her in the flesh sets him thinking. Maybe he has a chance to resolve the one remaining mystery at the heart of things. . . Through a series of letters sent by a minor English Literature academic to his old friend in Australia, Frayn combines a vivid and moving study of obsession, with a witty and playful account of what it's like to be on the fringes of the creative process. Michael Frayn is the celebrated author of fifteen plays including Noises Off, Copenhagen and Afterlife. His bestselling novels include Headlong, which was shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize, Spies, which won the Whitbread Best Novel Award and Skios, which was longlisted for the Man Booker Prize.
  • About Michael Frayn

    Michael Frayn was born in London in 1933 and began his career as a journalist on the Guardian and the Observer. His novels include Towards the End of the Morning, Headlong, Spies and Skios. His seventeen plays range from Noises Off, recently chosen as one of the nation's three favourite plays, to Copenhagen, which won the 1998 Evening Standard Award for Best Play of the Year and the 2000 Tony Award for Best Play. He is married to the writer Claire Tomalin.

    Photo credit: Ekko von Schwichow

    Watch

    Watch Michael Frayn's Guardian interview here 

    Watch Michael Frayn on how he wrote Skios here 

    Watch Michael Frayn's Guardian Book Club discussion on Spies here 

    Read

    Michael Frayn's Paris Review interview on the art of the theatre here  

    Praise

    'The most delightful, sophisticated novel: Michael Frayn is probably England's funniest writer.' New York Times on Towards the End of the Morning

    'As brilliant as all Michael Frayn's work.' P.G. Wodehouse on The Tin Men

    'Frayn has never written more seductively and surely than in this book.' Sunday Times on Spies

    'Fans of [Frayn's] fabulously metaphysical farce will laugh themselves sick at this novel ... Frayn can't write a sentence without making you giggle but when he's in full comic flow he's a miracle of nature.' Daily Express on Skios

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