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Turning upon the smallest of hints, and taking the detritus of modern life – offhand diary entries, discarded cigarette ends, casual glances – as a series of clues, a London barber becomes obsessed with the idea of his wife’s infidelity. In this masterfully told tale, jealousy, hatred and nostalgia stir uneasily in the quiet of London’s post-war suburbia. First published in 1949, The Body is an excellent example of William Sansom’s ability to suspend and play out momentary fears, building up to an altered vision where even the most familiar things are uncertain.
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