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Tornado Pratt

Paul Ableman
Date Published
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Tornado Pratt is the last of the old-style American tycoons, one who has lived his life with ferocious vigour through the vacillating fortunes of the twentieth-century USA. Paul Ableman’s novel finds him in a hotel room at the end of his days, as he recounts via a dying monologue the events of his turbulent life. What is revealed, in a testimony full of jokes and surprises, is a brash, lustful, comic, profane, naïve and sentimental man who, driven on by remorse, displays a wry and perceptive honesty about himself, even as his memories begin to merge with imaginings.

Often funny and sometimes moving, Tornado Pratt’s voice is an unforgettable one in which he confronts his own mortality, and in which Paul Ableman gives us an astonishing, affecting and life-affirming story. Auberon Waugh called Tornado Pratt ‘a magnificent and memorable novel’.


Paul Ableman (1927-2006) was a novelist, playwright and screenwriter, born in Leeds and brought up in London and New York. He was the author of five novels, most famous of which was I Hear Voices, in which his writing is inspired not only by the modernist avant garde but by psychoanalytic theory. He also wrote plays and scripts for radio,…

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