William Boyd - Armadillo: A Novel

William Boyd - Armadillo: A Novel
Publisher: Vintage (April 11, 2000) | Language: English | ISBN-10: 0375702164 | EPUB | 352 pages | 1.8 mb

This quintessentially English dark comic novel explores the life of star insurance adjuster Lorimer Black, who has constructed an entire confident persona as a shell to disguise his real self. Among the things he keeps private is his insomnia, his "colorful" immigrant background (his real name is Milomre Blocj) and family, and his expensive antique armor collection. Of course, with Boyd at the helm, there are a number of themes being brought out at once: social satire (people keep assuming he's the son of a Scottish aristocrat), identity (he hides beyond the facade that's gotten him ahead), home (he's secretly bought a small home in suburbs), family (he hasn't quite come to grips with his family), obsession (he falls for a mysterious model and tracks her down). This is all laid against a backdrop of professional entanglements that threaten his job and even his life. Be forewarned, it takes about 40 or 50 pages before things start to get clear, but it's worth it. As usual, Boyd's prose crackles with wit as the notion of identity in the modern Western world is held up for examination. Don't be put off by the big themes though, this is a real page-turner. Not everyone will be satisfied with the ending, which leaves a number of loose ends and on an ambiguous note of hope.

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