The story of Antonio Valli, a young Italian philosopher, who arrives to do a year's research at a well-to-do university. He lodges with Dick Thompson, a successful middle-aged novelist, and the Italian's good looks and impulsive yet immensely likeable character soon have Dick captivated...
Antonio Valli is someone who needs to be admired and loved and has an insatiable craving for attention from everyone he meets; he needs an audience to perform to and he finds this at the university but especially in Dick’s company. It’s not long before Dick Thompson has fallen completely in love with his charming but very heterosexual lodger and what follows is an ill fated relationship that can only end in disaster.
Francis King’s 1970 novel was longlisted for the Lost Man Booker, in 2010.
About the AuthorFrancis King wrote some 30 novels but believed he was never viewed as a major writer because ‘the public tends to like its novelists to write the same novel over and over again’.