Thursday, 9 July 2009

Friday's Forgotten Book: OF LOVE AND VIOLENCE by Michael Fisher

Michael Fisher

Published: Constable & Co - 1971
New English Library - 1972

Adam Sinclair gives up his job with the UN in New York to escape the battlefield of his marriage. He seeks sanctuary on a Greek island with the idea of writing a book but the accusations, in the back of his mind, that he is incapable of loving dogs his every move.
The book is divided into two parts.
The first part recounts his memories of the past and opens up with a traumatic, for a young Adam, air raid on London. As he seeks the comfort of his mother's arms she sends him into the arms of his young nurse. It is not long before the reader is aware of the distance between mother and son. Likewise, his father expects him to be a man.
When his father, an army officer, is sent to North Africa Adam's mother decides to go with him while Adam is sent to stay, for his safety, with an aunt in South Africa. As the aunt and uncle have no children and, therefore, know nothing of children decide to place the young Adam in a boarding school.
Boarding school leads to University until, finally, he gets the job that he wanted with the UN where he meets Kim who is destined to be his wife.
Along the way there are encounters of the female kind together with the early fumblings and, eventually, the loss of virginity.
The second part is dominated by Kim's arrival on the Greek island. Although this part takes up the final third of the book it is quite a furious ride. At first, it appears that Kim is looking for a reconciliation with Adam but this is two insecure people being polite to each other. Just a bit of sparring before the main event - and this is the violence of the marital battlefield.
In 172 pages Michael Fisher takes the reader in to Adam Sinclair's loveless life and gains sympathy without getting mawkish. Certainly, Adam is polite and does care about the females that enter his life but it is all on the surface. Lust gets mistaken for love. And when he gets let down he hurts but again this is just a surface thing.
With his wife, Kim, he reaches the point where he expects to be let down. He's surprised when she agrees to marry him but has no expectations and immerses himself in his work.
There are a handful of sex scenes in this book but only a couple of explicit scenes. The first grope and the moment that he loses his virginity are used as a device for thereafter sex is only hinted at. In other words the scenes are for effect rather than used gratuitously.
I have not found any reprints of this book since the 1972 paperback - but there are some copies (second hand) on Amazon


pattinase (abbott) said...

Quite a different pick, Ray. Thanks!

Laurie Powers said...

This actually sounds really good. I bet has a few copies too. I'm going to go look for it. thanks for the great review.

David Cranmer said...

I was thinking the same thing as Patti. Original pick for a FFB.

Ray said...

I think that this author only wrote 4 books. This may have been his final book but it is so different to the other 3 and, imho, a very good read.