Amazing Disgrace by James Hamilton-Paterson, NOOK Book (eBook) | Barnes & Noble
Amazing Disgrace

Amazing Disgrace

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by James Hamilton-Paterson

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Gerald Samper is a ghost writer to the stars: rock singers, racing drivers and ski champions. And to Millie Cleat, the monstrous one-armed sailor, whose round the world voyage has made her the toast of Britain, and who has become the poster-girl for the Deep Blues, a mystical and nutty environmental group.

Gerald pines for greater things, however, and would


Gerald Samper is a ghost writer to the stars: rock singers, racing drivers and ski champions. And to Millie Cleat, the monstrous one-armed sailor, whose round the world voyage has made her the toast of Britain, and who has become the poster-girl for the Deep Blues, a mystical and nutty environmental group.

Gerald pines for greater things, however, and would prefer to write the memoirs of Max Christ, the celebrated conductor. While he schemes to land this unattainable catch, he muses hilariously and viciously on the world of which he is such an unwilling part, looking out from his Tuscan hilltop and pining for his neighbour Marta, offspring of a crime family from Voynovia, who disappeared one day into thin air. Has she been the subject of a 'rendition'?

Meanwhile, some oceanographers are planning revenge on Millie Cleat for her destruction of their greatest coup. Gerald convinces her that she has seen the face of Neptune in the depths ...

Editorial Reviews

Carolyn See
Who should read this book? If you're filled with lofty ideals and ambition and a strong sense of right and wrong, Amazing Disgrace will probably offend you. If you're far enough along in life (and I don't mean old!) that 99 percent of the human condition seems like God's Own Little Joke, pick this up for some well-earned consolation.
— The Washington Post
Publishers Weekly
This stylishly funny follow-up to Cooking with Fernet-Branca continues the story of Gerald Samper, the English ghostwriter of exuberant sports and media autobiographies. It's a couple of years later, and Samper, still at his Tuscan retreat, is bereft of the hard-won intimacy of his Voynovian neighbor Marta, who has mysteriously disappeared. He consoles himself with penile enhancers and with such dishes as vindaloo blancmange ("an intriguing marriage of the incandescent and the gelid"). Meanwhile, celebrated one-armed yachtswoman Millie Cleat beckons; she wants Samper's help in rendering her more spiritual side in print. And Samper's chain-smoking agent back in London, Frankie, wouldn't mind a subject with more clout perhaps the great orchestra conductor Max Christ? Shuttling from Tuscany to London and back again, dining with the likes of Cooking's Nanty (the leader of a superfabulous newly New Age boy band), Samper (as he calls himself) must also deal with a tremendous problem related to those penile enhancers one even more outsized than Millie Cleat's ego. Recipes for badger and "Death Roe" are sprinkled throughout this charming comedy, sophisticated in the manner of a Peter Sellers romp, with a little Mel Brooks for good measure. (Nov.) Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
Library Journal
This sequel to Hamilton-Paterson's Cooking with Fernet Brancacontinues the humorous trials and tribulations of British ghostwriter Gerald Samper. Gerald, who would rather be writing a serious biography of a notable music figure, instead ghostwrites for popular sports figures to maintain his expatriate life in the mountains of Italy. A gritty, one-armed grandma who broke the speed record for sailing around the world has caught the fancy of the sporting crowd, and her publisher wants a book out in time for the Christmas season. In the process of gathering information for the book from celebrated yachtswoman Millie Cleat, Gerald has developed an acute aversion to his client. So he is dismayed to hear that she is not happy with his manuscript and wants to meet with him about revisions. To add to his troubles, Gerald has played a practical joke on Millie that has taken on a life of its own. Gerald's musings are interspersed with unusual recipes, most of which are hilarious in and of themselves. Entertaining and provocative, absurd and thoughtful, this book shines with quirky characters that will remind readers of people they've met; recommended.
—Joanna M. Burkhardt
Kirkus Reviews
A British satirical novel skewers celebrity autobiographies, environmental activism and the idyllic life in Tuscany. Introduced previously, in Cooking with Fernet Branca (2004), Gerald Samper returns with his flamboyant wit and self-absorption undiminished. He also retains a flair for the offbeat recipe, instructing the reader on the preparation of Death Roe and Badger Wellington with hallucinogenic mushrooms. Samper's comic voice permeates and dominates this novel, where the other characters are mainly caricatures and the plot has a spirit of slapdash serendipity. Narrated in the present tense, as if Samper is experiencing as he is writing, the story concerns his latest ghostwriting project, Millie!, the memoir of a plucky, intrepid, one-armed grandmother who has set a record for sailing around the world ("single-handedly"). Though hailed as a heroine in her native Britain and throughout much of the nautical world, Millie Cleat is actually a foul-mouthed, difficult woman who has a penchant for leaving trouble in her wake. Samper must mediate between the truth as he sees it and the story Millie wants told. He also must do his best to torpedo the possibility of a sequel with this impossible woman. He's much more interested in another project, the biography of a gifted conductor, though the subject is reluctant and the commercial prospects aren't nearly as great. Subplots include Samper's experimentation with male enhancement pills and the hilariously embarrassing consequences, and the mystery of the disappearance of his neighbor in Tuscany, which inspires all sorts of observations about the cutthroat Tuscan real-estate market and those who succumb to this fantasy of the good life. For aman of such refined sensibility, Samper suffers through a series of disgraces concerning bodily functions. The plot reaches its improbable climax at his 50th birthday party, though he has insisted that he's just on the cusp of 40. Whatever the novel lacks in terms of literary depth or character development it makes up for in laughs.

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Faber and Faber
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Meet the Author

James Hamilton-Paterson lives in Tuscany, and is not a ghost.
James Hamilton-Paterson is the author of the bestselling Empire of the Clouds, which was hailed as a classic account of the golden age of British aviation. He won a Whitbread Prize for his first novel, Gerontius, and among his many other celebrated books are Seven-Tenths, one of the finest books written in recent times about the oceans, the satirical trilogy that began with Cooking with Fernet Branca, and the autobiographical Playing With Water. Born and educated in England, he has lived in the Philippines and Italy and now makes his home in Austria.

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Amazing Disgrace 3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago