Lying Together

Lying Together

by D. M. Thomas

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Concluding the quintet that began with Ararat , Thomas sets his writer-narrator, Don Thomas, in London at a meeting of Writers Internationale. Thomas and three Russian friends who collaborated on earlier books published in the West under the Englishman's name meet each night to improvise another novel. As the conference proceeds, Thomas worries over the adequacy of his fictive contributions; his former almost-lover Masha confesses to a lesbian relationship with a venerable Bolivian poet; the flamboyant novelist Victor Surkov is arrested for raping a woman journalist; and Sergei Rozanov, recently released from a mental hospital/prison where he developed shamanistic powers, revives a dead man in a restaurant. Given equal time is the improvised novel, featuring poet and factory worker Anna Charsky and her husband, actor Dmitri. Anna, who is reading the much-quoted correspondence between Richard von Kraft-Ebbing and a masochistic servant girl, plays an elaborate game of impersonation on Dmitri. The novel in the reader's hands is as aimless and faltering as the fictional one. Intimate scenes are graphic and decidedly un-erotic, with an obsessive focus on menstruation. The plot is strangled in self-conscious reflections on fiction--either facile or heavily belabored. Most welcome is Thomas's avowal that this volume completes the series. (July)
Library Journal - Library Journal
At an international writers' conference, British novelist Thomas meets with his old friends Victor Surkov, Sergei Rozanov, and Masha Barash to relive amorous adventures, recount Freudian dreams, and ``lie together,'' as the punning title has it. This is Thomas's second try at a conclusion to the complex ``Russian Nights'' sequence of novels (after the eminently forgettable Summit , LJ 1/88). Ararat , the first novel in the series, was inspired by the defeat of the Polish Solidarity movement in 1981 and reflects the secretive samizdat mentality of the period. Lying Together, a novel of confessions, revelations, and disclosures, is clearly a response to the openness of the glasnost era. Appropriately, it is the only book in the series in which Thomas himself appears as a character. A challenging but enjoyable work on a timely theme. Recommended. Previewed in Prepub Alert, LJ 3/15/90.-- Edward B. St. John, Loyola Law Sch. Lib., Los Angeles

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Penguin Group (USA) Incorporated
Publication date:
Product dimensions:
7.00(w) x 5.00(h) x 1.00(d)

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