The Children Of Dynmouth - a classic prize-winning novel by William Trevor
Penguin Decades bring you the novels that helped shape modern Britain.
The 1970s was a decade of anger and discontent. Britain endured power cuts and strikes. America pulled out of Vietnam and saw its President resign from office. Feminism and face lifts vied for women's hearts (and minds). And for many, prog rock, punk and disco weren't just music but ways of life.
William Trevor's The Children of Dynmouth (Winner of the Whitbread Award and shortlisted for the Booker Prize) was first published in 1976 and is a classic account of evil lurking in the most unlikely places. In it we follow awkward, lonely, curious teenager Timothy Gedge as he wanders around the bland seaside town of Dynmouth. Timothy takes a prurient interest in the lives of the adults there, who only realise the sinister purpose to which he seeks to put his knowledge too late.
'A small masterpiece of understatement ... a work of rare compassion' Joyce Carol Oates, New York Times
If you enjoyed The Story of Lucy Gault and Love and Summer, you will love this book. It will also be adored by readers of Colm Toibin and William Boyd.
William Trevor was born in Mitchelstown, County Cork. He has written eighteen novels and novellas, and hundreds of short stories, for which he has won a number of prizes including the Hawthornden Prize, the Yorkshire Post Book of the Year Award, the Whitbread Book of the Year Award and the David Cohen Literature Prize in recognition of a lifetime's literary achievement. In 2002 he was knighted for his services to literature. His books in Penguin are: After Rain; A Bit on the Side; Bodily Secrets; Cheating at Canasta; The Children of Dynmouth; The Collected Stories (Volumes One and Two); Death in Summer; Felicia's Journey; Fools of Fortune; The Hill Bachelors; Love and Summer; The Mark-2 Wife; Selected Stories; The Story of Lucy Gault and Two Lives.
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About the Author
William Trevor was born in Mitchelstown, County Cork. He has written many novels, and has won many prizes including the Hawthornden Prize, the Yorkshire Post Book of the Year Award, and the Whitbread Book of the Year Award. His most recent novel Love and Summer was longlisted for the Booker Prize. He is also a renowned writer of short stories, and his two-volume Collected Stories was published by Viking Penguin in 2009. In 1999 William Trevor received the prestigious David Cohen Literature Prize in recognition of a lifetime's literary achievement, and in 2002 he was knighted for his services to literature.
Date of Birth:May 24, 1928
Place of Birth:Mitchelstown, County Cork, Ireland
Education:Trinity College, Dublin, 1950
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
The children of Dynmouth by William Trevor was originally published in 1976. The atmosphere in the novel is brooding and spooky, and the reader's ideas about the main character, Timothy Gedge, slide from sympathy to disgust.The setting is a small-sized British town, a community which, while there is still some traditional social cohesion, mainly provided by the church, is disintegrating, and in which the first indications of a rebellious youth culture are emerging. Features of that youth culture would be a lack of respect for the elder generation, though still largely covert, and the urge to take initiative, and experiment with in what ways and how far conventional borders can be crossed.The character of Timothy is gradually revealed as highly manipulative. His insistence to deliberately irritate and terrorize people to get his way is frightening, and his "creative" ideas, seemingly innocent and funny at first, turn increasingly sinister.While to most adults Timothy is mainly a major pain in the neck, in the imagination of the children of Dynmouth he is a veritable devil. To them the horror is real.The children of Dynmouth was reissued by Penguin Books in the last quarter of 2011 in their series "Penguin Decades", as a novel representative of the 70s.
I thought of Patricia Highsmith as I read this novel. Unfortunately, the suspense that occupied the first three quarters of the book fell out like air from a balloon left overnight.