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Paintings in Proust: A Visual Companion to In Search of Lost Time
Eric Karpeles
In Search of Lost Time
Marcel Proust, C.K. Scott Moncrieff, Andreas Mayor, Terence Kilmartin, D.J. Enright, Richard Howard
Within a Budding Grove (In Search of Lost Time, #2)
Marcel Proust, C.K. Scott Moncrieff, Terence Kilmartin, D.J. Enright

Skios: A Novel

Skios - Michael Frayn A witty, clever farce. Frayn is very skillful in his use of comedy here, and he takes his time building up the characters so that—by the time one is midway through the novel—his continued introductions and complications are just uproariously fantastical and often laugh-out-loud hysterical.Frayn's use of dialogue is very smart: I was often reminded of reading a script at times, something that works quite well for the more darkly humorous episodes in Skios as one can almost see this enacted as if on stage. The pacing and the quick-wittedness all factor into the success of this very modern and very British cage aux folles. It was only after finishing the novel that I discovered Frayn wrote the play Noises Off, and the similarity is definitely there.Skios is a novel where no one knows who they are; no one knows where they are; and no one knows who or where anyone else is. Some characters fall into multiple categories of confusion, while others emphasize the novel's interest in cultural and linguistic dislocation (e.g., a very funny receptionist; two twin taxi drivers). Where Frayn also excels is in his covert criticism of modern technology: in a world where smart phones exist, even on the island of Skios these smart phones render their users far from smart and, increasingly, become the culprits of mistaken identity, missed opportunities, and failed connections.A surprising title to have been long listed for the Booker, especially given the more "high brow" literary titles that usually populate the lists each year. This is certainly not to say that Frayn is not a literary writer; indeed, the comparisons to David Lodge's academic satires (e.g., Changing Places, Small World) are not unfounded, but Frayn has a humor all his own. Could a farce about our modern world win the prize this year? It very well might.