A Season in the West

Piers Paul Read, Author Random House (NY) $16.95 (0p) ISBN 978-0-394-57530-8
Set in London, Read's latest novel is a morality tale reminiscent of his memorable A Married Man . Defecting from Czechoslovakia, writer Josef Birek is taken under the wing of Laura Morton, the wife of a wealthy banker, who works part-time as a translator at a foundation for dissident emigres. Shallow, discontented Laura sees her opportunity: she introduces the naive, idealistic Birek to her friends and literary contacts, invites him to move into her home and eventually begins an affair with the overwhelmed young man. Lionized by London's sophisticated social set, Birek finds himself financially and spiritually enslaved, while Laura becomes obsessed by the liaison. Basking in her self-importance and convinced that she is being very kind to Birek, she cynically exploits him. A full cast of witty and well-drawn supporting characters form the backdrop of Reid's biting comedy of manners, in which the momentum of Birek's brief celebrity and inevitable disillusionment is conveyed in a lean, spare prose that misses nothing. (Apr . )
Reviewed on: 04/01/1989
Release date: 04/01/1989
Hardcover - 457 pages - 978-0-7089-2632-1
Mass Market Paperbound - 978-0-8041-0655-9
Hardcover - 238 pages - 978-0-436-41004-8
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