Authors > Private Views – a new novel by Frederic Raphael
Prolific writer Frederic Raphael will be 84 in August this year – a year which sees the publication of his latest novel Private Views, and an autobiography Going Up: To Cambridge and Beyond – A Writer’s Memoir. Raphael is widely known as an award-winning screenplay writer. He adapted Arthur Schnitzler’s novel Dream Story for Stanley Kubrick’s last completed film Eyes Wide Shut, and – among many other successes – won a Best Screenplay Oscar for John Schlesinger’s 1965 film Darling which has been re-released in a specially restored format in celebration of its 50th Anniversary. He has written at least 25 novels and volumes of short stories, and many works of non-fiction. These last include A Jew Among Romans: The Life and Legacy of Flavius Josephus, and Distant Intimacy: A Friendship in the Age of the Internet – a collection of emails between himself and fellow writer Joseph Epstein – a man he has never met or spoken to.
His new novel Private Views is a portrait gallery of smart society. Beautiful and cool-seeming artist Katya Lowell paints unnerving images in 1970s London. Enigmatic and alluring, she comes to the attention of aristocratic banker Charlie Marsden. Why does this elegant woman choose to spend time with such outsiders as former secret agent Harry Groves and suburban multi-millionaire Jarvis Green?
Frederic Raphael’s pitch-perfect dialogue fills the reader’s ears with the voices of his colorful cast: Charlie and his ‘delicious’ sister Camilla; his smart, bisexual auctioneer flatmate Marcus Steele; the stammeringly voluble drama critic Benedict Bligh; glossy magazine columnist Tamsin Fairfax; the gentleman cook Theo Plant and his thriller-writing brother Ferdy . . . Like a threatened species, they prefer not to look at the cunning predators and their low-life sidekicks who are taking control of old England.
This love story, at once superbly romantic and darkly erotic, guides our imagination towards savouring the ambiguous connection between life and art. Frederic Raphael’s new novel – something of a cross between The Story of O and The Portrait of a Lady – is both an original work of art and the portrait of a vanishing generation. To order from AmazonUK, click here: Private Views.
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