A brilliant new novel set in the bohemian, glamorous theater world of 1970s New York, by the Orange Prize-winning author of Property.
It’s the 1970s in New York—rents are cheap, love is free, and with the explosion of theater venues off and off-off Broadway, aspiring actors will work for nothing in no clothes. Enter Edward Day, who wants more than anything to move an unsuspecting audience to an experience of emotional truth. But he must also contend with the drama of his own life: he is locked in a bitter rivalry with fellow actor Guy Margate, with whom he shares a marked physical resemblance and a fatal attraction to the beautiful, talented, and all-too-available Madeleine Delavergne. Edward’s pursuit of Madeleine is complicated by the fact that he owes Guy his life. In this riveting tale of paranoia, passion, jealousy, and relentless ambition, Edward will learn that the truth, in the theater as in life, is ever elusive and never inert.
Two of Martin's best books have first-person narrators: Dr. Jekyll's housemaid in Mary Reilly and the childish slave owner in Property. Edward is her most brilliant feat of literary ventriloquism to date. He's smart and self-knowing; good actors need to be both, and his shrewd commentaries on acting and theater (plus a few quotes from his reviews) convince us that he is a very good actor. He's also self-centered and cold at the core…It's a testament to Martin's skill and empathy (a quality Edward entirely lacks) that we don't despise her blinkered protagonist but feel sorry for him, as you would for anyone with an incurable condition.