An Exquisite Sense of What Is Beautiful

  • by J. David Simons
  • Narrated by Nick Cheales
  • 10 hrs and 22 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

A sweeping novel of East and West, love and war, truths and denials. An eminent British writer returns to the resort hotel in the Japanese mountains where he once spent a beautiful, snowed-in winter. It was there he fell in love and wrote his best-selling novel, The Waterwheel, accusing America of being in denial about the horrific aftermath of the Tokyo firebombings and the nuclear destruction at Hiroshima and Nagasaki.
As we learn more about his earlier life, however - as a student in Bloomsbury, involved with a famous American painter - we realise that he too is in denial, trying to escape past events that are now rapidly catching up with him. Audio recording and editing by Blake Brooks.


What the Critics Say

"[A] highly accomplished and moving novel." (The Herald)
"A genuine tour-de-force, a beautifully written love story… calls to mind the best of William Boyd and Sebastian Faulks." (Lesley McDowell)
"Artistic, literary and thoroughly involving." (Scots Whay Hae!)
"[I]n the tradition of Graham Greene [and] William Boyd… An accomplished and compelling novel by a storyteller at the top of his game." (Chris Dolan)
"A wonderful, pleasurable, thoughtful novel." (Sophie Cooke)
"It is obvious that Simons is a master of the written word… The very title of the novel raises the reader’s expectations and Simons does not disappoint." (


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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

Exquisite, beautiful story

This is a beautifully written story, poignant, engrossing and with compelling characters. Some of those characters, including the main one, are hard to like, but others are people I'd like to have met myself. The relationships are complex and thought-provoking. The setting of postwar Japan is fascinating, and the descriptions of 50s London and New York are satisfying and interesting. Most of all, though, fantastic storytelling. The narration is also very well done.
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- A. Hunt

Book Details

  • Release Date: 28-03-2013
  • Publisher: Saraband