A novel about human relationships, focusing, unusually for Brookner, on two male characters. Hartmann and Fibich met at school and 40 years later they can no more think of living apart than of divorcing their wives. This book deals with their gradual coming to terms with the emotional gaps in their lives.
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By Steve M on 15-01-17
Subtle Study of Characters
In one of her later interviews, Anita Brookner said she thought she should have won the Booker Prize for this novel, not Hotel du Lac. Latecomers is the story of a lifelong friendship between two men who meet in boarding school after the trauma of WWII. It is a short novel, but covers their lives and the lives of their wives, children, and grandchildren. It moves through decades quickly, often in the form of summary. It's oddly constructed but, like everything Brookner wrote, beautifully observed and deeply felt and with magnificently crafted sentences. There's not much in the way of plot, but the book's dissection of character is often compelling. There's something solemn about this novel, but it still has Brookner's gorgeous wit and flashes of humor. Andrew Sachs reads beautifully and uses his voice with artful subtlety to make distinctions in characters and accents.
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