Towards the end of the Second World War a British artist called Kenneth Brill is arrested for painting near the village of Heathrow. Under interrogation a picture emerges as Brill tells the story of his life. Vanishing sees the world through the eyes of one of the forgotten geniuses of British Art, a man whose artistic vision is so piercing he has trouble seeing what is right in front of him.
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A rich literary journey with a pebble in your shoe
I'm a fan of Gerard Woodward's novels since a thoughtful soul put August in my paw. Like the others, Vanishing's prose is nasty, wacky, ornate with culture and social history, subtle and darkly humorous. The language is proper writing that sends me to the dictionary – the big dictionary – every 20 pages/minutes. The story blends three periods from the protagonist's life, boldly delving into his motivation during each unsavoury episode, and carefully revealing the parallels that culminate in his current predicament. The characters are all attractively awkward.
Finlay Robertson, however, disappointingly stumbles over words, gives wonky emphasis, and hurtles at a pace leaving no time to savour the luxurious language. Dare I say 'legerdemain' is not pronounced "ledger domain" (chapter 1). His youthful southeast accent suits the main character but he makes only inconsistent effort to adopt distinct voices for other characters. Did the producer not know the difference either?
If you enjoy a literary journey as much as a plot, you may get a warm glow from the words and a throbbing vein from the narration.
told in the first person kenneth brill is wondering what he has done to find himself being interviewed.
he is told they have details about him but need to know if it is true.
kenneth starts by telling him of his childhood, training to be an artist at a prodigious college and what happened after he had been expelled, interspersed with what he is doing in the army and finally the trial.
Kenneth comes across as naïve which lands him a lot of trouble.
enjoyed the story which was well performed by finlay Robertson who brought the characters to life.
- Mrs. K. I. Richards