From Publishers Weekly
British author Stourton's ambitious debut paints a complex, if often predictable, portrait of collegiate hedonism and friends bound by a terrible secret. As an awkward first-year at Cambridge's Tudor College, James fears he'll never join the ranks of his privileged classmates. But when a chance encounter introduces him to a close-knit group of friends devoted to scaling the college's buildings in the dead of night, James finds himself drawn into a world of excess and adventure. Francis, the group's charismatic leader, is adored by the beautiful but aloof Jessica, on whom James harbors a secret crush. The group is rounded out by Lisa, with her eye for shady business deals, and Michael, the blustery jock. After Francis's father, Lord Soulford, cuts off his son's monthly allowance, the friends hatch a plan to maintain their lavish lifestyle that will have disastrous consequences for years to come. With undeniable echoes of Donna Tartt's The Secret History
, the novel juggles too many story lines to sustain the suspense needed for such a complicated tale. Still, Stourton is a name to watch. (Sept.)
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"An amazingly accomplished debut....The writing is elegant, the story decadent." -- Observer
"Loved The Line of Beauty
, mooned over Brideshead
, lapped up The Secret History
? Then this one's for you.... Stourton really can write." -- Independent on Sunday
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