- Paperback: 367 pages
- Publisher: Vintage; Reprint edition (January 14, 1997)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 067977260X
- ISBN-13: 978-0679772606
- Product Dimensions: 5.2 x 0.8 x 8 inches
- Shipping Weight: 10.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 39 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,032,678 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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The Blue Afternoon Paperback – January 14, 1997
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From Publishers Weekly
An L.A. architect is drawn into a transcontinental, turn-of-the-century murder mystery and love story in Boyd's sure-footed novel.
Copyright 1996 Reed Business Information, Inc.
From the Inside Flap
"A perfect-pitch story of love and redemption" (The New York Times), Boyd's atmospheric new novel confirms his reputation as heir to the grand narrative traditions of Joseph Conrad and Somerset Maugham. In 1936 Los angeles, as her long-estranged father tells architect Kay Fischer the story behind her secret parentage, he plunges readers into a tale of grisly murders and an illicit passion that still obsseses him 30 years later. 384 pp. Author tour.
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Top customer reviews
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On the way he discloses the story of his life to his daughter and the narrative is taken up by her. There are murders and subterfuge, illicit love, various passions and complex characters but it all misses the boat.
For me there was nothing to save this novel. If it was the first book written by Boyd I had read I would not have pursued him further, which would have been to my detriment.
I had the feeling The Blue Afternoon was written in a hurry as a "filler" or "pot boiler" while Boyd worked on something more substantial.
The plot is flimsy and unbelievable, the characters are ill defined and unappealing and I find it hard to believe this is the same Boyd who wrote Any Human heart!
It doesn't make me feel good to write a bad review about William Boyd's work, because I know he is so much better than this.
Largely a tale of passionate but thwarted love, the storyline is intelligent and credible despite the exotic settings and extreme ambitions and actions of its characters. As always with Boyd's books, you find yourself saying, "man, how did he come up with this stuff?" He is truly a fine writer with outsized imagination and creativity.
The description of medical procedures in Manila are mind boggling and make you shudder. The murder suspense is never sufficiently explained or solved. This is not as well written as Boyd's other books.