All That Follows
All That Follows
By Jim Crace
Nan A. Talese, Hardcover, 9780385520768, 240pp.
Publication Date: April 20, 2010
The prodigiously talented Jim Crace has returned with a new novel that explores the complexities of love and violence with a scenario that juxtaposes humor and human aspiration.
British jazzman Leonard Lessing spent a memorable yet unsuccessful few days in Austin, Texas, trying to seduce a woman he fancied. During his stay, he became caught up in her messy life, which included a new lover, a charismatic but carelessly violent man named Maxie.
Eighteen years later, Maxie enters Leonard’s life again, but this time in England, where he is armed and holding hostages. Leonard must decide whether to sit silently by as the standoff unfolds or find the courage to go to the crime scene where he could potentially save lives. The lives of two mothers and two daughters—all strikingly independent and spirited—hang in the balance.
Set in Texas and the suburbs of England, All That Follows is a novel in which tender, unheroic moments triumph over the more strident and aggressive facets of our age.
It also provides moving and surprising insights into the conflict between our private and public lives and redefines heroism in this new century. It is a masterful work from one of Britain’s brightest literary lights.
“[Crace] plumbs the psychological depths of his characters and moves seamlessly from interior fears and doubts to sudden often violent actions in such a graceful and mordantly lyrical manner that the spell he casts is never broken . . . . Mesmerizing . . . . Crace’s prose gets under your skin as it quietly assaults conventional expectations and the sudden possibilities that human consciousness and impulse can both contrive and exploit. In his all-too-human hero on the horn, he captures the human condition in all its sinuous, improvisational and sensual essence.”
—The Providence Journal
"A psychological novel of ideas . . . . Excellent."
"All That Follows is written in crisp, efficent prose and Crace's treatment of Leonard is sympathetic and warm, particularly when it comes to his beloved instrument . . . . Crace's women are characteristically strong and vibrant . . . . It is as accomplished as his previous nine novels and is a testament to his craft and versatility."
—The Sydney Morning Herald
"The writing is excellent, and the story moves along with a seductive force. Another fine work from [Crace]."
"Crace sensitively depicts a middle-aged man coming to terms with the choices he has made, missed opportunities and all."