By William Boyd
(Vintage, Paperback, 9781400078493, 288pp.)
Publication Date: March 14, 2006
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One of the most beguiling storytellers on either side of the Atlantic delivers a luminous new collection whose 14 stories are a series of variations on the theme of love–and its shady cousin lust. A film director’s journal becomes an unintended chronicle of his deepening and ruinous obsession with a leading lady (“Notebook No. 9”). While flying business class, a well-behaved English architect feels the chill onset of an otherworldly visitation that will shatter his family and career (“A Haunting”). An unhappy young boy, neglected by both his father and adulterous mother, finds an unexpected friend in an elderly painter (“Varengeville”). Wise, unsettling, humane, and endlessly surprising, Fascination lives up to its title on every page, while confirming William Boyd’s stature as a writer of incandescent talent.
William Boyd is the author of eight novels, three collections of short stories, and twelve screenplays that have been filmed. He has been the recipient of numerous awards, including the Whitbread Award for Best First Novel, the John Llewellyn Rhys Prize, the James Tait Black Memorial Prize, and the Los Angeles Times Book Prize for Fiction. He lives in London and southwest France.
"A masterwork. . . . [Boyd is] one of the finest authors of our time." —Forth Worth Star-Telegram
“Brilliant. . . . Burns with the kind of artistry that turns a piece of short fiction into a work of imagination that expands beyond the boundaries of the page. . . [Boyd’s] breadth and depth and control are simply breathtaking.” —San Francisco Chronicle
“Lovely. . . . Elegant. . . . [These stories] deal not simply with art vs. life but with the terrible demands that art makes upon the artist.” —The Washington Post
"Deeply moving. . . . The insights arrived at in Boyd's stories are experienced rather than merely witnessed. They strike us deep, and they stick." —The Boston Globe
"The stories are perfect…Suffused with an understanding of love, desire, and emotional incompetence.”
–M. John Harrison, the Guardian
“A virtuoso range of techniques, Boyd shows here just what he is capable of…The resonance and impact of past events on present lives, and a sense of yearning for love or completion, permeate these perfectly formed snapshots of life at its most mystifying.”
–Ross Gilfillan, The Daily Mail
“Boyd’s remarkable, and almost wholly consistent, gift is to convince us of the roundness, the existence of his characters from the very first sentence.”
–Erica Wagner, The Times
“Short stories by William Boyd are an occasional treat…For those who enjoy what might loosely be called canapé fiction — delicious little morsels that whet the appetite but never sate it — Fascination is a must-read book. Every one of the 16 stories has the patina of craftsmanship…The writing transcends cleverness…An impressively sophisticated offering from a writer whose charms never wane.
–David Robson, The Sunday Telegraph
“Sly and consistently entertaining…Boyd uses the artistic methods of the cinematographer…but he twists them to his own ends…This collection demonstrates Boyd’s versatility as well as his virtuosity. He is as much at home writing about nineteenth-century Vienna as he is twentieth century Cape Cod.
–Sebastian Shakespeare, Literary Review