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Conventional Weapons
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Conventional Weapons (Paperback)

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Brittle, effeminate and perennially untalented, Nigel Tuffnell-Greene has little in common with his high-achieving and ultra-masculine elder brother, Geoffrey, whom he worships and detests - hating him with a passion almost indistinguishable from love.

In Conventional Weapons the reader is introduced to a stratum of English middle-class society before and after World War II as the divergent paths of the two brothers unfold. Geoffrey joins the army, marries and sets up in business, but eventually ends up an exile in Malta; Nigel drifts into a seedy London life of drinking, parties and half-hearted gay liaisons, and finds some fame as an artist and novelist.

With an astonishing appreciation of their deeper character traits, which remain unspoken and barely revealed, Brooke explores the shared fragility beneath the surface of these seemingly polarised lives. Beautiful, subtle and immensely powerful, his impeccable prose is never better than in this late novel.

`One of the most interesting and talented of contemporary writers' - Anthony Powell

`He is subtle as the devil' - John Betjeman

`Mr Brooke has ploughed his English corner of The Waste Land between the two world wars with a dexterity that compels our harrowed admiration' - Harold Acton

Fiction & PoetryClassic fiction pre 1945 Publisher: Pan Macmillan Publication Date: 05/10/2017 ISBN-13: 9781509855872  Details: Type: Paperback Format: Books
Availability: Currently unavailable to order online.  

Jocelyn Brooke was born in 1908 on the south coast, and took to the educational process with reluctance. He contrived to run away from public school twice within a fortnight, but then settled, to his own mild surprise, at Bedales before going to Worcester College, Oxford, where his career as an undergraduate was unspectacular. He worked in London for a while, then in the family wine-merchants in Folkestone, but this and other ventures proved variously unsatisfactory. In 1939, Brooke enlisted in the Royal Army Medical Corps, and reenlisted after the war as a Regular: `Soldiering,' he wrote, `had become a habit.' The critical success of The Military Orchid (1948), the first volume of his Orchid trilogy, provided the opportunity to buy himself out, and he immediately settled down to write, publishing some fifteen titles between 1948 and 1955, including the successive volumes of the trilogy, A Mine of Serpents (1949) and The Goose Cathedral (1950). His other published work includes two volumes of poetry, December Spring (1946) and The Elements of Death (1952), the novels The Image of a Drawn Sword (1950) and The Dog at Clambercrown (1955), as well as some technical works on botany. Jocelyn Brooke died in 1966.

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