'(Tony Peake) writes with dry ease on the difficulty of being alive.'
David Hughes, Mail on Sunday
'In Son to the Father, Tony Peake has created a complex inner journey
towards a sense of self-identity, while at the same time using his
hero's inability to realise his own emotional potential to create
a sense of tantalising beyondness.'
Julian MacMillan, The Richmond Review
Peter is a twenty-something teacher marking time at a TEFL school
in Camden, sharing a flat with his flamboyant friend Jacqui and
her ten-year-old son, Jed. Despite his sexual indecisiveness and
fear of intimacy. Peter finds his role as surrogate father both
gratifying and rewarding, and when Jed unexpectedly lands a part
in a film - to be shot in northern Spain by celebrated opera director
Carlos Tarifa - it seems only appropriate that Peter give up his
job and join Jacqui and Jed on set.
Amid the artificial splendour of Tarifa's sumptuous villa, with
its vivid cast of sharklike producers, temperamental script-writers
and bewildering array of flunkeys, Jed seems to be the only one
unaffected by the undercurrents of attraction and betrayal - sexual,
political and religious - which permeate the atmosphere. Peter is
certainly not immune, particularly to the charms of Tarifa's chief
assistant, the Adonis-like Quiepo.
Nor, in spite of the seductive brilliance of this ballet of artifice,
can Peter escape the shadow of his other great denial: that of his
father, Edward, a veteran of the Spanish Civil War whose embittered
communism is in painful conflict with his son's paralysing lack
In charting Peter's complex journey towards a sense of his own
identity, Tony Peake's beautifully realised second novel deftly
employs a glittering and multi-faceted milieu to explore the wider
themes of sex and spirituality, fatherhood, commitment and reconciliation.
Son To The Father, by Tony Peake
Hardback: Little, Brown, London, 1995. 312pp. ISBN 0-316-87544-9
Paperback: Abacus, London, 1996. 312pp. ISBN 0-349-10807-2
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