Item description for Conversations with Mr. Prain by Joan Taylor...
A suspenseful tale of art, love, and sex—the ultimate mysteries.
As this erotic mystery unfolds, the conversation whips and snaps between Stella, a vivacious bohemian writer and eco-activist, and Edward Prain, a refined connoisseur of the rare books on hand in Stella’s fusty London bookstall. While Prain is mysteriously aloof about his background, Stella finds his insights into art more and more stimulating, until one rainy afternoon she makes a surprising discovery: Prain is the head of England’ s most prestigious publishing house and a leading collector of art. And now, he would like her to come to tea at his country estate... to discuss her writing. Stella is too intrigued to say no. Yet their cat-and-mouse game only intensifies at his sumptuous estate, where she finds herself engaged in an increasingly devilish conversation on the making of art, the selling of art, and the protection of self until Prain reveals that he knows more about her past than he has ever let on...
PRAISE FROM BOOKSELLERS FOR CONVERSATIONS WITH MR. PRAIN
“A novel of manners and of intellect, of passion and calculation, of negoti- ation and compromise, of winning and losing, of love and sex. Smart and sensual.” —Robert Gray, The Northshire Bookstore, Manchester Center, Vermont
“There are flashes of brilliance throughout this book, and enough suspense that it really is irresistible to keep reading.” —Jessica Stockton Bagnulo, Greenlight Bookstore, Brooklyn, NY Joan Taylor is a historian and the author of several books on ancient religious history and archeology, including the prize-winning Christians and the Holy Places. A native New Zealander and former professor of religious studies at Waikato University, she currently lives in England, where she lectures widely on religion and philosophy. This is her first novel
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Est. Packaging Dimensions: Length: 7.4" Width: 5.5" Height: 1" Weight: 0.7 lbs.
Release Date May 1, 2006
Publisher Melville House
ISBN 1933633026 ISBN13 9781933633022
Availability 0 units.
More About Joan Taylor
Joan E. Taylor is Honorary Research Fellow in the Department of History at University College London and Honorary Fellow in the Department of Religious Studies and Philosophy at Waikato University, Hamilton, New Zealand
Reviews - What do customers think about Conversations with Mr. Prain?
Cerebral tale about creativity and writing Oct 20, 2006
Two friends passed this book along to me, both remarking, "The ending really surprised me," which was enough to make interested. The ending surprised me, too, and I did want to know what happened -- but I'm not sure I'd have finished this book without Deb's and Mary Jo's recommendations.
One reason is that this book is "talking heads." That is, almost the whole story is set in the English countryside, in a converation between Mr Prain, a book publisher, and Stella, a would-be author who has a day job working in a bookstall. That's not necessarily bad; but if you're looking for a lot of action, move on to another book. On the other hand, if you think "My Dinner with Andre" was a brilliant film, you will absolutely love this story.
The essentials: Mr Prain invites Stella to his home after reading her novel and poems. She's anxious to hear what he has to say, but Mr Prain seems to have another purpose in mind. Like Stella, you have to get through most of the book to learn what it is.
Much of the conversation is about creativity, the book publishing business, and the things that motivate a writer to write. For a lot of people, this will be fascinating stuff; I'm sure to pass this book along to my Mom, whom I know will think it's great. But I'm a professional writer with plenty of friends who have written (and sold) both fiction and non-fiction, and friends who work for book publishers. From my jaded viewpoint, Stella is remarkably naive about the writing business. I could prescribe plenty of books here on this site that would help her understand what makes a book marketable, the craft of editing, and so on. In other words: I wanted to shake her.
The author does a good job drawing pictures in your head, so that you see the gardens, you taste the cream cakes; her descriptive powers are very strong. Good writing can almost give you a "memory" of a place you've never been, which never existed... and Taylor has that gift. I just wish she'd applied them to a story that engaged me more than this one did.