Hugo Charteris

A Share of the World

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Selected by Evelyn Waugh in the Sunday Times as the best first novel of 1953, and phenomenally praised by critics on its first publication, Hugo Charteris' A Share of the World is one of the great lost novels. This is the first republication in a concerted programme of bringing all of Charteris' works back into print. This harrowing story of a man lost in his times, bewildered and anguished by both war and love, is a masterful portrayal of the human psyche at odds with itself. John Grant has a short war. In a matter of three or four days his career as an officer in active service is over, after a disastrous sortie in the Italian campaign in which one of his men is let down terribly. Back home, reeling with dislocation and yearning, John seeks solace, absolution, a future, and most importantly, love. His troubled mind is taken up with the fascinating and elusive Jane Matlock, whose evasions and temptations lead him into what seems like a new assault-course, a strikingly different form of combat. Although John's story is astonishingly powerful and deeply moving, this extraordinary book has one more ace up its sleeve: Hugo Charteris' intense, atmospheric, drily witty and emotionally searching style. In it there are ingredients which make for one of the great experiences of post-war British literature. A Share of the World burst onto the 1950s literary scene like a truth-incendiary. The author's daughter, Jane Charteris, looks back at this brilliant book, and provides a unique personal insight into its author, in an introduction written specially for this edition.
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361 printed pages
Original publication
2015

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