Saturday, 19 November 2011

REVIEW:- Paul TORDAY - “The Irresistible Inheritance of Wilberforce“

REVIEW:- Paul TORDAY - “The Irresistible Inheritance of Wilberforce - a novel in four vintages“
Year Published: - 2008
Where the book was from:- My copy - ex-library
ISBN: - 978-0-7538-2315-6
Pages: - 308pp
Genre: - General Fiction, psychology, autism
Location:- London / Yorkshire
How I came across it: - Serendipity
Rating: - ***** *****

One sentence summary:- A cleverly crafted look at a man who sells his computer software company to buy a wine cellar and what happens next (only it's actually what happened before).

Describe the plot without giving anything away:- The book is in four parts 2006, 2004, 2003 and 2002 and cleverly takes one back from the outcome to its origins. The outcome is the 'inheritance' of a wine cellar and the consumption of too much of it by Wilberforce, a man generally acknowledged as being strange but remarkably talented in creating computer software. The history of how it all came about gradually unfolds and the novel becomes more and more poignant as it goes on.

General comments:- As the Daily Telegraph commented - “Remarkably, given the bleakness of both subject and hero, it is an incredibly good read.” A must for any wine buff it takes one on a tour of red wines with the occasional white thrown in for good measure. From the first moment we are introduced to him we want to know more about Wilberforce and what makes him tick. At times an upsetting tale of alcoholism and at others a story of a sick and lonely man which wrenches at the heart-strings. A great read.


Thinking about sipping the wine made me look at the clock on the bedside table, and I saw it was eleven in the morning. By now on any normal day I would be at least halfway through my first bottle. That was another reason it was wrong to describe me as an alcoholic: an alcoholic wouldn't care whether his wine came form a box or a bottle.

When I say wine, I am speaking of red Bordeaux – or claret, as some of us who drink it still call it.
I know you don't believe in God but He believes in you.

I knew how to talk to people, but I had never got to the point of doing it for fun.... The possibility that people could spend time together with no other object in mind than enjoyment of one another's company was a new idea to me.

I used to wash and dry the foil cartons in which my takeaways came and keep them in neat piles, in case they could be of use some day. I rearranged the piles of cartons now and then. I found it soothing.

AUTHOR Notes:- Paul TORDAY was born in 1946 and read English at Oxford. He spent 30 years working in engineering and industry before concentrating on his writing. His first novel Salmon Fishing in the Yemen was published in 2006 and was an instant success. He lives in Northumberland and has often visited the Middle East.

New words I came across eidetic; encomium

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