Monday, December 10, 2012

"The Valley of Unknowing"

Philip Sington is the author of The Einstein Girl and Zoia’s Gold.

He applied the Page 69 Test to his latest novel, The Valley of Unknowing, and reported the following:
On page 69 the protagonist and narrator, Bruno Krug, and the object of his desire, Theresa Aden, are about to make love for the first time.
I wanted her body and soul, but body first. I am speaking here chronologically. I saw no reason to put off carnal ecstasy until after our spirits had fused into some perfect ectoplasmic whole. I was already at an age where putting off anything was a bad idea.
At this point in the story things are going well for Bruno, at least superficially. Until recently he thought the lovely Theresa out of reach, having seen her in the arms of another man: his younger, more dashing, and probably more talented literary rival, Wolfgang Richter. But Richter has suddenly and conveniently died, allegedly of meningitis, and as yet there is no reason to regard the death as suspicious. Indeed, it was at Richter’s funeral that Bruno and Theresa arranged the rendezvous that has led them to the threshold of the bedroom. Bruno has finally triumphed over his rival, who has ended up playing the role of Cupid post mortem. It is almost too good to be true.

And yet glimpses of the trouble ahead are already discernible. Deep down, Bruno, for all his infatuation with Theresa, doubts his ability to hold on to her. They are too far apart in age and in background (Theresa is a visiting music student from Austria). She is drawn to the famous writer, not to the deeply compromised man beneath.
I had nothing to offer her that she would want to keep, nothing real. You can only go so far on a reputation. But if was not, in the end, to have Theresa’s love, I thought, then the fact that I had once enjoyed her body might make the disappointment that much easier to bear.
In this belief Bruno turns out to be wrong.
Learn more about the book and author at Philip Sington's website.

Writers Read: Philip Sington.

--Marshal Zeringue