Gerard Woodward
June 04, 2019 Comments.. 650
Vanishing From London s Soho underworld and the s art scene to the battlegrounds of North Africa a literary thriller following the exploits of an enigmatic camouflage officer and brilliant painter before a

  • Title: Vanishing
  • Author: Gerard Woodward
  • ISBN: 9781605987828
  • Page: 380
  • Format: Hardcover
  • From London s Soho underworld and the 1930s art scene to the battlegrounds of North Africa, a literary thriller following the exploits of an enigmatic camouflage officer and brilliant painter before and after World War II, by Booker Prize nominated novelist Gerard Woodward.Toward the end of the World War II, young British artist Kenneth Brill is arrested for painting landsFrom London s Soho underworld and the 1930s art scene to the battlegrounds of North Africa, a literary thriller following the exploits of an enigmatic camouflage officer and brilliant painter before and after World War II, by Booker Prize nominated novelist Gerard Woodward.Toward the end of the World War II, young British artist Kenneth Brill is arrested for painting landscapes near Heathrow Village the authorities suspect his paintings contain coded information about the new military airfield that is being built Brill protests that he is merely recording a landscape that will soon disappear Under interrogation a complicated picture emerges as Brill tells the story of his life of growing up among the market gardens of The Heath and of his life on the London art scene of the 1930s But a darker picture also comes to light, of dealings with the prostitutes and pimps of the Soho underworld, of a break in at a royal residence, and of connections with well known fascist sympathizers at home and abroad So who is the real Kenneth Brill The hero of El Alamein who, as a camouflage officer, helped pull off one of the greatest acts of military deception in the history of warfare, or the lover of Italian futurist painter and fascist sympathizer Arturo Somarco Why was he expelled from the Slade School of Fine Art And what was he doing at Hillmead, the rural community run by Rufus Quayle, a friend of Hitler himself Vanishing sees the world through the eyes of one of the forgotten geniuses of modern art, a man whose artistic vision is so piercing he has trouble seeing what is right in front of him.

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      Published :2019-06-04T00:57:21+00:00

    1 Blog on “Vanishing

    1. Paul says:

      Vanishing – A Master of StorytellingGerard Woodward returns with a meandering story of war, art, betrayal that has black humour and at times moving, Vanishing is a huge and complex novel. If you are looking for a fast paced spy thriller that bowls straight in to espionage then you will be disappointed, but this book is very clever, subtle and by the time you have finished quite rewarding. At all times you are questioning yourself about the central character, his actions, his thoughts and at ti [...]

    2. Rod Raglin says:

      Gerard Woodward’s novels (six counting this one) have been shortlisted for major literary prizes, including the prestigious Man Booker Prize, as have his volumes (five) of poetry. As well, he is a professor of Creative Writing in England. He knows the rules of fiction and, one would assume, is talented enough to be able to break them.But an author, even one apparently as accomplished as Woodward, must remember there are reasons for these rules and we break them at our own peril."Vanishing" tak [...]

    3. Clint Rizzo says:

      A flowing and breezy read, which is rather surprising given its length. Woodward's prose is rich and his colourful use of language reveal that we are in the hands of a poet as much as in the hands of a novelist (perhaps even more so). A dark sense of humour and a penchant for vividly realised characters make 'Vanishing' a good novel to lose oneself into. Ultimately, however, perhaps the novel does bite off more than it can chew and the last 100 pages became for me a bit of a chore towards an unc [...]

    4. Jill Meyer says:

      Kenneth Brill, the main character in British author Gerard Woodward's new novel, "Vanishing", is not a figure readers might accept as worthy of being the subject of a novel. Brill, who begins the book as the defendant in a WW2 British army court-martial, has lived a life that looks pretty bad on paper - arrested for various offenses, both military and civilian. But those offenses seem to change in the telling of the circumstances behind them. And Kenneth Brill seems more like a Zelig-like charac [...]

    5. Errol Hess says:

      This is a long book at 500 pages. When I got near the end I wanted the book to go on. It began shortly after WWI in an agricultural heath within commute of London. The primary character is a young boy whose father inherited his parents' house, while the farmland went to the father's stepbrother. The father makes a bare living selling medical supplies. His attempt to grow crops on the adjacent land is stimied because the current farmers, especially the stepbrother, have locked up all supplies of [...]

    6. Al says:

      I have to give Woodward credit. He's written a substantial, wide-ranging novel which holds interest despite the fact that the protagonist is a Candide-like, out-of-control, ineffective homosexual slacker. Sounds great, doesn't it? Somehow, though, Woodward contrives to make you care about his life, at least up to a point. I'll admit his constant failings began to wear on me after a bit. One more thing: Reading this book, engaging as it may be in parts, makes you realize how much better authors l [...]

    7. Lynn says:

      An artist in 1930's England wants to paint a landscape which will soon be covered with army munitions buildings. He grew up on this land and it has many memories for him. He wants to preserve those memories before they are gone forever. He is arrested, by the military. They think he's working for the Germans and is sending coded information in his painting.As he is interrogated, many incidents in his life, which have a perfectly good explanation, are brought forward as "proof" of his undercover [...]

    8. George Barnett says:

      A labyrinthine storyline left me ultimately uncertain what I'd just read! However it was engaging and kept the attention throughout almost 500 pages. Some of the twists and turns stretched credibility and the writer seemed to want to cram in too many big "issues". So we had the destruction of Heathrow as a site of market gardeners, we had gay love, prewar utopian crypto fascist movements, and all sorts of other matters crammed into the plot.

    9. Meredith says:

      The protagonist of the book, Kenneth Brill, is a classic schlemazel, who fails to gain wisdom from his experiences but instead commits the same missteps repetitively. Never rescued from disaster by his several nemeses, but rather redeemed after the disaster has occurred, one feels a mixture of sympathy and annoyance at this hapless innocent who blunders through life. That said, the novel is well done and an excellent read.

    10. Stephen Hackett says:

      Cracking read. Not a million miles away from William Boyd's 'life story' novels such as 'Any Human Heart' and 'The New Confessions' in (digressive) narrative form - and Pat Barker's recent novels in its account of the Slade Art School - but absolutely fascinating on landscape and belonging, and the deceptions and disguises life forces upon us.

    11. Susan Walker says:

      This is a wonderfully complex story about an artist who is arrested for painting near Heath row Airport in London at the end of WWII. During interrogation the story of his life comes out. This is the complex part. You need to read the entire book to find out what type of man Kenneth Brill is. Wonderfully written!

    12. Mike says:

      No brilliant insights in this book, nor is the writing style outstanding or particularly distinctive. But it is still a great illustration of highly competent novel writing. You get interested in the story, you're surprised at times with twists in the plot, the writing is consistently "professional", you enjoy the many hours you shared with the author in reading his story.

    13. Alex Handyside says:

      Loved it.I loved the way his sidebar stories reinforced the main story.And I learnt much about WWII camouflage that I never knew (and even a little about art).Very entertaining. I'll seek out more by him now.

    14. Katie says:

      Interesting premise and some very evocative and humorous passages, but this one fizzled out looooong before the end.

    15. Joanna says:

      A bit difficult to place at first, but definitely worth the read for a somewhat new and unexpected storyline.

    16. nikkia neil says:

      I really got into this book and wanted to see what would happen to this spastic man. be prepared for some male action but its not what the whole book is about. Good mystery and history

    17. Marianna Still says:

      So much camouflage and deception, I'm still not sure I understood it correctly. :)

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