The Blue Afternoon: A Novel

Front Cover
Knopf, 1995 - Fiction - 367 pages
109 Reviews
The author of A Good Man in Africa and Brazzaville Beach now gives us his most ambitious and seductive novel to date - part suspense, part romance, all grand storytelling. It is told in flashback. It opens in Hollywood of the 1930's, where the narrator - a young woman, an architect - is approached by an elderly man who claims to be her father. He persuades her to accompany him to Lisbon in search of the woman who was the great lost love of his life. And on the journey he tells the story of what happened to him decades before when he was a surgeon in war-torn Manila. It is a story of intrigue played out against the exotic, violent background of the Philippines in 1902; a story of medicine; of the murder of American soldiers; of the magical creation of a flying machine. It is the story of a sinister web of conspiracy spun by the old guard at Manila's great hospital as the young surgeon stands alone against intransigence and corruption. And at the heart of the book, marvelously told: the grand passion that draws him into an unknown world of infinite danger.

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Good plot-master, so-so character development. - Goodreads
Boyd's writing is so beautifully descriptive... - Goodreads
Plot moves quickly and surprises reader effortlessly. - Goodreads
... interesting conventions to move the plot along. - Goodreads
The plot in the end meant little to me. - Goodreads
Funnily, the plot is also telenovelaish. - Goodreads

Review: The Blue Afternoon

User Review  - Amanda Brookfield - Goodreads

I have been a loyal reader of William Boyd since A Good Man in Africa, his wonderful debut novel, published more years ago than I care to remember. On the frequent occasions I am asked to list authors ... Read full review

Review: The Blue Afternoon

User Review  - Goodreads

Transporting. Read full review

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About the author (1995)

William Boyd's first novel, A Good Man in Africa, won a Whitbred Prize and a Somerset Maugham Award; his second, An Ice-Cream War, was awarded the John Llewellyn Rhys Prize and was short-listed for the Booker; Brazzaville Beach won the James Tait Black Memorial Prize; and The Blue Afternoon won the Los Angeles Times Prize for Fiction. Boyd lives in London.

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