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Stars and Bars by William Boyd
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Stars and Bars (original 1984; edition 1984)

by William Boyd

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420525,247 (3.22)6
Member:LizzySiddal
Title:Stars and Bars
Authors:William Boyd
Info:Penguin Books Ltd (1985), Paperback
Collections:Your library, To read
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Tags:fiction

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Stars and Bars by William Boyd (1984)

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  1. 00
    A Confederacy of Dunces by John Kennedy Toole (mcenroeucsb)
    mcenroeucsb: Satirical in the American South
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Stars and Bars in one of Boyd's early novels. The story of a rootless English art expert, Henderson Dores, who has secured employment in the USA to aid his efforts to rekindle his relationship with his ex-wife, it comically recounts the tale of a disastrous trip to the American south to secure art works for his employers to sell. Things go from bad to worse as along the way we're introduced to the ex-wife's teenage daughter, a reclusive millionaire, the latter's near homicidal son and eccentric daughter. The style of writing Boyd uses in this novel is one he developed and refined for his later masterpieces like The New Confessions or Any Human Heart. Similar too is nature of the lead character: an intelligent British man searching for security and a fulfilling existence, yet somehow unable to seize control of the the events in which he becomes enmeshed. ( )
  YossarianXeno | Dec 5, 2011 |
I discovered William Boyd quite a few years ago and was very impressed with the two novels I read. Then he fell off my radar screen. Recently, I've begun reading more of his novels and I have yet to be disappointed. In Stars and Bars, Henderson Dores is unhappy with his life and after a brief self-analysis, decides all his problems are the result of his English tendency to "shyness", an extreme timidity in asserting himself. He admires Americans as the consummate models of confidence and self-assertion. He takes a job in New York with a private art dealer and attempts a reconciliation with his American ex-wife while simultaneously beginning an affair with another American woman. He is sent to a rural area of Georgia to acquire some valuable paintings and finds himself in a series of disastrous but humorous events which spiral out of his control. I was reminded of Bellow's Henderson the Rain King, where bizarre circumstances seem to bring out the man's every weakness. If you like British black humor, you'll enjoy this. ( )
  Oregonreader | Jun 27, 2009 |
Somewhat funny, good description of "white trash" America. ( )
  Zohrab | Mar 8, 2008 |
An amusing novel. I laughed plenty, but it packs much less punch than most of his other books. ( )
  raggedprince | Apr 4, 2007 |
Quite funny, but not up to the standard of his later work. ( )
  sas | Aug 13, 2006 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0140075968, Paperback)

All Henderson Dores dreams of is fitting in. But America, land of the loony millionaire and the subway poet, down-home Bible-basher and sharp-suited hood, of paralyzing personal frankness and surreally fantasized facilities, is hard enough for an Englishman to fit in to. Henderson could never shed enough inhibitions to become just another weirdo. Or could he? This hilarious fish-out-of-water comedy, which Boyd also adapted for screen for the 1980s film starring Daniel Day Lewis, was described in the "Guardian" as, 'splittingly shrewd and engaging ...with an extra and uneasy little something fretting away at the ribald content'.

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:28:43 -0400)

(see all 3 descriptions)

A recent arrival to Manhattan, art assessor Englishman Henderson Dores believes the move has given him a new lease of life. When he travels to Georgia to appraise a collection of impressionist paintings, Dore is stranded when his car wheels mysteriously disappear and is received by the bizarre Gage family.… (more)

(summary from another edition)

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Penguin Australia

An edition of this book was published by Penguin Australia.

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