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Rates of Exchange by Malcolm Bradbury

Rates of Exchange

by Malcolm Bradbury

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'You have a quarrel on hand, I see,' said I, 'with some of the algebraists of Paris; but proceed.'

- Edgar Allan Poe, The Purloined Letter

The language of this country being always upon the flux, the Struldbruggs of one age do not understand those of another, neither are they able after two hundred years to hold any conversation (farther than by a few general words) with their neighbours the mortals, and thus they lie under the disadvantage of living like foreigners in their own country.

- Jonathan Swift, Gulliver's Travels

It seems to me the further east you go the more unpunctual are the trains.

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Slaka! Land of lake and forest, of beetroot and tractor. Slaka! Land whose borders are sometimes here, often further north, and sometimes not at all! Rates of Exchange tells the hilarious story of Dr Petworth on his cultural exchange to the small (and fictional) Eastern European country of Slaka. Pallid and middle-aged, Dr Petworth might appear stuffy, but during his short stay he manages to embroil himself in the thorny thickets of sexual intrigue and love, while still finding time to see the major sites.… (more)

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