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Leading the Cheers

ebook / ISBN-13: 9781529340334

Price: £9.99

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A rich portrayal of small-town life with wonderfully evoked characters and beautifully observed writing.

Dan Silas returns to America for his high school reunion where he makes some unexpected discoveries. His former girlfriend tells him that her daughter was his child and Dan’s oldest friend has suffered a breakdown and now believes himself to be the reincarnation of an Indian chief. In an attempt to make sense of these disturbing facts, Dan digs further into their lives, with both tragic and comic results.

‘A wonderfully observed novel which provides a rare outsider’s glimpse of the quiet despair that lurks behind those bright, perfectly-formed American smiles’ Literary Review

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A meditation on time, memory, friendship and identity. It overturns the clichéd perception of America and gives a new depth to something which is often treated sensationally. Cartwright has a real talent for getting to the heart of different cultures and how we live now.
The judges of the Whitbread Prize for Best Novel
A vividly exceptional performance, both for the poetry of its descriptions and the largeness of its themes. It is an off-kilter study of America, from Jefferson to serial killers, and a meditation on the way people cope with death and the lack of meaning in life.
The Sunday Times
Such a complex and rewarding novel is only what you would expect from such a talented and original writer.
Evening Standard
A book which is itself individual; eloquent, tender, as well as sharply observant and funny.
Sunday Telegraph
Excellent . . . sharply written episodes abound.
Mail on Sunday
In Cartwright's skilful hands the ordinariness of circumstances is always juxtaposed with something so extraordinary that no doubt is left as to why his story has to be told.
Daily Telegraph
An accomplished, and often entertaining, engagement with the paradoxical nature of the relationship between individuality and community
Times Literary Supplement
A wonderfully observed novel . . . lean prose and deft characterisation . . . A book which provides a rare outsider's glimpse of the quiet despair that lurks behind those bright, perfectly-formed American smiles.
Literary Review
Clever, funny and never quite predictable, Leading the Cheers takes the familiar theme of a mid-life crisis and offers a solution which is as unexpected as it is ingenious.
Financial Times
A richly comic novel. The writing is deeply textured.
Exquisitely unpredictable, witty and subtle meditation on American and its relationship with illusion.
The Times
Highly intelligent and moving. The lucidity and elegance of Cartwright's writing makes this an easy novel to read, and read quickly. But anyone who does so is likely to feel the need to go back and read it again, and even again, so rich is its moral complexity, so acute its observations, so profoundly does it question much of what we easily accept. It is a remarkable piece of work.
The Scotsman