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Cleaver by Tim Parks

The Cleaver of Tim Park's title is Harold Cleaver, a highly successful TV celebrity interviewer who has just hit the peak of his career with a hard-hitting interview with the President of the United States. His disappears soon after, hiding out in a hut in the mountains of South Tyrol. The reason is a Booker-nominated novel his son has written, where the philandering and self-obsessed protagonist is obviously Cleaver. He wants to be alone to sort out his thoughts and finds himself guilty of many of the charges. He also finds himself grieving for his daughter who died in an accident as a teenager. At the same time, he realizes that his behaviors will not change. Tim Parks novel shows a man in midlife crisis, estranged from not just his family, but from the world where he thought he was on top. Cleaver has received mostly positive reviews with the New Statesman saying, "What sounds like a deathly-dull premise - ageing bloke sits in silence in threadbare bolt-hole in the mountains - results in a scintillating and subtly nuanced narrative. The secret of its success? Masterful prose, just free-form enough to imitate the whirligig of thought."
Buy Cleaver by Tim Parks
The Guardian review by James Hamilton-Paterson

The Observer review by Oscar Turner

The Telegraph review by Daniel Swift

The Independent review

Seattle Times review by Michael Upchurch

New York Times review by James Parker

Tim Parks
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