The Underground Man
Short-listed for the 1997 Booker Prize -- a haunting old novel from an superb new British talent
Victorian England's most famed eccentric, the Duke of Portland used to be well known for either his huge, immense wealth and for the frilly sequence of tunnels he had outfitted underneath his big property. The Duke, who's a fountain of nineteenth-century wisdom and interest, faithfully files in his magazine the occasions that make up his days. His study extends into the fields of chiropractic medication, and the learn of auras, archaeology, and phrenology in a sequence of hilarious episodes that echo the hot Age exploits of our personal period whereas revealing the Duke to be a real naif: splendidly humane, painfully shy, and untouched through the ability his nice wealth presents him.
As the Duke's enthusiasms progressively flip inward to the operating of the brain and reminiscence, he slowly slips into insanity. The ordinary finish of his trip of self-discovery offers The Underground guy its scary and unforgettable climax. an excellent comedian and tragic production, Mick Jackson's Duke of Portland is likely one of the such a lot memorable and heartbreaking characters to emerge from contemporary fiction.
"A terrific learn of human foibles". -- the recent York instances ebook Review
"Ingenious ... Jackson's portrait, throughout the Duke's eyes, of an age poised among credulity and technological know-how is wise and fascinating". -- Kirkus Reviews
Afternoon could do me the ability of fine. It happened to me, now not for the 1st time, that maybe the fall air is undesirable for me. So i made a decision to stroll to Creswell, as I had initially deliberate to the previous day, yet to take action underground. I forwent the lime frock coat for a light-coloured paletot and took a fur muff rather than gloves. another way i used to be dressed a lot almost like the day before today while, round o’clock, I trigger down the Western tunnel. The trainer rode twenty yards in the back of me, with either Grimshaw and.
and started to suppose for the 1st time in lots of weeks that I had positioned a quiet nook during which to meditate. the area used to be slowing-up so much pleasingly. Then Conner all at once yanked my head eastward with such terrific energy and violence that an almighty crack went bouncing among the room’s naked partitions. i used to be completely horrified, now not least simply because I feared my head had simply been pulled fresh off my neck. I feared additionally that a few small yet very important bones had simply been rendered dead. I pictured.
To believe that this tiny strand helped make up my father’s final smoke. occasionally i feel i'm not anything yet a silly previous guy, for this night whilst it was once darkish and the hearth roared within the grate I took a twist of a few new tobacco blend (which claims to be helpful for the guts and lungs) and crammed up that briar pipe. I took care to maintain in position the traditional string of tobacco and, after tamping and tucking the bowl of the pipe within the manner I fancied a smoker may possibly, I lit her up. With an outdated coat.
Taken over by way of a really irrational yet profoundly-rooted worry. without notice, I grew to become totally confident that i used to be approximately to be bring to an end from my important circle of sunshine. immediately my breath quickened to the pant of an exhausted puppy, my middle pounding frantically on the partitions of my chest. a few forthcoming rockfall used to be approximately to chop us off. a few faceless adversary was once plotting to close us in. an analogous lousy worry possessed me which I had felt as I entered the Oakleys’ lounge, yet I had now not now.
And blues. Pictured her completely in her cottage, all these miles away. Sounds which had formerly concealed from my ears now shyly make themselves identified. This morning I heard a tender boy whistling as he strolled alongside a lane. The tune danced one of the hedgerows ahead of winging its method to me. I pay attention a maid down within the laundry, asking how a lot starch she may still upload to the water. listen a tender lady knocking on a neighbour’s door and asking if her buddy might pop out to play. yet what got here creeping in.