‘The best novel I have read for ages. My heart was constantly in my throat as I read . . . There is so much to enjoy, to contemplate, to wonder at, and to be lost in’ Stephen Fry’Meticulous and atmospheric . . . delicious unease and pervasive threat give this assured first novel great singularity and a kind of gothic edge’ Michael Donkor, GuardianCambridge, 1994. Professor Don Lamb is a revered art historian at the height of his powers, consumed by the book he is writing about the skies of the Venetian master Tiepolo. However, his academic brilliance belies a deep inexperience of life and love. When an explosive piece of contemporary art is installed on the lawn of his college, it sets in motion Don’s abrupt departure from Cambridge to take up a role at a south London museum. There he befriends Ben, a young artist who draws him into the anarchic 1990s British art scene and the nightlife of Soho. Over the course of one long, hot summer, Don glimpses a liberating new existence. But his epiphany is also a moment of self-reckoning, as his oldest friendship – and his own unexamined past – are revealed to him in a devastating new light. As Don’s life unravels, he suffers a fall from grace that shatters his world into pieces.
‘A novel that combines formal elegance with gripping storytelling . . . wildly enjoyable’ Financial Times’Tiepolo Blue really has blown me away . . . The last debut novel I read that had this much talent buzzing around inside it was Alan Hollinghurst’s The Swimming-Pool Library.’ Robert Douglas-Fairhurst