RIFers and critics both raved about Lawrence Osborne's novel The Forgiven, which was selected by The Economist, The Guardian, and Library Journal as one of the best books of 2012. Osborne's new novel - The Ballad of a Small Player - is the riveting tale of risk and obsession set in the alluring world of Macau’s casinos.
If you’re a fan of Graham Greene, Paul Bowles and Evelyn Waugh, eerie suspense and rich atmosphere, you’ll enjoy The Ballad of a Small Player.
It tells the story of Doyle, a corrupt English lawyer who has escaped prosecution by fleeing to the East, spending his nights drinking and gambling and his days sleeping off his excesses, continually haunted by his past.
In a moment of crisis he meets Dao-Ming, an enigmatic Chinese woman who appears to be a denizen of the casinos just like himself, and seems to offer him salvation in the form of both money and love. But as Doyle attempts to make a rare and true connection, all that he accepts as reality seems to be slipping from his grasp.
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Here’s what reviewers – and your fellow RIFers – had to say about Lawrence Osborne’s novel The Forgiven. Their reviews make us eager to read his latest! Osborne is a master of atmosphere and stylish psychological portraits of dark, complex characters.
“This book seemed like a Moroccan Bonfire of the Vanities to me . . . . It was scary to see the depiction of barely under-the-surface hatred of ‘infidels’ by the local population as well as the callousness of most of the Westerners in the story. I flew through the book despite its darkness and found it something of a cautionary tale.”
~RIFer Lori on Goodreads
“A sinister and streamlined entertainment in the tradition of Paul Bowles, Evelyn Waugh and the early Ian McEwan . . . . This is a lean book that moves like a panther.”
~New York Times
“Osborne writes mercilessly, savagely well. He excavates his characters.”
~The Daily Mail
“There’s a strong, almost old-fashioned moral force at work in Osborne’s novel.”
~The London Sunday Times
“This is novel which to my mind is ‘old school’ in the way it is written. Thought-provoking and very readable.”
~RIFer Wade on Goodreads
Congrats to Kimberly S., Cole M., Johannah B., David J., Cynthia P., and 95 other members of the Read It Forward community! Their entries were selected at random to win a paperback copy of The Ballad of a Small Player by Lawrence Osborne.
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About the Author
LAWRENCE OSBORNE is the author of one previous novel, Ania Malina, and six books of nonfiction, including the memoirBangkok Days. His journalism and short stories have appeared in the New York Times Magazine, the New Yorker, Newsweek, Forbes, Tin House, Harper’s, Conde Nast Traveler, and many other publications. Osborne has led a nomadic life, residing for years in France, Italy, Morocco, the United States, Mexico, and Thailand. He currently lives in Istanbul.