For some time now, I have been plagued, perhaps blessed, by dreams of rivers and seas, dreams of water.
Just days after controversial anthropologist Albert James writes these elusive lines to his son John, he is dead. Abandoning his girlfriend in London, John flies to Delhi to join his mother in mourning. But the nature of his father's research and the circumstances of his death are far from clear and, on top of this, John must confront his mother's coolness, and the strangeness of the cremation ceremony that she has organised for his father.
No sooner is the body consigned to the flames than a journalist arrives, determined to write a biography of the dead man, and though his mother will have nothing to do with the project, she cannot keep away from the journalist.
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The originality, power and sheer prolificacy of Parks's production makes the work of his British contemporaries appear trite... His prose can be sparse and lucid, or almost manically convoluted, although beyond the fierce and questioning intelligence are both humour and artfully constructed and invariably gripping plots... In other words it's a big, easily readable book - though with a solidly intellectual core - more than ripe for big prizes - Independent on Sunday
A brave book...he shows with this novel, he intimately understands the Western condition, its complexity and fragility - Evening Standard
Enormously powerful... fiercely intelligent... a gripping and ambiguous novel - The Times
A rapidly unfolding mystery that hints at suicide, murder and madness, and builds to a wrenching climax... haunting and accomplished... The finale is unexpected and terrifying - Guardian
In the tradition of British writing about India, this novel is a rich, unexpected variation, and a considerable addition - Financial Times
This is a brilliant evocation of the teeming back streets and bazaars of Delhi and the gulf between Indian life and western logic - Eve
With his constant switching of viewpoint, tense and emphasis, Parks, an extremely skilful storyteller, makes sure the novel's intensity never falters - Irish Times
An engaging story - Times Literary Supplement
This probably won't get within a bull's roar of the Booker shortlist. It should.The complexities of Dreams of Rivers and Seas are not the product of contrivance, but simply those of experience - Sunday Herald
A love story (or rather several love stories), an oblique and engrossing mystery, but above all a story about language and its limitations - Sunday Telegraph
Ambitious and compelling - Sunday Times
In his latest novel, Parks demonstrates a seemingly effortless mastery of biochemistry...a fast paced thriller with sex and relationships at its heart - The Guardian Saturday Review
Entirely convincing. He is a highly skilful writer and this is an absorbing story - Sunday Times
Parks competently handles the themes of secrecy and communication - Telegraph
Born in Manchester, Tim Parks grew up in London and studied at Cambridge and Harvard. In 1981 he moved to Italy where he has lived ever since. He is the author of novels, non-fiction and essays, including Europa, Cleaver, A Season with Verona and Teach Us to Sit Still. He has won the Somerset Maugham, Betty Trask and Llewellyn Rhys awards, and been shortlisted for the Booker Prize. He lectures on literary translation in Milan, writes for publications such as the New Yorker and the New York Review of Books, and his many translations from the Italian include works by Moravia, Calvino, Calasso, Tabucchi and Machiavelli.