Tremor Of Intent by Anthony Burgess soon to be presented for sale on the first-class BookLovers of Bath web site!
Published: William Heinemann, 1966, Hardback in dust wrapper.
From the cover: Readers can take Anthony Burgesss new novel on any level they like as a Secret Service entertainment gone wild (even with fashionable bits of James Bond debunking), as a serious study of the reasons why men defect from the West to Russia, as an examination of the morality of espionage, as sex, as violence, as fantasy, as comedy, as a Chinese box full of surprises. On the surface you have the story of the last mission of Hillier, a British agent stationed in Yugoslavia and sent with the bribe of a retirement bonus to bring back to England his school friend Roper, who has become one of the scientific brains of the Soviet Union. A luxury cruise ship gives him more than his fill of sex and gluttony, as well as violence and treachery, but it also brings him love. In a Black Sea port come the hair-raising surprises, a bolus of treachery and killing which only the strongest stomach can keep down. And then, in Istanbul, we have the pay-off with Mr. Theodorescu, international secret information monger.
Beneath the surface a tricky and daring theological thesis is offered -that we may justly serve either God or the Devil but must not (unless we wish to qualify for Hell) serve ourselves. The final surprise of the book, reserved for the last two pages, links all levels of the novel.
Mr. Burgess has contrived some astonishing characters the scientist Roper and his prostitute-wife from Germany; Wriste the steward; the precocious boy Alan Walters, his sex-in-the-head-mad sister Clara; Miss Devi, whose knowledge of love comes not from the Kama sutra but from a more fundamental treatise called Pokam, known to the Tamils but not to the West; the gigantic Mr. Theodorescu, her boss. It is a glorious feast of action and language and, if we can pause long enough to laugh, gorgeously funny.
Very Good in Very Good Dust Wrapper. A little rubbing to the edges of the dust wrapper. Leans a touch. Edges of the text block lightly tanned. Tanning to the blanks and pastedowns. Pages lightly age-tanned, a little more heavily so at the margins. A nice copy.
Black boards with Gilt titling to the Spine. 240 pages. 8″ x 5¼”.