Futility: A Novel (Neversink) by William Gerhardie

By William Gerhardie

Hailed by way of his well-known contemporaries together with Edith Wharton, H.G. Wells, Katherine Mansfield, Graham Greene, and Evelyn Waugh, who known as him a "genius," William Gerhardie is among the 20th century's forgotten masters, and his wonderful comedy Futility one of many century's overlooked masterpieces.

It tells the tale of somebody similar to Gerhardie himself: a tender Englishman raised in Russia who returns to St. Petersburg and falls in love with the daughter of a hilariously dysfunctional family--all performed out with the armies of the Russian Revolution marching from side to side open air the parlor window.

Part British romantic comedy, half Russian social realism, and with a wide forged of memorable characters, this astoundingly humorous and poignant novel is the story of individuals persisting in love and wish regardless of the chances.

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Additional info for Futility: A Novel (Neversink)

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A capital idea,” he replied. And so we did. THREE Oh! these architects! how I detest them for the mischief they have done. I should like to cut off their hands. —Further Reminiscences � ^ » It rained all that night, a quiet, steady rhythm that soothed me into a sleep so sound that, although I woke briefly in the early morning to the click and murmur of hot water pushing its way through cold radiator pipes, I went back to sleep, and did not wake fully until nearly eight o’clock. Finding to my satisfaction that the dawn noises had not been an hallucination, I bathed and dressed—in trousers, despite my host’s sensibilities—and put up my hair, before making my way downstairs.

My grandfather brought the two names together at the end of the eighteenth century when he, a Baring, inherited Lew. After my birth we lived a few miles north of here, in Bratton Clovelly, but my father, who was an Indian Army officer invalided home, did not like living in one place for long, so when I was three years old he packed us and the family silver into a carriage and left for Europe. My entire childhood was spent moving from one city to another, pausing only long enough for the post to catch us up.

The carriage drives at midnight from the ancestral house near Tavistock up to Okehampton castle for Lady Howard to pluck one blade of grass—” “The hound plucks it,” Baring-Gould sternly corrected him. ” objected Holmes. ” “But a hound—” “Holmes,” I interrupted. “Oh very well, the hound plucks the grass, and not until every blade is plucked—or bitten—can Lady Howard be free to take her rest. It’s a popular story, with songs and such, that by the way probably gave Stapleton the idea for his personal variation on the so-called Baskerville hound—which does not, in the legend, actually glow.

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