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Adam Thorpe's finest novel since ULVERTON- and his most commercial

NO TELLING, Adam Thorpe's fifth novel, is set in 1968 in the Parisian suburbs and narrated by twelve- year- old Gilles as he approaches his First Communion, puberty, and some sense of the chaos around him. His home is deeply dysfunctional: a dithering mother, a hard- drinking, womanising uncle who becomes his stepfather, and an older sister, Carole- an unbalanced revolutionary who hasn't danced her ballet steps since the death of their real father in 1960. Gilles is blithely unaware that any of this is out of the ordinary, as he and his friend Christophe try and piece together a world from fragments of rumour and hushed adult conversation. There is a deeper trauma here, however, far more shocking than anything Gilles could have dreamt of- a mystery it will take the events of the novel and eight years to resolve. Set against a backdrop of a turbulent France- as it lurches from rural piety, and a hundred years of terrible history, to a hurried modernity- Adam Thorpe has written a tour- de- force of compassion, humour and storytelling brilliance, seen through the eyes of an adolescent boy. Culminating in the Paris riots of May '68, NO TELLING is a thrilling and beautifully observed study of a boy's bewildered innocence and slowly dawning understanding in a world of open revolt and buried secrets.


From its first page, you're aware that you are in the presence of a writer with exceptional gifts...by the final one, you know he has created a masterpiece

Sunday Times

Prodigiously rich and allusive... In Adam Thorpe, English lives again

John Fowles

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Formats & editions

  • EBook


    February 1, 2011

    Vintage Digital

    528 pages

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  • No Telling
    Adam Thorpe



    July 1, 2004


    528 pages

    RRP $19.99

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