Sex is forbidden at the Dasgupta Institute. So what is the sparkling, magnetically attractive Beth Marriot doing here? Why is a young woman whose irrepressible vitality and confident ego were once set on conquest and stardom, now spending month after month serving in the vegetarian kitchen of a bizarrely severe Buddhist retreat? Beth is fighting demons: a catastrophic series of events has undermined all prospect of happiness. Trauma leaves her no alternative but to bury herself in the austere asceticism of a community that wakes at 4am, doesn't permit eye contact, let alone speech, and keeps men and women strictly segregated. But the curious self dies hard. Conflicted and wayward, Beth stumbles on a diary and cannot keep away from it, or the man who wrote it. And the more she yearns for the purity of the retreat's silent priestess, the more she desires the priestess herself. "The Server" sets western individualism against the Buddhist belief that what we call 'self' is insubstantial fantasy. Unsure of anything but pain and pleasure, Beth's constant invention and destruction of herself and the people around her is both riveting and highly entertaining.
"It's a cracker - clever, funny and insightful, with complicated, conflicted and totally convincing Beth at its heart" Daily Mail "Parks writes with detachment, wit and intelligence, and the troubled voice of Beth is entirely convincing" -- Kate Saunders The Times "An eminently readable and thought-provoking novel that teases you to the last page, and possibly beyond" Spectator "Engaging, persistent, lyrical and entertaining" Independent "Excellent. at once comic and gently moving" -- David Evans Financial Times
Number Of Pages: 288
Published: 10th May 2012
Dimensions (cm): 22.2 x 14.6 x 2.9
Weight (kg): 0.47