'I really did have an empire, you know,' said Dunbar. 'Have I ever told you the story of how it was stolen from me?'
Henry Dunbar, the once all-powerful head of a global corporation, is not having a good day. In his dotage he hands over care of the corporation to his two eldest daughters, Abby and Megan, but as relations sour he starts to doubt the wisdom of past decisions...
Now imprisoned in a care home in the Lake District with only a demented alcoholic comedian as company, Dunbar starts planning his escape. As he flees into the hills, his family is hot on his heels. But who will find him first, his beloved youngest daughter, Florence, or the tigresses Abby and Megan, so keen to divest him of his estate?
Edward St Aubyn is renowned for his masterwork, the five Melrose novels, which dissect with savage and beautiful precision the agonies of family life. His take on King Lear, Shakespeare's most devastating family story, is an excoriating novel for and of our times - an examination of power, money and the value of forgiveness.
About the Author
Edward St Aubyn was born in London. His superbly acclaimed Patrick Melrose novels are Never Mind, which won a Betty Trask Award, Bad News, Some Hope, Mother's Milk, which won the Prix Femina étranger and was shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize, and At Last. He is also the author of the novels A Clue to the Exit, On the Edge, which was shortlisted for the Guardian Fiction Prize and Lost for Words, which won the Bollinger Everyman Wodehouse Prize.
"St Aubyn has a natural talent for keeping you on the edge of your seat... His prose has an easy charm that masks a ferocious, searching intellect" * The Times *
"Malevolently enjoyable... A fable of fatherly neglect and daughterly cruelty" * Financial Times *
"Deeply affecting...and funny" * Observer *
"Powerful... Entertaining" * Spectator *
"Of all the novelist and play matches in the Hogarth Shakespeare series, that of Edward St Aubyn with King Lear seems the finest. Shakespeare's blackest, most surreal and hectic tragedy sharpened by one of our blackest, more surreal and hectic wits... It's an enticing prospect... His Lear is Henry Dunbar, the head of an international media corporation - like Conrad Black or Rupert Murdoch - and is brilliantly awful... The other characters, even minor ones, are also wittily and cleverly updated" -- Kate Clanchy * Guardian *