Sunday, November 04, 2012

Reading Report: Skios

Written by Michael Frayn
Metropolitan Books / Henry Holt & Company, 2012
272 pages

Description from the publisher:
On the private Greek island of Skios, the high-paying guests of a world-renowned foundation prepare for the annual keynote address, to be given this year by Dr. Norman Wilfred, an eminent authority on the scientific organization of science. He turns out to be surprisingly youthful, handsome, and charming—quite unlike his reputation as dry and intimidating. Everyone is soon eating out of his hands. So, even sooner, is Nikki, the foundation's attractive and efficient organizer. 

Meanwhile, in a remote villa at the other end of the island, Nikki's old friend Georgie has rashly agreed to spend a furtive horizontal weekend with a notorious schemer, who has characteristically failed to turn up. Trapped there with her instead is a pompous, balding individual called Dr. Norman Wilfred, who has lost his whereabouts, his luggage, his temper, and increasingly all sense of reality—indeed, everything he possesses other than the text of a well-traveled lecture on the scientific organization of science. 

In a spiraling farce about upright academics, gilded captains of industry, ambitious climbers, and dotty philanthropists, Michael Frayn...tells a story of personal and professional disintegration, probing his eternal theme of how we know what we know even as he delivers us to the outer limits of hilarity. 
My Thoughts:

Delicious British farce by one of the masters of the genre. I think Frayn is probably one of those writers you either thoroughly love or thoroughly can't take -- I've loved everything by him that I've read (or seen). As other reviewers have already pointed out, Skios reads like the screenplay it most likely is destined to become. Very funny and enjoyable if you don't mind suspending all your disbelief and just going with the flow. I had fun with this one.

Rating: 4 marks out of 5

Note: My copy of this book was provided by the publisher, free of charge, through Library Thing's Early Reviewer Program. No other compensation was received, and no one attempted to influence my opinion.


  1. Hi I just stumbled across your blog and I see that we have similar reading tastes, so I am now your newest follower. I would love for you to stop by my blog and check it out. I really hope to see you there and happy reading!


  2. I'm going to pick this up when it's out in paperback. Looks like fun :)

  3. You liked this more than me...I just did not find it amusing.


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