The Good Apprentice (Classic, 20th-Century, Penguin)
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Edward Baltram is overwhelmed with guilt. His nasty little prank has gone horribly wrong: He has fed his closest friend a sandwich laced with a hallucinogenic drug and the young man has fallen out of a window to his death. Edward searches for redemption through a reunion with his famous father, the reclusive painter Jesse Baltram. Funny and compelling, The Good Apprentice is at once a supremely sophisticated entertainment and an inquiry into the spiritual crises that afflict the modern world.
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expecting it to be locked, but it opened and he went into the large downstairs ‘exhibition room’ where there was a subdued but very lucid light. The room was intensely quiet. He was about to call out again when he saw that two people were standing on the other side of it gazing at him, Bettina and Mother May. The canvases had been moved about, some propped against the wall. ‘Hello, Edward,’ said Mother May, ‘we’re checking our catalogue of the pictures. You’re just in time to help us. Are you
want academic studies now, I want to start from scratch.’ ‘Not an easy place to get to. You’re sure it isn’t sour grapes, because you can’t go on being a star?’ ‘I’m not a star.’ ‘You got a brilliant first in maths.’ ‘Yes, but anybody can. I mean if you can think in a certain kind of way at a certain moment you’re bound to get a first, it’s not like other subjects. But that doesn’t mean you can do anything else or anything further, even Newton was done for at twenty-four. All that’s a red
the unrolling of a celestial scroll upon the last day on the angel’s trumpet. Well, it’s that moment in all of our life now, it’s our time, to change our being, to transmute it all into everlasting happiness and pure joy, our metamorphosis, like the substantial change of the bread and the wine. The bell will ring for us, my darling, the heavens will open for us – It’s all so close now, it’s just an inch away.’ ‘Harry, you do love me, don’t you, you will love me always, it’s not just an adventure
above the sheet, were bare, his arms white and hairy, his shoulders white and hairless. His eyes now looking entirely round, were protruding, showing, it seemed, almost the whole of the orb, as if it were lightly resting upon the surface of the face. But these were not seeing eyes, or if seeing certainly seeing what was elsewhere. They were glazed, seeming a little crackled. Jesse’s arms were stretched out relaxed upon the coverlet, the hands close, the fingers almost touching. Mother May took
of invisibility he saw, sitting upon a pendant branch, a bird, a kingfisher. At that moment the kingfisher flew again, very fast, skirting the sandy bank and dipping like a little dart into the stiller water where the river turned; then coming back to his perch on the tree. Edward could see the bird’s strong beak and the fish which was instantly gulped down. He sat still watching the motionless kingfisher upon which the sun was shining, the small bird with its vivid blue wings and soft