Lord Jim at Home
by Dinah Brooke
‘There is a lot of pain in Lord Jim at Home. And a lot of humour . . . If it weren’t such a pleasure to read, I’d say that Lord Jim at Home – read by a novelist, like me – was an instrument of torture. It’s that good . . . It is an accurate portrayal of how fucked-up people behave, artfully conveyed in a way that nice people are too polite to admit they understand.’ Ottessa Moshfegh, from the Foreword
Giles Trenchard is born into privilege – and an atmosphere of hidden violence and isolation. Wholly unloved, he is shipped off to one boarding school after another. Always hoping to live up to his family’s expectations he joins the Navy on the outbreak of war . The camaraderie of life offer him some semblance of purpose and contentment. Yet on his return from war, he finds himself adrift and one day – like the hero of Joseph Conrad’s classic Lord Jim – he commits an act so shocking that it calls his past, his character and his whole world into question.
When Dinah Brooke’s Lord Jim at Home was first published in 1973 it was described as ‘squalid and startling’, and ‘nastily horrific’ and ‘a monstrous parody’ of the upper-middle class. It reveals Brooke to be a daring writer long overdue for reappraisal, whose work has retained all its originality and power. Seething with cruelty and darkness, this strange, compelling novel is as unforgettable as it is unnerving.