Cuts: A Very Short Novel - Malcolm BradburyHutchinson, 1987, Hardback in Dust Wrapper.
Condition: Very Good+ — in Very Good+ Dust Wrapper.
From the cover: “It is the summer of 1986, and in the newspapers and on television ‘cut’ is the commonest noun and the most regular verb. And up in the North of England two kinds of cuts are going on. They are cut-cut-cutting at the small provincial university where Henry Babbacombe, a much-ignored writer, does some teaching. And in the great glass tower of Eldorado Television, one of the smaller but more flamboyant of the programme companies, they are getting ready to make, cut and edit a major television series that will out-Bride Brideshead, and make The Jewel in the Crown look like a drop in the ocean.
Playing on the word ‘cuts’ as he did on ‘exchange’ in Rates of Exchange, Bradbury constructs a witty, abrasive vision of life in mid-1980’s Tory Britain, and its entrepreneurial heroes and heroines — Babbacombe himself, academic turned tyro script-writer; the irascible Lord Mellow, Head of Eldorado, who knows how to make Art lie down with Commerce; Cynthia Hyde-Lemon, the very active Head of Productions; and Jocelyn Pride, Head of Drama, a youth of middle years, whose one mistake it has been to suggest a Gladstone series. There is also a fine cameo part for the great thespian knight Sir Luke Trimingham.
Cuts — A Very Short Novel is Bradbury’s first venture into the novella form, and the characterisation has sharper focus than his other fiction. The story’s force comes from the typical Bradbury mixture of alarming humour and coruscating observation. There is also a rage in the book, about what has happened to Britain socially and artistically. When the laughs fade away, we are left with the discomfort of a bitter satirical farce, and a new tone in Bradbury’s writing.”