‘Brilliant… rivetingly entertaining… a masterly Grimm’s fairy tale for adults. There are enough twists and turns for a dozen ordinary novels.’ – The Daily Telegraph
In the bitter spring of 1948, an Englishman walks across Soviet Germany, against a tide of refugees, searching for the woman he fell in love with before the war…
He will become a lord of the underworld in a country rising from the ashes, where confidence is fast becoming a national trick, and where no one is who they claim to be.
For Richard Thurgo, a man eager to reinvent himself, it is heaven on earth.
Richard is presumed to be dead and buried.
But to be exact, a pair of feet are dead and buried – they alone remained intact, beneath the wreckage of a crashed and burnt-out jeep.
Richard is alive and ready to embrace a new identity.
Faking his own death, Richard adopts a new name and career on the Reeperbahn, Hamburg’s busy red-light district.
As Germany prospers in the fifties and sixties so does Richard, now an influential figure in the underworld, but two threats continue to hang over him — his own discarded identity and that of Germany’s.
Set in England and Germany around the time of the Second World War, Richard’s Feet is a magnificent story of intrigue and obsession. It follows the adventures of an unscrupulous Englishman whose formative experiences in the Germany of the thirties, both erotic and political, draw him back there after the war.
Winner of the 1990 UK Society of Writers’ Encore Award and long-listed for the Booker Prize, Richard’s Feet is the first in the The Heart Beneath Quartet.The second and third books are Cley and Egon.
Praise for Richard’s Feet
“A work of near-demonic beauty, antic imagination and universal resonance – in short, the calling card of a major talent.” – The San Francisco Chronicle
‘A darkly comic vision of the new Europe, entirely original. Massive feats of scale and formal ingenuity…what holds the complex structure together, confirming Harrison’s skill in the serious handling of comedy, is the grip exerted by the characters. They grab you and hold on to the end.’ – The Guardian
‘For verbal opulence and elegance of linguistic design, a wondrous thing.’ – The Independent
‘Holds the reader spellbound through his insinuating voice, his exultant love of language and sheer storytelling power. In its surprise twists and turns, this astonishing, affecting, rich novel mirrors the dislocation of our century’ – Publishers Weekly
‘As the auspicious opening of a planned tetralogy, it suggests the completed work may be as thorough an examination of the postwar European consciousness as Mann’s The Magic Mountain was of its era.’ – Library Journal
‘Bawdy, turbulent, rise with fiendish beauty’ – The Atlanta Journal-Constitution
‘A hypnotic novel, very clever, very imaginative, a breathtaking attempt to get a handle on the entire human condition’ – The Mail on Sunday
‘This is a bold and impressive book. Carey Harrison confronts the moral turbulence of the 1930s with an integrity that disturbs and chastens’ – Rose Tremain
‘Richard’s Feet is a wonderful and deftly told adventure which compels the reader’s participation from the first page to the last. It is a sharing of intrigue and mystery told with astonishing narrative power.’ – Bernice Rubens
Carey Harrison was born in Britain and raised in the United States where he has spent the majority of his working life. He began as a stage playwright, completing 42 plays for the stage and forty plays for BBC radio. He is also an actor, teach and novelist and was described in the Dublin Evening News as ‘one of the most accomplished writers of our time’. He lives in Woodstock, New York.