Books by Eleanor Berry
The Maniac in Room 14
This is a robust, ambitious comedy throughout, and describes bitter rivalry and acrimony between three overtly sensitive, competitive writers, living at close quarters in the same house.Edward Flinton is a former Oxford don who makes a fool of himself while lecturing students and flees the city of learning, like a comic victim of voodoo, inflicted on him by his catty colleagues.Embarrassed by his buffoonery, he never recovers. He has two sons, Charles, the oldest, and Joshua, his favourite. He takes out his former humiliation on Charles and is cruel and dismissive about his writing. His treatment of Joshua goes to the other extreme. He indulges, dotes on and spoils the younger boy and is complimentary about his outrageously raunchy prose. His unvarying flattery causes the boy to be despised by his hurt, jealous brother.The reader is dumbfounded by a sudden, shocking twist in events, some time before Joshua goes insane, when he falls in love with one of his female characters. His heart is broken because he knows she isn"t real.His dramatically increasing insanity and nutty behaviour is described, not with sadness, but side-splitting humour.
For Elisa Segrave who has bestowed more goodwill on me than I have deserved
- Eleanor Berry