William Boyd

  • Best Selling Author and Screenwriter

William Boyd is the author of sixteen novels, including A Good Man in Africa,  winner of the Whitbread Literary Award and the Somerset Maugham Award; An Ice Cream War, winner of the John Llewellyn Rhys Prize and shortlisted for the Booker prize; Any Human Heart, winner of the Prix Jean Monnet; and Restless, winner of the Costa Novel of the Year, the Yorkshire Post Novel of the Year and a Richard & Judy selection. William Boyd’s new novel TRIO is to be published on 8th October 2020.

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William Boyd interviewed by Tamsin Greig talking about his 16th novel Trio.

Trio review from the Sunday Times.

‘Trio is about double lives. Three characters are central to it: Talbot Kydd, a middle-aged film producer; Elfrida Wing, a novelist with writer’s block; and Anny Viklund, a glamorous young actress. What brings them together is the making of a film in Brighton in high summer 1968.

The late 1960s have been enjoying something of a literary vogue this year: vibrantly chronicled in Craig Brown’s Beatles biography, One Two Three Four; gaudily resurrected in David Mitchell’s novel Utopia Avenue. Trio’s return to the period has a triple motive: to let the sunshine in again on its psychedelic euphoria, to highlight its political hinterland, and to spotlight gay liberation after the 1967 Sexual Offences Act.’

William Boyd’s new novel, Trio is out now.

This exhilarating and tender novel set in the summer of 1968 asks: what makes life worth living? And what do you do if you find it isn’t?

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Trio

A producer. A novelist. An actress. 

It is summer in 1968, the year of the assassinations of Martin Luther King and Robert Kennedy. While the world is reeling our trio is involved in making a rackety Swingin’ Sixties British movie in sunny Brighton. All are leading secret lives.

 

As the film is shot, with its usual drastic ups and downs, so does our trio’s private, secret world begin to take over their public one. Pressures build inexorably – someone’s going to crack. Or maybe they all will.

 

From one of Britain’s bestselling and best loved writers comes an exhilarating, tender novel that asks the vital questions: what makes life worth living? And what do you do if you find it isn’t?

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The Dreams of Bethany Mellmoth

A philandering art dealer tries to give up casual love affairs – seeking only passionate kisses as a substitute. A man recounts his personal history through the things he has stolen from others throughout his life. A couple chart the journey of their five year relationship backwards, from awkward reunion to lovelorn first encounter. And, at the heart of the book, a 24-year old young woman, Bethany Mellmoth, embarks on a year-long journey of wishful and tentative self-discovery.

The Dreams of Bethany Mellmoth depicts the random encounters that bring the past bubbling to the surface; the impulsive decisions that irrevocably shape a life; and the endless hesitations and loss-of-nerve that wickedly complicate it. These funny, surprising and moving stories are a resounding confirmation of Boyd’s powers as one of our most original and compelling storytellers.

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Love is Blind

When Brodie is offered a job in Paris, he seizes the chance to flee Edinburgh and his tyrannical clergyman father, and begin a wildly different new chapter in his life. In Paris, a fateful encounter with a famous pianist irrevocably changes his future – and sparks an obsessive love affair with a beautiful Russian soprano, Lika Blum. Moving from Paris to St Petersburg to Edinburgh and back again, Brodie’s love for Lika and its dangerous consequences pursue him around Europe and beyond, during an era of overwhelming change as the nineteenth century becomes the twentieth.

Love is Blind is a tale of dizzying passion and brutal revenge; of artistic endeavour and the illusions it creates; of all the possibilities that life can offer, and how cruelly they can be snatched away. At once an intimate portrait of one man’s life and an expansive exploration of the beginning of the twentieth century.

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Waiting For Sunrise

Vienna. 1913. It is a fine day in August when Lysander Rief, a young English actor, walks through the city to his first appointment with the eminent psychiatrist, Dr. Bensimon. Sitting in the waiting room he is anxiously pondering the nature of his problem when an extraordinary woman enters. She is clearly in distress, but Lysander is immediately drawn to her strange, hazel eyes and her unusual, intense beauty.

Later the same day they meet again, and a more composed Hettie Bull introduces herself as an artist and sculptor, and invites Lysander to a party hosted by her lover, the famous painter Udo Hoff. Compelled to attend and unable to resist her electric charm, they begin a passionate love affair. Life in Vienna becomes tinged with the frisson of excitement for Lysander. He meets Sigmund Freud in a café, begins to write a journal, enjoys secret trysts with Hettie and appears to have been cured.

London, 1914. War is stirring, and events in Vienna have caught up with Lysander. Unable to live an ordinary life, he is plunged into the dangerous theatre of wartime intelligence – a world of sex, scandal and spies, where lines of truth and deception blur with every waking day. Lysander must now discover the key to a secret code which is threatening Britain’s safety, and use all his skills to keep the murky world of suspicion and betrayal from invading every corner of his life.

Moving from Vienna to London’s west end, the battlefields of France and hotel rooms in Geneva,Waiting for Sunrise is a feverish and mesmerising journey into the human psyche, a beautifully observed portrait of wartime Europe, a plot-twisting thriller and a literary tour de force from the bestselling author of Any Human HeartRestless and Ordinary Thunderstorms.

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Solo

Spanning three continents, Bond’s new mission takes an unexpected turn whilst in Africa, forcing him to go ‘solo’ on a trip to America. Boyd comments on his choice of title: ‘In my novel, events conspire to make Bond go off on a self-appointed mission of his own, unannounced and without any authorization – and he’s fully prepared to take the consequences of his audacity.’

In Solo, Boyd returns to classic, literary Bond: James Bond the human being, not James Bond the superagent. Whilst naturally there will be cocktails, cars and women, Boyd will reveal the man behind the icon, from his emotions, quirks and flaws, to his sartorial taste.

Combining all the glamour and excitement of Ian Fleming’s original novels with the masterful storytelling of William Boyd, Solo is a stylish, period novel featuring 007 as a veteran agent at 45. In true Bond style the plot remains under wraps until publication on 26 September 2013.

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