A Clue To The Exit by Edward St Aubyn - review by Andrew Biswell

Andrew Biswell

Fair Question

A Clue To The Exit


Chatto & Windus 197pp £12.99 order from our bookshop

This is a first-person, mock-confessional novel, the autobiography of Charlie Fairburn, a successful screenwriter who is given a few months to live by his doctors. He decides that he must write something worth while, a novel that will be his legacy to the world. Leaving his daughter and ex-wife behind, he sells his house and takes the money to Monte Carlo, where he tries to gamble away millions of francs in the odd moments when he is not working on his literary masterpiece – which is set on a train, and is to be called On the Train.

In a casino, Charlie meets Angelique, a gambling addict who cannot stop herself jumping into bed with him. The only possible explanation is that she is mysteriously turned on by male self-pity, as is often the case with heroines in this sort of book. Charlie and Angelique are soon at

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