Paul Levy

Novel Rumours

Tempting Fate

By Michael Levey

Hamish Hamilton 220pp £7.95 order from our bookshop


By Shirley Conran

Sidgwick & Jackson 608pp £7.95 order from our bookshop

Sir Michael Levey and Shirley Conran have very little in common, except that they have both just published first novels, and that each was better known before for literary work of a non-fictional nature. Tempting Fate, it would be tempting to say, is a novel of adolescence, a sort of British, Eighties Catcher in the Rye, with a sting in its sodomitical tale. It is slight, but artful. It is, perhaps, not exactly what one expected from the pen of the Director of the National Gallery – it certainly owes nothing to his previously published work – but the story, and the manner of its telling, has a dandyish elegance not unworthy of the husband of the more established novelist, Brigid Brophy. Lady Levey’s husband also did his own, perfectly competent drawing for the mildly suggestive dust-jacket.

Royal Shakespeare Company


Follow Literary Review on Twitter

  • Last Tweets

    • In all seriousness: good for them. Our bulbous award gets a bad rap every year; delighted for ER to give something else a go.,
    • Don't me ,
    • RT : Never got round to posting this - my piece on biog/memoir of wonderful in latest issue of ,
    • To celebrate Paul Beatty winning the Booker, here's our review of The Sellout, to read for free: ,
    • Thomas Hardy's phrenologist tells him he will 'lead to no good' in a new book about his life in London ,
    • John Knox said that crowning a woman was akin to putting ‘a saddle upon the back of an unruly cow’. Tell that to Catherine de'Medici...,
    • RT : I 💕💕 the Pulpit article in September's about rereading books at different times of life.,