- Paperback: 528 pages
- Publisher: Harper Perennial; HarperPerennialCanada ed edition (Sept. 27 1999)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0006485324
- ISBN-13: 978-0006485322
- Parcel Dimensions: 17.5 x 10.7 x 4.1 cm
- Shipping Weight: 249 g
- Average Customer Review: 3 customer reviews
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #149,233 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
Headhunter Paperback – Sep 27 1999
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It doesn't take long to discover the literary classic at the heart of Timothy Findley's dystopian novel Headhunter. Lilah Kemp, schizophrenic and one of a triumvirate of main characters, announces in the opening scene that she may have released the character of Kurtz from the pages of Joseph Conrad's novel Heart of Darkness. Add to this fantastic formula a couple of psychiatrists named Charles Marlow and Rupert Kurtz and a huge cast of secondary players set in a futuristic pollution- and plague-ravaged Toronto, and you are left with a bizarre reinterpretation of not just one of the classics of literature, but the age-old tale of power and corruption itself. Conrad did not invent this story, Findley shrewdly points out; he just gave it a name: Kurtz.
This is vintage Findley, who similarly re-imagined the Old Testament story of Noah and the Flood in Not Wanted on the Voyage. Headhunter is another example of Findley's ability to blend morality and entertainment. Findley's willingness to blend literature and pulp is Headhunter's greatest asset. You can get lost in the rollicking good fun of the sci-fi dystopia or you can dredge its depths for literary clues. Or you can do both. Either way, Headhunter lives up to both its best-seller and literary status. --Jonathan Dewar
About the Author
Timothy Findley's recent titles include Pilgrim, which was a finalist for the Giller Prize and his first published in the United States; You Went Away; Dust to Dust; and The Piano Man's Daughter. He was also the author of the acclaimed Headhunter, Not Wanted on the Voyage, Famous Last Words, and The Wars. His most recent play, Elizabeth Rex, won the Governor General's Award for Drama. His work has won innumerable honors, including the Governor General's Award for Fiction and the Edgar Award. He was the only three-time recipient of the Canadian Authors Association Award, bestowed for fiction, nonfiction, and drama. He was an Officer of the Order of Canada and, in France, Chevalier de l'Ordre des Arts et des Lettres. He split his time between homes in Stratford, Ontario and the south of France. He died in France in June 2002 at the age of 71.
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Most helpful customer reviews on Amazon.com
This book should please suspense readers as well as those after something a little more substantial. I am very surprised the book is not better known and am curious to read more by Timothy Findley.
The novel has countless dimensions that cannot be revealed through one reading. I look forward to reading it again (when I get it back from the last person I told "You HAVE to read this!").
It's lengthy, but definitly worth the time. Enjoy the book!
The author, who was an international headhunter for over 30 years and conducted many high-level search assignments for U.S. and European corporations, knows this world inside out. Too few of the worst criminals are ever brought to justice, and the protagonist joins a small group of philanthropists whose mission it is to bring justice to those most deserving of it.
Woven into the story are the shenanigans of a notorious Swiss bank with global reach, the nefarious doings of the Vatican, and the merciless iron fist of the Israeli military. The end of the friendship between the German protagonist and his best friend, a Jewish anarchist, adds a personal dimension to the story.
The book is a prescient commentary on the sense of disgust with corrupt politics and corporate greed that has settled over wide swaths of the U.S. and Europe. It makes for deeply satisfying reading, because here the worst evildoers are identified, tracked down, and delivered to their richly deserved fates. Bravo!