A scalpel-sharp political satire from the Orange Prize-winning writer of We Need to Talk about Kevin.
Fat and ostracized as a kid, Edgar Kellogg has always yearned to be popular. Bored rigid by his pedestrian life as a solicitor, Edgar decides to risk everything on trying to make it as a journalist. When he’s offered the post of foreign correspondent in Barba - a Portuguese backwater that has sprouted a home-grown terrorist movement - Edgar leaps at the chance to replace some pretentious blowhard called "Barrington Saddler" who’s disappeared.
But the more Edgar learns about his posting, and his larger-than-life predecessor, the more he realizes that it’s not Barban terrorism he’s covering; it’s Barrington Saddler. Edgar recognizes Saddler as exactly the outsize character he longs to emulate. Infuriatingly, all his fellow journalists cannot stop talking about the beloved "Bear", who is no longer lighting up their work lives. Yet all is not as it appears.
Os Soldados Ousados de Barba ("The Daring Soldiers of Barba") has been blowing up the rest of the world for years. So why, with Barrington vanished, do terrorist incidents claimed by the “SOB” suddenly dry up? As Edgar begins to investigate, he doesn’t uncover a conspiracy. To the contrary, the more he digs, the less there is to find....
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