Richards’s Feet, published 1990 in the UK and in the US. Winner of the 1990 UK Society of Writers’ Encore Award. Long-listed for the 1990 Booker Prize.
Richard’s Feet is one of a quartet of novels entitled The Heart Beneath, of which Cley and Egon, two further novels in the series, were also published by Heinemann and Minerva Books in the UK. The novels are connected by a number of common characters, but they do not form a chronological sequence and can be read in any order. The fourth and final volume, How to Push Through, has been added, to complete the quartet, in an edition of all four books brought out by Dr. Cicero Books in 2016.
In the bitter spring of 1948, an Englishman walks across Soviet Germany, against a tide of refugees, searching for the woman he fell in love with before the war. He will become a lord of the underworld in a country rising from the ashes, where confidence is fast becoming a national trick, and where no one is who they seem, or who they claim to be. For Richard Thurgo, a man eager to reinvent himself, it is heaven on earth.
Critics and reviewers have written of Richard’s Feet:
The San Francisco Chronicle: “A work of near-demonic beauty, antic imagination and universal resonance – in short, the calling card of a major talent.”
The Guardian: “A darkly comic vision of the new Europe, entirely original. Massive feats of scale and formal ingenuity…what holds the complex structure together, confirming Harrison’s skill in the serious handling of comedy, is the grip exerted by the characters. They grab you and hold on to the end.”
The Daily Telegraph: “Brilliant… rivetingly entertaining… a masterly Grimm’s fairy tale for adults. There are enough twists and turns for a dozen ordinary novels.”
The Independent: “For verbal opulence and elegance of linguistic design, a wondrous thing.”
Publishers Weekly: “Holds the reader spellbound through his insinuating voice, his exultant love of language and sheer storytelling power. In its surprise twists and turns, this astonishing, affecting, rich novel mirrors the dislocation of our century”
Library Journal: “As the auspicious opening of a planned tetralogy, it suggests the completed work may be as thorough an examination of the postwar European consciousness as Mann’s The Magic Mountain was of its era.”
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution: “Bawdy, turbulent, rise with fiendish beauty”
The Mail on Sunday: “A hypnotic novel, very clever, very imaginative, a breathtaking attempt to get a handle on the entire human condition”