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From the inexhaustible imagination of Ian McEwan--a master of contemporary fiction and author of the Booker Prize-winning national bestseller Amsterdam--an enchanting work of fiction that appeals equally to children and adults.
First published in England as a children's book, The Daydreamer marks a delightful foray by one of our greatest novelists into a new fictional domain. In these seven exquisitely interlinked episodes, the grown-up protagonist Peter Fortune reveals the secret journeys, metamorphoses, and adventures of his childhood. Living somewhere between dream and reality, Peter experiences fantastical transformations: he swaps bodies with the wise old family cat; exchanges existences with a cranky infant; encounters a very bad doll who has come to life and is out for revenge; and rummages through a kitchen drawer filled with useless objects to discover some not-so-useless cream that actually makes people vanish. Finally, he wakes up as an eleven-year-old inside a grown-up body and embarks on the truly fantastic adventure of falling in love. Moving, dreamlike, and extraordinary, The Daydreamer marks yet another imaginative departure for Ian McEwan, and one that adds new breadth to his body of work.
Kate who probably thought it looked grown-up to sunbathe. Surrounding the trio was the debris of their wasted Saturday afternoon – teacups, teapot, newspapers, half-eaten sandwiches, orange peel, empty yoghurt cartons. He stared at his family resentfully. You could do nothing with these people, but nor could you throw them away. Or rather, well, perhaps … He took a deep breath, put the little blue jar in his pocket and went downstairs. Peter knelt down beside his mother. She murmured dozily.
you’re burning, Dad,’ Peter said. ‘Want me to rub some cream on?’ ‘No,’ his father said, without opening his eyes. But Peter had already dug out a fat blob and was spreading it across his father’s shoulders. Now, there was no one in the world Peter loved as much as his father, except his mother. And it was as clear as sunlight that his father loved him. Thomas Fortune still kept a 500cc motorbike in the garage (another item that could not be thrown away) and he gave Peter rides on it. He had
invited a dozen boys from school to a party. Peter tried to get out of it but his parents would not listen. They themselves liked Mr and Mrs Tamerlane, and so, by the terms of grown-up logic, Peter must surely like Barry. The smiling birthday boy met his guests at the front door. ‘Hello Peter! Thanks. Hey, Mum, Dad, look what my friend Peter has given me!’ That afternoon, Barry was kind to all his guests. He joined in the games and did not expect to win every time just because it was his
wondered when you were going to recognise me.’ ‘But you were burgled last week …’ She gave him a look, pitying his stupidity. ‘You made it up, so no one would suspect it’s you …?’ She nodded cheerily. She seemed much happier as a burglar. ‘Now, are you going to let me get on with my work, and keep your mouth shut afterwards. Or am I going to have to kill you?’ Even as she was asking this important question, she was advancing into the room, looking around. ‘Not much here, really. But I will
She had come hurtling out of the sky, and just before she was dashed to pieces on the grass, she had gone shooting up into the air again with a long scream of terror and hilarity. Kate moved into Peter’s room, bringing her newest game, a box of magic, with a wand and a book of spells. She also brought along a small detachment of thirty dolls. The same day a mountain of baby gear appeared in the house – a cot, a high chair, a playpen, a pram, a buggy, a push-cart, an indoor swing and five large