Way back in 2011 as a very new blogger, and before this site was created I posted on my other site –
“I have just finished reading the novel Vintage Red by Michael Judge.
The introductory blurb says: “Racy, blackly comic; laced with wit, both dry and expansive; a wicked ear for dialogue; cuts through to the bone, exposing venality of church and state – just a sample of the praise that greeted the arrival of this impressive first novel.” and “An original new voice and a breathtaking achievement”.
The story tells the story of a property magnate who finds after his wife’s death that she lead a disturbing life that he knew nothing about. Throughout the book, we read about this other life and also about the husband’s domestic failings, his public amorality and his personal hypocrisy.
We learn how the wife meets a shy school teacher one afternoon and her life changes dramatically. But because of her upbringing and the Catholic religion, she will not leave her husband even though she has found a man to give her the love and affection withheld from her by her husband.
In many ways, this is a story that has been told so many times already and there are no great surprises in it.
I am not sure that I would recommend it. At times it dragged and I found the long passages that concentrated on the husband’s shoddy dealings both personally and professionally rather boring.
BUT the point of this blog is to say that this first novel was published when the author was eighty-three years old. Since then he has had two further novels published to great acclaim.