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Germs: A Memoir of Childhood

Germs: A Memoir of Childhood

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"Richard Wollheim's Germs portrays the Thames Valley life of his affluent parents -- the distant, dandified father he revered; the beautiful, mindless 'Gaiety Girl' mother he came to regret loathing -- in dazzling detail. However, the dark heart of the book is the merciless, microscopic examination of the development of Wollheim's psyche, not least of his realization that the price of love is fear. So long as Richard was alive, I found the sheer density of this book painful. Since his death, I am able to read it with delight." -- John Richardson

'A frighteningly good memoir'
Andrew O'Hagan London Review of Books

'Germs is not only elegantly written; it is a human document of considerable power and importance'
John Armstrong Independent

‘A masterpiece – an unclassifiable work of startling originality in which the acutely sensual and confusedly cerebral experience of infancy, boyhood and adolescence is brilliantly recreated’

'Wollheim's powers of description astound...Because of the intensity with which a remarkable man has offered us a view of his inner self, I doubt whether anyone who has read it will forget it'
Diana Athill Literary Review

'Pungently truthful, complex and original'
Alan Hollinghurst Guardian