Author(s): Michael Palin
Michael Palin's hilarious novel, a New York Times Notable Book, is a tale of a man learning to stand up for what he believes in--just like Ernest HemingwayMartin Sproale is a mild, conventional assistant postmaster living in a small English coastal town, the only exceptional thing about him being his obsession with Ernest Hemingway. This is confined harmlessly enough to an encyclopaedic knowledge of everything about the man and to living in a room surrounded by Hemingway memorabilia. But when an ambitious young outsider, Nick Marshall, is appointed postmaster over Martin and starts to transform the friendly local post office for privatization and the high-tech challenges of the 21st century, Martin is faced with a choice--to go along with the drastic changes, or to be like his hero and fight for what he believes in. Egged on by an American scholar, Ruth Kohler, who is living nearby while completing a book in Hemingway, Martin allows his obsession to take over more and more of his life, culminating in a final, reckless act of revenge against the ruthless modernizers.