Book Reviews of Setting the World

Setting the World
Setting the World
Author: Angus Wilson
ISBN-13: 9780670635023
ISBN-10: 0670635022
Publication Date: 10/30/1980
Pages: 296

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Publisher: Viking Adult
Book Type: Hardcover
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The title is actually "Setting the World on Fire."
The jacket reads:
"For the brothers Piers and Tom Mosson, whose loving relationship lies at the core of this rich and dramatic novel, their boyhood nicknames, inspired by the two seventeenth-century architects of Tothill House, one of London's great houses, provide the real clue to their natures. Tom, the younger, is called "Pratt" after Sir Roger Pratt who crafted the classical symmetries of the Mossons' ancestral mansion, while Piers is called "Van" after Captain John Vanbrugh who grafted the great baroque hall onto Tothill House.
Over the decades following World War II, we see the brothers grow and change but still embody the distinguishing elements of caution and staunch stability, and of dash and mercurial creativity. Reflecting their natures and peopling their lives are those about them, including their errant mother, Rosemary, their staid Uncle Hubert and his outrageous Italian fiancee, Marina, their steely and possessive grandmother, Jackie, and their sporadically and disconcertingly lucid great-grandfather. Even as we come to know these people, in considerable part through Angus Wilson's uncannily apt and scintillating dialogue, we are kept aware of threatening reality, of the fire and ice that ever lie in wait in our fateful age.
In this novel of humanity at bay, of the disparate goals towared which human nature can be driven by destiny, and of the snares cast by passion, Angu Wilson gives us an unforgettable tragicomic parable. Like Phaethon painted on the ceiling of the great hall, the brothers--and the rest of us--can elect or not to set the world on fire."