Something to Answer for

Front Cover
Faber & Faber, 2008 - 284 pages

P. H. Newby's seventeenth novel Something To Answer For was assured of a place in literary history when it won the inaugural Booker Prize in 1969.

It was 1956 and Townrow was in Port Said - of these two facts he is reasonably certain. He had been summoned by the widow of his deceased friend Elie Khoury. She is convinced Elie was murdered, but nobody seems to agree with her. What of Leah Strauss, the mistress? And of the invading British paratroops? Only an Englishman, surely, would take for granted that the British would have behaved themselves. In this disorientating world Townrow must reassess the rules by which he has been living his life - to wonder whether he, too, may have something to answer for?

'Beautifully written, shot through with crisp, mordant wit, and Newby plays out his narrative with consummate skill.' Sam Jordison, Guardian

What people are saying - Write a review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - bodachliath - LibraryThing

It is always interesting to read Booker winners but I have rather mixed feelings about this one (the first). At face value it reads like a comic picaresque dream story, a confusing narrative set in ... Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - Mercury57 - LibraryThing

By the time I’d struggled to the last page of Something to Answer For there was little I felt sure about any longer. Nothing in the novel seems quite certain other than it’s set in Port Said, a city ... Read full review

Other editions - View all

About the author (2008)

P.H. Newby, known as Howard Newby, was born in Crowborough, Sussex on June 25, 1918 and was educated at Hanley Castle Grammar School in Worcestershire, and St Paul's College of Education in Cheltenham, England. Newby served in the British Army during World War II and then took a teaching position at Fouad 1st University in Cairo. He also worked for the BBC, becoming Controller of the Third Programme. Newby published a novel, "A Journey to the Interior," in 1945. In 1969, he was the first winner of the Booker Prize, a British literary prize given to a Commonwealth writer for the best novel published in the U.K. during the previous year, for "Something to Answer For." He died on September 6, 1997.

Bibliographic information