The Irresistable Inheritance of Wilberforce by Paul Torday


I will just take this opportunity to jot down a few impressions about the last book that I read,
The Irresistable Inheritance of Wilberforce,

by someone rejoicing in the rather unusual name of
Paul torday author of salmon fishing in the yemen,

which is clearly something of a mouthfull.

Normally I manage a blog entry a week, but I must be way short lately, hence this rather random blog. I don't read a lot now, but honestly this is not the first book that I have finished since starting this blog.

Also worth noting, I am surprised when I pick up a proper book now at just how many words there are, my fiction writing, as demonstrated in the downloads page, is tending towards the jewel like, seldom a thousand words on the same story, so a whole grown up book on one subject is something of a shock. Nevertheless I like what I am writing now, and intend to persist in my own style.

Anyway -Wilberforce - it is about a man who drinks himself to death, told in four chapters, which are in reverse chronological order.

Having said that, it really does not come across as a realistic account of alcoholism, I certainly enjoyed the book, but the overall sense was of someone with a certain sense of reality and their place in it, rather than the emotional helter-skelter of any serious addiction.

The main character came across as adolescent or slightly autistic, like Adrian Mole at stages, slightly baffled by the world around him,

I think that the main character actually is autistic as he does not accept the reality of other people, he merely sees them in terms of what they offer him, or as possessions. His childhood is loveless, but later he does make friends, but when offered the choice of friendship or something material he consistently fails to choose friendship.

So he betrays his business partner by selling the company from under him, then breaks away from him. He finds a father figure in Francis, but ends up buying his largely worthless wine, and leaving him to die neglected. He enters a circle of friends, and ends up marrying the fiance of a friend, and alienating them.

He never accepts responsibility for his choices, and does little to make amends or make the best of things.

In essence Wilberforce is a weak man, who mistakenly thinks that what you have is more important than who you actually are. He gains another man's wine collection and another man's wife, but fails to learn what it is that he truly responds to in them, a simple openness and offer of friendship.

Random Quote -
“I love wine. I have not always loved it, but I have made up for the woeful ignorance of the first thirty years of my life by the passion and intensity of my relationship with wine ever since. I need to be more precise: I very much like white burgundy, I am fond of some red burgundies, I have flirted with some excellent and intriguing wines from Tuscany: but I adore Bordeux.” page 26