Two Gentlemen on the Beach
On the face of it, Winston Churchill and Charlie Chaplin--two icons of the twentieth century--couldn't be more different. One is the grand statesman whose resolve led a nation in the struggle against Nazi Germany, the other the world-famous actor and comedian behind The Great Dictator, whose owns roots were in poverty and hardship. But in this moving novel, they are bound by a dark secret: both suffer from depression. When a chance encounter reveals what they share, an unusual and unlikely friendship ensues. A series of therapeutic meetings across the world, in Germany, England, and America, sees each become the other's confidant as they talk of their "black dog days." With the eye of a masterfully subtle narrator, Michael Köhlmeier imagines a startling friendship of unique understanding between this extraordinary pair: a friendship of the twentieth century between art and politics, humor and seriousness, but which at heart remains an understanding between two men--the poor tramp and the grand statesman--who bring together the history of the century.