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Except the Lord

By Joyce Cary

The second book in Cary’s Chester Nimmo trilogy, Except the Lord describes Chester Nimmo’s life from his own perspective.

Chester Nimmo was not always the fiery politician and questionable husband described by his ex-wife in Prisoner of Grace. In this, the second book of the trilogy, Chester tells his own tale, perhaps in a bid to regain the affections of his wife. 

What emerges is the tale of a boy whose childhood is characterised by rural poverty, uncertainty and deep religious faith. The book shows how and where the seeds of Chester’s left-wing politics were sown, and where he was first seduced by ideas of power, offering helpful insight into the man he later became.

Except the Lord is essential reading for anyone who has read or wishes to read other books in the trilogy, and Cary’s many admirers. It may also serve as a good introduction to the work of Cary (who was described by Doris Lessing as ‘A marvellous writer – fresh, funny, popping with life’) for those who have yet to discover it.

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