The Ordeal of Gilbert Pinfold
Gilbert Pinfold is a reclusive Catholic novelist suffering from acute inertia. In an attempt to defeat insomnia he has been imbibing an unappetizing cocktail of bromide, chloral, and creme de menthe. He books a passage on the SS Caliban and, as it cruises towards Ceylon, rapidly slips into madness.
Almost as soon as the gangplank lifts, Pinfold hears sounds coming out of the ceiling of his cabin: wild jazz bands, barking dogs, and loud revival meetings. He is convinced that an erratic public-address system is letting him hear everything that goes on aboard ship . . . until instead of just sounds he hears voices. And not just any voices. These voices are talking, in the most frighteningly intimate way, about him!
"The very model of the modern paranoid novel."―John Leonard, New York Times
"Unblinking candor informs Waugh's dark, comic vision."―William Boyd, Daily Telegraph
"Waugh's 'portrait of the artist in middle age' . . . is a genuine gothic horror, a gargoyle to terrify anyone who has ever contemplated a literary career. . . . The acid bath so often prepared for others has now found its...