BOOKS: PICK OF THE WEEK

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The Independent Culture
Barry Unsworth Tue-Thur

Various venues

Barry Unsworth lives in Italy, so don't miss his visit to promote his 13th novel, Losing Nelson (Hamish Hamilton, pounds 15.99, 5 Aug).

A thriller, it takes as its themes heroes and hero worship, obsession and violence. In the sanctuary of a locked basement in his north-London house, Charles Cleasby, who considers himself the "dark twin" of Admiral Lord Nelson, meticulously re-enacts Nelson's battle manoeuvres and attempts to resolve the writer's block which prevents him finishing a biography of Nelson - The Making of a Hero.

His path is not smoothed by his secretary, who is unconvinced of Nelson's heroism and constantly challenges Cleasby's approach and Nelson's motivations.

Waterstone's, 6 Bridge St, Cambridge (01223 300123) Tue, 6.30pm, pounds 2/pounds 3; Waterstone's, The Grand Building, Trafalgar Square, London WC2 (0171-839 4411) Wed, 6.30pm, pounds 2 (redeemable); Books etc, 255 Finchley Rd, London NW3 (0171-433 3299) Thur, 7pm, free

Diona Gregory

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