The Young Pretender is an absolute joy - charming and funny, with the lightest hint of melancholy, and a wonderfully imaginative recreation of the Georgian theatre scene
Michael Arditti tells a story of a Regency child star with great panache and compassion, bringing a forgotten celebrity back to life for the modern age. A compelling read I was sad to finish.
An engrossing, enthralling and utterly captivating read, The Young Pretender tells a simply remarkable story with bounce, energy, wit, and lively authenticity . . . Michael Arditti's brilliant imaginative achievement offers high comedy, dark tragedy and everything between
The Young Pretender is just wonderful: so delicate and precise about performance, pretence and youth, with such a feeling for Georgian London. It's so well-written, I found myself admiring it from end to end.
Entrancing and disturbing . . . A moving story and Michael Arditti tells it with understanding and engaging sympathy . . . A rich social picture
Arditti's voice as Betty is impeccable. He is touchy, sometimes myopic, sincere in his ambitions. His attempts to reclaim lost glory are run through with an affecting melancholy.
Persuasively told in the actor's voice, this short, compelling novel records the crumbling of Betty's dreams of renewed acclaim and his slow acknowledgment of uncomfortable truths about his childhood stardom.
The first-person narrative endears, as Arditti blends tragedy and comedy. There won't be a dry eye in the house.
A vivid, highly detailed portrait of life in rumbustious Regency London
A vivid, highly detailed portrait of life in rumbustious Regency London.
One of the best novels about the theatre I have ever read. Arditti brilliantly captures the feverish adulation of Master Betty, the financial exploitation of his fame and the sexual curiosity his presence aroused. This is also a novel about the transience of celebrity, the capricious bustle of Georgian London and the politics of theatre. I would recommend the novel not just to theatre addicts but to anyone intrigued by the whirligig of time.