A self-made New Yorker well into his middle age, Thomas Mistler has long been a lion of Madison Avenue's powerful advertising world. Now, poised to sell his company for a luxurious sum, Mistler receives alarming news: He has only months to live. But his reaction is not what one would expect. Rather than hysteria, Mistler experiences a sense of clarity and a feeling of being set free. From what, he is unsure. In a decision that breaks the mold of his superbly organized routine, Mistler conceals his illness from his family and seeks a moment of grace to be savored alone in the decadent splendor of Venice. There, he meets a young, lustful photographer and, later, a love from his youth. But his attempts to recapture passion only magnify the reconciliations he has yet to make--with the father to whom he sacrificed his own dreams, the son with whom he has never truly accepted, and the wife to whom he has given everything but respect.
A startling blend of grace and satire, Mistler's Exit is charged with unexpected moments of beauty and eroticism, pathos and humor. Like the city of Venice itself, it is a creation of timeless appeal.
About the Author
Born in Poland in 1933, Louis Begley is the author of many novels, including Wartime Lies, About Schmidt and Shipwreck. His wife of thirty years, biographer Anka Muhlstein is the author of La Salle: Explorer of the North American Frontier and, most recently, A Taste for Freedom: The Life of Astolphe de Custine. They live in New York.
"Magnificent . . . A Death in Venice for our time."
--San Francisco Chronicle
"IN THIS FINE NOVEL, BEGLEY PROBES WITH INTELLIGENCE AND SKILL THE MIND AND HEART OF A FAMOUS, FANTASTICALLY WEALTHY NEW YORKER NEARING THE END OF HIS LIFE."
--The Boston Sunday Globe
"INTRIGUING . . . PROFOUND . . . A STUNNINGLY SOBERING PORTRAIT."
--Los Angeles Times