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Come Like Shadows

Come Like Shadows is Volume VIII of the novel sequence Alms for Oblivion by Simon Raven, published in 1972. It was the eighth novel to be published in The Alms for Oblivion sequence and is also the eighth novel chronologically. The story takes place in Corfu in 1970.

Characters, in the order of appearance

Fielding Gray – Rather successful writer and former major who lives with Harriet Ongley in a small town on the English coast since eight years. A major character in Fielding Gray, The Sabre Squadron, Friends In Low Places, The Judas Boy and Places Where They Sing.

Tom Llewyllyn – Writer and historian. Fellow of Lancaster College since seven years. Major character in The Rich Pay Late, Friends In Low Places, The Judas Boy and Places Where They Sing.

Harriet Ongley – Rich widow who is the caretaker of Fielding Gray since eight years. appeared in The Judas Boy and Places Where They Sing.

Tessie Buttock - Hotel owner. Friend of Llewyllyn and Gray. Appeared in The Rich Pay Late, Friends In Low Places and The Judas Boy.

Gregory Stern – Publisher. Happily married to Isobel. Appeared in Fielding Gray, The Rich Pay Late, Friends In Low Places, The Judas Boy and Places Where They Sing.

Foxy J Galahead - Producer.

Max de Freville - Gambler and movie financier. Appeared in The Sabre Squadron, The Rich Pay Late, Friends In Low Placesand The Judas Boy.

Stratis Lykiadopolous - Companion of de Freville. Appeared in Friends In Low Placesand The Judas Boy.

Jules Jacobson - Director.

Dr LaSoeur - Doctor. Appeared in The Rich Pay Late.

Elena - Actress.

Gretel - Actress.

Margaret Lichfield - Actress. Plays Penelope in The Odyssey.

Sasha Grimes - Actress.

Angus Carnavon - Actor. Plays Odysseus.

Angela Tuck - Friend of de Freville. Appeared in Fielding Gray, Friends In Low Places and The Judas Boy.

Burke Lawrence - Director. Appeared in The Rich Pay Late and Friends In Low Places.

Earle Restarick - In the CIA. Appeared in The Sabre Squadron and The Judas Boy.

Savidis - Co-worker of Restarick. Appeared in The Judas Boy.

Aloysios Sheath - Co-worker of Restarick.

Captain Detterling - MP and former soldier. Partner of Gregory Stern in the literary world. Appeared in Fielding Gray, Sound The Retreat, The Sabre Squadron, The Rich Pay Late, Friends In Low Places and The Judas Boy.

Lord Canteloupe – Minister of Commerce. Appeared in Sound The Retreat, The Sabre Squadron, Friends In Low Places, The Judas Boy and Places Where They Sing.

Somerset Lloyd-James – MP and associate of Lord Canteloupe. Major character in Fielding Gray, The Rich Pay Late, Friends In Low Places, The Judas Boy and Places Where They Sing.

Plot Summary

Tom Llewyllyn and Somerset Lloyd-James (the latter by mistake) have been engaged in writing the script to a movie version of The Odyssey, to be shot at Corfu. After some wrangling they ask Fielding Gray since he is a man with knowledge of Greek and the classics in general. The shooting have many comic turns since the movie team wants to do a sexy story while the foundation that is supplying the money demands something more radical that will alter the story gravely. Left-wing actress Sasha Grimes, who is to be foundations "watcher" during the shoot, suggest for example that Odysseus gives away his land to the poor.

Gray works hard to keep the original story and even starts a sexual relation with Grimes to be able to control her better. Max de Freville and his friend Lyki are also engaged in the movie and makes visits during the shooting. The also bring Angela Tuck, suffering from terrible obesity in later years. When Angela, in a deal with Fielding, watches him having sex with Sasha she suffers a heart attack and dies. Fielding, thinking about old age, is trying to blackmail producer Foxy Galahead for 50 000£ to continue keep Sasha Grimes under control. Galahead, Max, Lyki and director Jules frames Fielding and he is arrested by Earle Restarick during a trip to Zurich. Restarick and his thugs keeps Fielding prisoner in Athens and since the film team told them another story Restarick believes that Gray once again is digging in the things told in The Judas Boy. Restarick threatens to turn Fielding into a junkie to make him confess.

Galahead throws a Christmas party for a number of guests, among them lord Canteloupe, Somerset Lloyd-James and Captain Detterling. When Galahead brags for actress Elena about how he frame Fielding she tells the three Englishmen on the party and the decides to come to the rescue of Fielding. Canteloupe, chocked by the thought that an Englishman be kept prisoner in a country of no importance (like Greece) bursts into the villa where Fielding officially is nursed after a "mental breakdown" and takes him home to England. When Fielding arrives home is Harriet not there. At peace, he begins on a number of new commissions given him by Gregory Stern.

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