A Simple Scale
LONGLISTED FOR THE 2019 POLARI PRIZE
‘Beautifully told and beautifully written’ – Philip Reeve (author of Mortal Engines)
‘An impressive and compelling work, entirely original’ – New Welsh Review
‘Masterly interweaving of narratives, time periods and places, David Llewellyn’s A Simple Scale is a symphony of mysteries and passions.’ – Paul Smith
‘A Simple Scale is a work of self-assured persuasive power, and the resounding artistic statement of a writer who has truly arrived. It is bold, it is brave, and it is the real deal.’ – Wales Arts Review
‘A compelling and suspenseful novel’ – Buzz Magazine
A single piece of music starts a story that takes us from Soviet Russia and McCarthyite Hollywood to post-9/11 New York. A single piece of music, and two composers – one American, the other Soviet – but which of them wrote it? How did their lives cross? How were their fortunes shaped by history, and what were the consequences for those they loved?
A young Russian, Pavel Grekov, arrives in New York in the October of 2001, and accuses ageing TV composer Sol Conrad of plagiarising a work by his grandfather, Sergey. Conrad’s young PA Natalie is determined to defend her boss, but as she digs deeper she discovers worlds she barely knew about – the labour camps of Siberia, the “Red Scare” of 1950s Hollywood, government oppression, and the plight of gay men in the USA and USSR of the mid-20th Century.