John Morlar

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John Frederick Morlar (born 1921) is a fictional character in the novel and film The Medusa Touch. The novel was written by Peter Van Greenaway and published in 1973; the film was released in 1978, starring Richard Burton as Morlar.

Morlar himself is a novelist, author of The Incinerator, Skeleton Keys, The Green Enemy and others. His books are powerfully written and often dissect the workings of the British establishment in a highly discomforting manner. The Green Enemy is partly autobiographical, with the character of a Lieutenant Pickering explicitly based on Morlar; in the novelist's words, "He hated the Army and the Army hated him." His fourth book, described in detail by Morlar's publisher, Townely, to the detective investigating the near-fatal attack on the writer, chronicles the rise of a Hitler-like figure in the present-day (1970s) United Kingdom.

Morlar described his family background as "pseudo middle class". He attended a private school which was destroyed in a fire; served in the Army during the Second World War; trained as a barrister; married and had one child, which was born so badly deformed that it survived only a short time. Morlar's wife, Patricia, was later killed in a car crash with one of her numerous lovers. As he neared the age of fifty Morlar began to realise that he possessed formidable and highly destructive telekinetic abilities which, at the end of The Medusa Touch, are still active despite serious injuries resulting from two...
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