How to Make a Bomb: A Novel (Hardback)
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How to Make a Bomb: A Novel (Hardback)

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Hardback 432 Pages
Published: 11/04/2024
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Waterstones Says

A lyrical and profound treat from the celebrated author, this multilayered exploration of a life in flux follows an academic's personal odyssey from Norway to Spain and Crete.

'If he suddenly found what surrounded him unbearable, it was because it was artificialEverything had been designed and manufactured, and he was trapped in it.'

Philip Notman, an acclaimed historian, attends a conference in Bergen, Norway. On his return to London, and to his wife and son, something unexpected and inexplicable happens to him, and he is unable to settle back into his normal life.

Seeking answers, he flies to Cadiz to see Inés, a Spanish academic with whom he shared a connection at the conference, but his journey doesn't end there. A chance encounter with a wealthy, elderly couple sends him to a house on the south coast of Crete. Is he thinking of leaving his wife, whom he claims he still loves, or is he trying to change a reality that has become impossible to bear? Is he on a quest for a simpler and more authentic existence, or is he utterly self-deluded?

As he tries to make sense of both his personal circumstances and the world surrounding him, he finds himself embarking on a course of action that will push him to the very brink of disaster.

Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing PLC
ISBN: 9781035908530
Number of pages: 432
Dimensions: 229 x 148 mm


MEDIA REVIEWS

Riveting and enigmatic - Jake Kerridge, The Telegraph

An exceptional, frightening and curiously persuasive novel. I hope it brings Thomson the attention and reward that one our finest and most imaginative novelists clearly deserves. - Miranda Seymour, Financial Times

A magnetic portrait of one man's radicalisation ... the text sparkles with clarity and precision, and frequently beauty too … a book that strikes to the core of our age of uncertainty. - Lucy Scholes, The Telegraph

Thomson is a skillful and deliberate writer ... How to Make a Bomb is, at one level, a satire of existentialism ... It is also a comic novel about radicalisation: a literary Four Lions for the age of the "incel" - Caleb Klaces, The Guardian

I devoured [this book] in a single sitting. The sense of dislocation – and location – made it seem like a dream of another life, all of it so lyrical and yet narratively acute. A wonderful achievement. - Jonathan Lethem

Masterfully ambiguous … [How to Make a Bomb raises] complicated questions … but doesn’t neatly wrap them up. Rather, it allows the ideological inquiries at the center of the book to linger and bloom for continued consideration … [The book] provides a powerfully evocative catalyst for thought and feeling. - Matt Bell, New York Times

A riot and very compelling – quite dark, as usual, but funny too… Thomson is an extraordinary writer. - Samantha Morton, Observer

An utterly absorbing and elegantly written novel about the deepest of existential questions: how we should live. Rupert Thomson is truly one of our most brilliant and original writers - Graeme Macrae Burnet, author of Case Study and His Bloody Project

An outstanding, compulsive work from a rare talent. Rupert Thomson continues to make my jaw drop with each book. - Irenosen Okojie

Wonderful ... The intensity and specificity of the language is a revelation, so forensic it anchored me to every page. - Russell Celyn Jones

A novel that turns a midlife crisis inside out, rewardingly...the result, in Thomson's expert hands, is fast-paced and headlong; the book ends up rewiring the reader's sense of what's banal and what's not. A work about estrangement and solitude that's surprisingly rapid, engaging, light-footed. - Kirkus Reviews

PRAISE FOR RUPERT THOMSON: ‘Each novel he writes is a new vision of a new world; he's the least predictable, the most surprising of writers.’ Philip Pullman; ‘Hands down, Rupert Thomson is one of my favourite writers of all time. I impatiently wait for his new novels and he never disappoints.’ Andrea Wulf; ‘When someone writes as well as Thomson does, it makes you wonder why other people bother.’ - New Statesman

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Hardback

“Read it”

It's become a cliché among the kinds of people who comment on these kinds of things that Rupert Thomson's novels are all wildly different, underrated and/or unjustly ignored. Just because they say so,... More

Hardback edition
Helpful? Upvote 2

“thought provoking”

I hadnt read any of Mr Thomson's books before this and have to admit was sucked in by the title and premise.
I was immediately drawn to the style and the layout, it felt quite tense and that something... More

Hardback edition
Helpful? Upvote 2

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