Luckenbooth (Paperback)Dr Jenni Fagan (author)
Possessed of a gothic menace all its own, Fagan’s chilling novel interweaves a demonic birthing with the disturbing misfortunes of the residents of an Edinburgh tenement in darkly lyrical prose.
1910, Edinburgh. Jessie, the devil's daughter, arrives on the doorstep of an imposing tenement building and knocks on a freshly painted wooden door. She has been sent by her father to bear a child for a wealthy couple, but, when things go wrong, she places a curse on the building and all who live there - and it lasts a century.
Caught in the crossfire are the residents of 10 Luckenbooth Close, and they all have their own stories to tell. While the world outside is changing, inside, the curse creeps up all nine floors and through each door. Soon, the building's longest kept secret - the truth of what happened to Jessie - will finally be heard.
Number of pages: 352
Weight: 281 g
Dimensions: 198 x 129 x 21 mm
'One of the most stunning literary experiences I've had in years. Luckenbooth, sprawling the decades with its themes of repression and revenge, brings back something that has long been lacking in the British novel: ambition. If Alasdair Gray's Lanark was a masterly imagining of Glasgow, then this is the quintessential novel of Edinburgh at its darkest.' - Irvine Welsh
'It's extraordinary. Make sure it's on your radar ... Definitely going to be one of my books of 2021, a gloriously transgressive novel of Edinburgh denizens past and present.' - Ian Rankin
'Over time, 10 Luckenbooth Close sinks from grand residence to condemned squat with secrets seething in its walls ... Luckenbooth is a place of compacted time, where the past manifests as unquiet ghosts and the future bleeds into the present ... There's a force in Luckenbooth's bizarre assemblage.' - The Times
'With Luckenbooth, [Jenni Fagan] gives us nine of Edinburgh's wildest and loneliest misfits ... Piles on claustrophobia and menace ... As we move between the characters' perspectives, gritty realism takes over from the gothic. This isn't fancy Edinburgh: at No 10 it's cigarettes, cocaine and Benzedrine for breakfast ... There are memorable creations ... Fagan's prose is poetic, high-octane, built on punchy sentences. Arresting descriptions of the city and its weather abound. This is not a novel that lacks energy.' - Sunday Times
'Jenni Fagan's Luckenbooth reminded me of one of my favourite novels, Georges Perec's Life: A User's Manual. Set in an Edinburgh tenement, it leaps across decades to tell the story of the curse that haunts No 10 Luckenbooth Close and its eccentric inhabitants.' - Alex Preston, Observer
'Dazzlingly ambitious' - Douglas Stuart, author of Shuggie Bain
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“Dark & twisty Gothic fairytale”
Fagan's writing is as electric and inimitable as ever, Luckenbooth is a very dark & twisty Gothic fairytale as well as a portrait of Edinburgh & Edinburgh society over the decades.
This is quite a dark story from the off. She arrives in a coffin made by her father, rather than by boat. The story is set in Edinburgh in a 9 storey apartment. Each floor is a different part of the story. There is a... More
“decline and fall”
Number 10 Luckenbooth Close is a nine-storey tenement building in the heart of Edinburgh’s Old Town. Over ninety years we witness the changing times and the building’s slow decline told in snapshots through nine of... More
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