The Blind Light (Hardback)
  • The Blind Light (Hardback)
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The Blind Light (Hardback)

(author)
£18.99
Hardback 544 Pages
Published: 11/06/2020
  • 10+ in stock

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Waterstones Says

Impressive and nuanced, The Blind Light is a story of loyalty and the meaning of home and country, told through two generations of a family. With a stunning ability to evoke the sense of time, place and the effects of global events on individuals, Evers’s novel offers a sweeping social history of Britain from the 1950s to the present day.

In the late 1950s, during his National Service, Drummond meets the two people who will change his life: Carter, a rich, educated young man sent down from Oxford; and Gwen, a barmaid with whom he feels an instant connection. His feelings for both will be tested at a military base known as Doom Town - a training ground where servicemen prepare for the aftermath of an Atomic Strike. It is an experience that will colour the rest of his - and his family's - life.

Told from the perspectives of Drum and Gwen, and later their children Nathan and Anneka, The Blind Light moves from the Fifties through to the present day, taking in the global and local events that will shape and define them all. From the Cuban Missile Crisis to the War on Terror, from the Dagenham strikes to Foot and Mouth, from Skiffle to Rave, we see a family come together, driven apart, fracture and reform - as the pressure of the past is brought, sometimes violently, to bear on the present.

The Blind Light is a powerful, ambitious, big yet intimate story of our national past and a brilliant evocation of a family and a country. It will remind you how complicated human history is - and how hard it is to do the right thing for the right reasons.

Publisher: Pan Macmillan
ISBN: 9781529030976
Number of pages: 544
Weight: 790 g
Dimensions: 240 x 160 x 53 mm


MEDIA REVIEWS

From the cold war era to the war on terror, the corrosive effects of fear are closely observed in this portrait of a friendship over six decades . . . At its heart, the novel is a thoughtful and powerful study of the corrosive effects of fear, the damage we do to ourselves and our loved ones when danger is all we can see. Right now that story feels disconcertingly timely - Guardian

The Blind Light reads like a British Don DeLillo, telling the social history of Britain through two generations of a family. - Alex Preston, Observer

The Blind Light is a page-perfect and impeccably structured portrait of Britain’s troubled, post-nuclear generations, and the pressures which have both tugged them apart and cemented them together. Stuart Evers has written a powerful and affecting novel which excels at being as true to Family and the personal as it is to Nation and the universal, a rare and potent combination. - Jim Crace, author of Harvest

One is taken both by the breadth of vision and the depth of character on offer in Stuart Evers' stunning The Blind Light. Rarely does a novel of this scope sing with such brio at the level of the sentence while searing so emphatically in the region of the heart. This is an achievement to be admired and, frankly, envied. My hat is off. - Laird Hunt

A thoroughly absorbing novel which illuminates the nature of friendship and family while offering a compelling portrait of Britain. I loved it. - Cathy Rentzenbrink, author of The Last Act of Love

Extraordinarily intense, and intensely well written, the echoes of our current situation are uncomfortably close at hand. A complex and powerful novel. - Lissa Evans, author of Old Baggage and Crooked Heart

A social history told through 2 generations of the same family. Beautiful & funny & moving. And a hugely hopeful read for our strange new world. - Sarah Franklin, author of Shelter

Evers’s book is a widescreen family saga that examines, among other things, the effect of the nuclear threat during the Cold War on the British psyche . . . The narrative splinters to follow a range of stories against a smoothly unscrolling backdrop of Britain down the decades . . . Evers’s style channels the repetitive rhythms of David Peace, while seeking the sweep of Alan Hollinghurst . . . it’s absorbing – and uncannily timed in its perversely consoling sense of how crises come and go. - Daily Mail

The Blind Light is staged on a far grander scale than its predecessor. Real-life books, TV programmes and songs are threaded through the storyline in a double-layering of fiction and reality. Historical events form the backdrop to the action, from 1970s industrial action to the July 7 terrorist bombings in London in 2005. Submerged currents from the cold war guide the plotline . . . Lyrical but precise descriptions abound — the ‘golden caul’ of a candle, the ‘precarious balance of the inherited and the acquired’ in the hallway furnishings of Carter’s family home. ‘The words sounding fine, unslurred, unhurried, not too glassy’ is the perfectly tuned evocation of a drunk trying to speak clearly. These are the moments when The Blind Light shines most brightly. - Financial Times

This extraordinary novel about Britain and Britishness spans six decades and uses the stories of two men and their families to delve revealingly into complex questions of class, fate and history - Spectator

A sprawling, absorbing, epic crossing generations - Cumbria Life

Atmospheric . . . powerfully imagined . . . [Evers’s] skill in The Blind Light, as in his earlier work, is to see the skull beneath the skin of tough, regular, often lonely lives . . . And to write their inner lives with an intimacy and spartan tenderness that in the contemporary British novel feel rare - Times Literary Supplement

Evers excels in his close examination of relationships . . . Mental ill health is sensitively treated by Evers and the complicated nature of guilt and loss is beautifully handled . . . it is an absorbing read. Exploring the corrosive effects of living in fear, the book takes in 20th-century events from the Dagenham Strikes to the Cuban Missile Crisis, from the Cold War to Trump. Although written before the Covid-19 pandemic, it has much of worth to say about our present predicament. - Irish Independent

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“Wonderful characterisation”

Terrific novel. Spans the lives of the polar opposite privileged Carter and working class Moore families. The men meet during National Service in 1959 when they train in ‘Doom Town’ to deal with a post-nuclear attack.... More

Hardback edition
Helpful? Upvote 19

“In contention for my Book of the Year!”

In contention for my Book of the Year, and it’s only March! ‘The Blind Light’ by Stuart Evers is a novel that I was sad to finish. The writer presents recent history intelligently yet with a light touch through the... More

Hardback edition
Helpful? Upvote 13

“Rich and engaging”

Terrific novel. Spans the lives of the polar opposite privileged Carter and working class Moore families. The men meet during National Service in 1959 when they train in ‘Doom Town’ to deal with a post-nuclear attack.... More

Hardback edition
Helpful? Upvote 10

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