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Winner of the 2019 Wellcome Book Prize
Winner of the 2019 Republic of Consciousness Prize
Shortlisted for the 2018 Goldsmiths Prize
Shortlisted for the 2019 James Tait Black Prize
Longlisted for the 2019 Rathbones Folio Prize
Taking its cue from the arrest and legally enforced chemical castration of the mathematician Alan Turing, Murmur is the account of a man who responds to intolerable physical and mental stress with love, honour and a rigorous, unsentimental curiosity about the ways in which we perceive ourselves and the world.
Formally audacious, daring in its intellectual inquiry and unwaveringly humane, Will Eaves’s Murmur is a rare achievement.
'A really extraordinary book, unlike any other'
'Endlessly rewarding, it is a shining example of the moral and imaginative possibilities of fiction'
Justine Jordan, Guardian, Books of the Year
'A novel forged from an immensely beautiful writing intelligence. Murmur is a fully achieved literary experiment, digging deep into all the dimensions of human consciousness, including state sanctioned savagery'
'Remarkable . . . Murmur’s transgressive power lies at the level both of language and of structure . . . Will Eaves has achieved one of the pinnacles of novelistic endeavour: he has given deep thought to human experience, and in doing so brought to life the “self-conscious wonder” of thought itself'
Sam Byers, Times Literary Supplement
'[Murmur will] grip your mind in the very first pages, break your heart halfway through, and in the end, strangely, unexpectedly, restore your faith in human beings and their endless capacity for resilience'
ELIF SHAFAK, Wellcome Book Prize chair of judges
'An extraordinary exploration of dreams, consciousness, science and the future'
New Scientist, Books of the Year
'Murmur is a fully achieved literary experiment, digging deep into all the dimensions of human consciousness'
Goldsmiths Prize judges
'Will Eaves’s Murmur is a dive through consciousness, from the mundane to memory dreams, and beyond. The narrator – “Alec Pryor”/Alan Turing, the author – explores, from the inside, and with great scrupulousness, the mind’s unknowns . . . and the tragedy of Alan Turing. Knowing the story does not soften the ending'
Beverley Bie Brahic, Times Literary Supplement, Books of the Year
'The premise is startlingly ambitious: what if we could think our way into Alan Turing’s dreams? . . . Scrupulous, humane, sad and strange, [Murmur] is as bracingly intelligent as it is brave'
'Exceptionally poised and elegant . . . Murmur is a poignant meditation on the irrepressible complexity of human nature and sexuality, and a powerful indictment of the cowardice and groupthink that sustain state-sanctioned barbarism'
'Will Eaves’s Murmur, a novel about Alan Turing so good and so strange it makes one want to shout'
Ian Sansom, Times Literary Supplement, Books of the Year
'Beautiful and hallucinatory . . . Murmur is most memorable when it lifts out of material history into higher planes of poetry. From Alec’s extreme isolation and suffering springs a vision of universal connectedness'
Wall Street Journal
'A marvellous and compelling book, on a subject of huge importance and scandal'
'Murmur is a profound meditation on what machine consciousness might mean, the implications of AI, where it will all lead. It’s one of the big stories of our time, though no one else has treated it with such depth and originality'
PETER BLEGVAD, author of THE BOOK OF LEVIATHAN
'Masterful – compassionate, principled, and moving. It is deeply wise, with the aching loneliness of both human indignity and dignity, despair and courage'
ANNE MICHAELS, author of FUGITIVE PIECES
'Has achieved the holy grail of modern prose: conveying consciousness . . . An exquisitely crafted novel'
'Ambitiously and brilliantly illustrates the relationships between fiction, consciousness, and artificial intelligence'
Australian Book Review
'Tender and funny, Murmur takes the tragic story of Turing’s life and punishment and ingeniously transforms it into something glittering, subversive, and even triumphant. Eaves has built a magnificently challenging memorial to one of the great twentieth-century martyrs'
PATRICK GALE, author of ROUGH MUSIC
'Gripping . . . A wildly inventive and moving exploration of the human mind'
Kirkus Reviews (starred review)