The Blind Light

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Pub Date 24 Jun 2021 | Archive Date 13 Jul 2022


Shortlisted for the RSL Encore Award 2021

A New York Times Top 10 Historical Novel of 2020

As the 1950s draw to a close, and the Cold War escalates, the shape of Drummond Moore’s life is changed beyond measure when he strikes up an unlikely friendship with James Carter, a rich and well-connected fellow National Serviceman. Carter leads him to Doom Town – an Army base that seeks to recreate the effects of a nuclear war – where he meets Gwen, a barmaid with whom he shares an instant connection. These unforeseen events have dramatic aftershocks that reverberate for generations.

Set over sixty years of British history, The Blind Light is the compelling story of one family as they deal with the personal and political fallout of their times, and one that builds to a devastating conclusion.

‘Reads like a British Don DeLillo, telling the social history of Britain through two generations of a family’ Observer

‘Rivals the work of American greats such as Bellow and Franzen’ The Week

‘A terrific book’  Samira Ahmed, BBC Radio 4

‘A panoramic novel of modern Britain . . . extraordinary’  Spectator

 ‘Atmospheric . . . powerfully imagined . . . multi-threaded, unflinching, and visceral’ TLS

Shortlisted for the RSL Encore Award 2021

A New York Times Top 10 Historical Novel of 2020

As the 1950s draw to a close, and the Cold War escalates, the shape of Drummond Moore’s life is changed beyond...

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ISBN 9781529031003
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Featured Reviews

Another one from my TBR pile that i had my eye on for a while. The title becomes clear later in the book, its a novel spanning decades and the friendship/relationship between Carter and Moore. Its not always a healthy relationship but its one that gets under your skin. The story starts after the second world war and dances its way through British history until this century. it focuses on the main characters and their complex relationships with each other and their own families, global events and their impact on the life of Moore and Carter. Strong social British history with a family dynamic.

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A beautifully written, thoughtful and powerful portrait of Britain, the effects of class within our society and how national and international events shape individual lives and family dynamics through the generations.

Drum and Carter cross paths when they join National Service in the 1950s. They loosely become friends on the first night after Drum notices a cards scam in progress and discretely alerts Carter, allowing him to avert a large gambling loss. However, the friendship is very much on Carter's terms, viewing Drum as a subservient useful asset and good luck charm. Coming from a respected and high ranking military family, Carter ostensibly takes Drum under his wing, securing safer postings but without Drum having any say.

Carter continues to exert a strong influence over Drum throughout his life, giving rise to significant family tensions. Through rich details and descriptions the time periods feel authentic and come alive, with historical events resonating through complicated characters and their complex relationships.

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I really enjoyed this book and it gave me a well needed lift to my day. The insight and humour spoke volumes about the experiences and challenges that we were guided through as the audience. I am very glad I read this book and would highly recommend..

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