The Book Of The Heathen
21%
off

The Book Of The Heathen

3.19 (36 ratings by Goodreads)
By (author) 

Free delivery worldwide

Available. Dispatched from the UK in 1 business day
When will my order arrive?

Description

1897. In an isolated station in the Belgian Congo, an Englishman awaits trial for the murder of a native child. Imprisoned in a makeshift gaol, Nicholas Frere awaits the arrival of the Company's official investigator, while his friend, James Frasier, attempts to determine the circumstances which surround the charge. The world around them is rapidly changing: the horrors of the Belgian Congo are becoming known and the flow of its once-fabulous wealth is drying up. Unrest flares unstoppably into violence. Frere's coming trial will seek to determine considerably more than the killing of a child. But at the heart of this conflict lies a secret so dark, so unimaginable, that one man must be willingly destroyed by his possession of it, and the other must both sanction and participate in that destruction. 'More disturbing even than Conrad in his depiction of the heart of darkness . . . it will be surprising if this year sees a more disturbing or haunting novel' Peter Kemp, Sunday Times 'Relentless . . . an impressive and disturbing work of art' Robert Nye, Literary Review 'Edric describes a compelling plot in fine, spare prose' David Isaacson, Daily Telegraphshow more

Product details

  • Paperback | 352 pages
  • 128 x 198 x 25mm | 260g
  • Transworld Publishers Ltd
  • Black Swan
  • London, United Kingdom
  • English
  • 0552999253
  • 9780552999250
  • 851,727

Review quote

"'Relentless . . . an impressive and disturbing work of art'" -- Robert Nye * Literary Review * "'Precise and compelling . . . maintains a relentless hold on the reader's interest . . . a fable about versions of truth and moral responsibility. It also belongs to a very British tradition: the mapping of non-Europe as a nightmare world in which the European psyche confronts its own dark madness'" -- Aamer Hussein * Independent * "'Rendered in prose whose steadiness and transparency throw the dark turbulence of what is happening into damning relief'" -- Peter Kemp * The Sunday Times * "'A very gripping story . . . the reader is drawn in inexorably to discover what horror lies at the heart of it . . . an apocalyptic fable for today'" -- John Spurling * The Times Literary Supplement * "'Many respectable judges would put Edric in the top ten of British novelists currently at work . . . as a writer, he specialises in the delicate hint and the game not given away'" -- D.J. Taylor * Spectator *show more

About Robert Edric

Robert Edric was born in 1956. His novels include Winter Garden (1985 James Tait Black Prize winner), A New Ice Age (1986 runner-up for the Guardian Fiction Prize), A Lunar Eclipse, The Earth Made of Glass, Elysium, In Desolate Heaven, The Sword Cabinet, The Book of the Heathen (shortlisted for the 2001 WH Smith Literary Award) and Peacetime (longlisted for the Booker Prize 2002). He is also the author of the widely-acclaimed Song Cycle Trilogy, which comprises Cradle Song, Siren Song and Swan Song.show more

Back cover copy

1897. In an isolated station in the Belgian Congo, an Englishman awaits trial for the murder of a native child, while his friend attempts to discover the circumstances surrounding the charge. The world around them is rapidly changing: the horrors of colonial Africa are becoming known and the flow of its once-fabulous wealth is drying up. But there is even more than the death of a child at the heart of this conflict. There is a secret so dark, so unimaginable, that one man must be willingly destroyed by his possession of it, and the other must participate in that destruction.show more

Review Text

"'Precise and compelling . . . maintains a relentless hold on the reader's interest . . . a fable about versions of truth and moral responsibility. It also belongs to a very British tradition: the mapping of non-Europe as a nightmare world in which the European psyche confronts its own dark madness'"show more

Rating details

36 ratings
3.19 out of 5 stars
5 8% (3)
4 28% (10)
3 42% (15)
2 19% (7)
1 3% (1)
Book ratings by Goodreads
Goodreads is the world's largest site for readers with over 50 million reviews. We're featuring millions of their reader ratings on our book pages to help you find your new favourite book. Close X