The Bellwether Revivals
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The Bellwether Revivals

3.56 (2,305 ratings by Goodreads)
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Description

*Finalist for the Costa First Novel Award**Shortlisted for the Commonwealth Writers Prize* From a rising literary star, a thrilling debut novel of psychological suspense set among the colleges of Cambridge When bright and bookish Oscar Lowe follows the haunting sound of an organ into the chapel of Kings College, Cambridge, one day, his whole world changes. He meets a beautiful and seductive medical student, Iris Bellwether, and her charismatic and troubled brother Eden. Oscar is seduced by their life of scholarship and privilege, but when Eden convinces Iris and her close-knit group of friends to participate in a series of disturbing experiments, Oscar fears he has entered into something from which he cannot escape. Reminiscent of Donna Tartt's The Secret History, The Bellwether Revivals is a gripping exploration of the line between genius and madness that will hold readers spellbound until its breathtaking conclusion.show more

Product details

  • Paperback | 420 pages
  • 134.62 x 200.66 x 27.94mm | 158.76g
  • Penguin Books
  • New York, United States
  • English
  • Reprint
  • 0143123343
  • 9780143123347
  • 716,021

Review quote

"There's more than a hint of Donna Tartt's "The Secret History" about this novel, with Cambridge taking the place of Vermont... highly effective."--"The Daily Mail" (UK)"The novel ... has as its lodestone "Brideshead Revisited" ... a timely examination of the conflict between religion and scepticism, a theme explored with more rigor than in this novel's template. There, we rarely doubt that Waugh is on the side of grace and the supernatural. Donna Tartt's "The Secret History" is also in the DNA here, and there are echoes of another literary analysis of the unhealthy emotional bond between a brother and sister, L P Hartley's "Eustace and Hilda." Does it matter that Wood wears his influences so clearly on his sleeve? Some may find the book reads like a contemporary filigree on its illustrious predecessors, but most readers will find themselves transfixed by this richly drawn cast of characters. The fact that Wood can hold his own in such heavyweight company is a measure of his achievement."--Barry Forshaw, "The Independent "(UK)"Music offers no real cure for sickness, as Oscar slowly and disturbingly discovers. The bright boy from the sink estate realizes the Cambridge set he's been sucked into, in an attempt to ensnare beautiful Iris, is racing towards a terrible danger."--"The Daily Mirror" (UK) (Four-star review) "Intense . . . Benjamin Wood's debut plunges into the heart of privileged Cambridge where musical genius Eden Bellwether is the leader of a coterie of acolytes. Outsider Oscar--bookish and estranged from his working-class family--falls for Eden's sister Iris and becomes involved with Eden's conviction that he can heal the sick with the music of an obscure baroque composer. Things go wrong when Eden tries to 'mend' Iris's broken leg, and then attempts to cure an author of terminal brain cancer. As events spiral out of control, the conflicts between madness and reason, religion and blind faith, become dangerously real."--"Marie Claire "(UK)"Students have been in the headlines ... will it bring the campus novel back into vogue? With not one but two books featuring students out this month, it certainly seems the case. Written by graduates and both featuring Oxbridge graduates... "The Bellwether Revival"s by Benjamin Wood ... boasts a 21st century spin on a genre that once upon a time seemed only to celebrate lofty minded or louche toffs."--Mariella Frostrup, Open Books BBC Radio 4 "Praise be, a brilliant debut novel reminiscent of the moral explorations of Iris Murdoch and Zadie Smith but younger in temperament, more directly passionate and theatrical."--"Three Guys One Book""Wood moves the reader deftly through pastoral Cambridge, into the British upper crust, and ultimately into the mad mind of Eden himself."--"Kirkus Reviews""Read it. Quite a debut."--Patrick Neate, author of "City of Tiny Lights"""The Bellwether Revivals" takes a well-worn format and twists it from the word Go. Main character from humble background insinuates self into the lives of a bunch of posh people, except that this time it's different, and it's crucial to the story that it is ... Wood's stylish, sensual novel really cast a spell on me. A fictional experiment. It worked."--Isabel Costello, isabelcostello.wordpress.comshow more

About Benjamin Wood

Benjamin Wood was born in 1981 and grew up in northwest England. He received his MFA in creative writing from the University of British Columbia. He is currently a lecturer in creative writing at Birkbeck, University of London. This is his first novel.show more

Rating details

2,305 ratings
3.56 out of 5 stars
5 18% (407)
4 38% (876)
3 31% (706)
2 10% (239)
1 3% (77)
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