In Zodiac Light

In Zodiac Light

3.24 (33 ratings by Goodreads)
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Description

It is December 1922 and the aftershocks of the First World War continue to make themselves felt. Ex-soldier, poet and composer Ivor Gurney, suffering from increasingly frequent and deepening bouts of paranoid schizophrenia, is transferred to the City of London Mental Hospital, Dartford. Neglected by the military and by his own family, and abandoned by all but a notable handful of his friends, Gurney begins a descent into the madness and oblivion which he believes has long been waiting to claim him. Yet following his arrival at Dartford, there are still those who continue to believe in Gurney's capabilities - in his 'wayward genius'. For a brief period, it seems that he might find some calm and ease in his life, and thus achieve the status so many consider him capable of.show more

Product details

  • Paperback | 368 pages
  • 128 x 196 x 26mm | 258.55g
  • Transworld Publishers Ltd
  • Black Swan
  • London, United Kingdom
  • English
  • 0552774189
  • 9780552774185
  • 657,070

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 1986 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), Peacetime (longlisted for the Booker Prize 2002), Gathering the Water (longlisted for the Booker Prize 2006) and The Kingdom of Ashes.show more

Review quote

"A moving portrait of breakdown, casual brutality and locked-in creativity...A fine portrait of an acutely sensitive man" * Independent * "Edric's novel is a beautifully imagined contribution to securing Gurney's posthumous reputation" * Telegraph * "For more than 20 years now, Robert Edric's inflinching eye for human cruelty has roamed across centuries and continents" * Sunday Times Culture Magazine * "Subtle, absorbing novel of poetry, madness and post-war trauma" * Sunday Times * "[Edric's] prose has an impressive emotional weight" -- Andrew Motion, Poet Laureate * Guardian *show more

Review Text

"Subtle, absorbing novel of poetry, madness and post-war trauma"show more

Back cover copy

It is December 1922 and the aftershocks of the First World War continue to make themselves felt. Ex-soldier, poet and composer Ivor Gurney, suffering from bouts of paranoid schizophrenia, is transferred to the City of London Mental Hospital, Dartford. Neglected by the military and by his own family, and abandoned by all but a handful of his friends, Gurney begins a descent into the madness which he believes has long been waiting to claim him. Yet following his arrival at Dartford, it seems that he might find some calm and ease in his life, and thus achieve the status so many consider him still capable of. But few of those now responsible for Gurney realize the consequences of their hopefulness. They have no real idea of what he endured on the Western Front and the effects it had on his mind. Ultimately it is not the war but the refusal of his admirers to acknowledge the trauma of his experience that will take him closer to the edge of sanity that he both craves and fears . . .show more

Rating details

33 ratings
3.24 out of 5 stars
5 15% (5)
4 27% (9)
3 33% (11)
2 15% (5)
1 9% (3)
Book ratings by Goodreads
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