- 95,00 kr
'Dazzling.' The Times
'Extraordinary.' Financial Times
'A miracle.' Wall Street Journal
*Winner of the RSL Encore Award*
*Longlisted for the Booker Prize*
November 1944. A German rocket strikes London, and five young lives are atomised in an instant.
November 1944. That rocket never lands. A single second in time is altered, and five young lives go on - to experience all the unimaginable changes of the twentieth century.
Because maybe there are always other futures. Other chances.
From the best-selling, prize-winning author of Golden Hill, Light Perpetual is a story of the everyday, the miraculous and the everlasting. Ingenious and profound, full of warmth and beauty, it is a sweeping and intimate celebration of the gift of life.
Spufford (Golden Hill) spins alternate narratives for five Londoners who died during the London Blitz in this magical yarn. The story opens in 1944 as the characters are killed in a rocket attack during Hitler's "Vengeance Campaign" against Great Britain. After conjuring this tragedy, the narrator draws on Zeno's paradox to theorize that for every historical event that's occurred, there is an event that might have occurred. Thus, the reader comes to know sisters Jo and Val the former, a brilliant and soulful rock star living in California; the latter, a woman trapped in a relationship with a violent, racist skinhead in England. As a London businessman, Vern sees peaks and valleys, as does Alec, a once-typesetter at the Times who in the '70s finds his calling as a teacher. Ben is a schizophrenic whose heart-wrenching breakdown in 1979 London comprises the novel's most stunning chapter. These narrative threads sometimes overlap, as when an adult Vern, bullied by Alec as a child, inadvertently knocks on Alec's door while pursuing a property scheme. Watching the roles of bully and victim get reversed as the two of them catch up over tea is both tense and satisfying. Thanks to Spufford's narrative wizardry, all five protagonists come to vivid life in this spectacularly moving story.