Light Perpetual (Compact Disc)
Through snapshots of five young children beginning with their death in a 1944 German bombing of London, this incisive novel imagines their long lives had they survived. Light Perpetual recounts the music scene in the 60’s, a mental breakdown of a bus conductor and his later renewal, gang warfare’s imprint on one of them, another’s complicity in a property boom and bust cycle, and reconciliation between a long divorced couple. With a magic touch, Francis Spufford affirms his fascination with “the complicated fractured broken-up difficult surface of the real world.” Easily, the best literary fiction I’ve read since Hamnet and A Gentleman in Moscow.— Dave
From the critically acclaimed and award-winning author of Golden Hill, a mesmerizing and boldly inventive novel tracing the infinite possibilities of five lives in the bustling neighborhoods of 20th-century London.Lunchtime on a Saturday, 1944: the Woolworths on Bexford High Street in southeast London receives a delivery of aluminum saucepans. A crowd gathers to see the first new metal in ages--after all, everything's been melted down for the war effort. An instant later, the crowd is gone; incinerated. Among the shoppers were five young children. Who were they? What futures did they lose? This brilliantly constructed novel lets an alternative reel of time run, imagining the life arcs of these five souls as they live through the extraordinary, unimaginable changes of the bustling immensity of twentieth-century London. Their intimate everyday dramas, as sons and daughters, spouses, parents, grandparents; as the separated, the remarried, the bereaved. Through decades of social, sexual, and technological transformation, as bus conductors and landlords, as swindlers and teachers, patients and inmates. Days of personal triumphs, disasters; of second chances and redemption. Ingenious and profound, full of warmth and beauty, Light Perpetual illuminates the shapes of experience, the extraordinariness of the ordinary, the mysteries of memory and expectation, and the preciousness of life.