Light Perpetual, by Francis Spufford (Faber 2021)

Neil's picture

Light Perpetual is on the 2021 Booker Prize Longlist, and is a dazzlingly original work by one of Britains most inventive contemporary writers. It reminded me of William Boyd's Any Human Heart, Paul Auster's 4 3 2 1, and Colum McCann's Let The Great World Spin. It's an epic novel, spanning 65 years from 1944 to 2009, following 5 characters from young children, and visiting them each for a day in 1949, 1964, 1979, 1994, and finally 2009. They interweave each others lives as they deal with the travails of the 20th Century. It's an incredibly compelling, and moving chronicle of the everyday, a celebration of life in all its utterly real variety.