Wood, Benjamin The Bellwether Revivals

ISBN 13: 9780143123347

The Bellwether Revivals

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9780143123347: The Bellwether Revivals

Bright, bookish Oscar Lowe has escaped the urban estate where he was raised and made a new life for himself amid the colleges and spires of Cambridge. He has grown to love the quiet routine of his life as a care assistant at a local nursing home, where he has forged a close friendship with the home's most ill-tempered resident, Dr. Paulsen. But when he meets and falls in love with Iris Bellwether, a beautiful and enigmatic medical student at King's College, Oscar is drawn into her world of scholarship and privilege, and soon becomes embroiled in the strange machinations of her brilliant but troubled brother, Eden, who believes he can adapt the theories of a forgotten Baroque composer to heal people with music. Eden's self-belief knows no bounds, and as he draws his sister and closed circle of friends into a series of disturbing experiments to prove himself right, Oscar realises the extent of the danger facing them all...

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Review:

'In this multi-themed and far-reaching novel, the dichotomies of reason and superstition, sanity and madness, science and faith, are given close and sustained attention ...This is an accomplished novel, suffused with intelligence and integrity'

`Following a nursing home assistant in Cambridge it is "a powerful read that explores the conflicts that arise between logic, religion and blind faith", according to The Bookseller'
--Independent on Sunday

The Bellwether Revivals is a stunningly good debut novel, a thrilling story of music and its hold on a group of young people's minds and lives. Benjamin Wood writes with vigour, precision and intensity, with a story that will keep readers up all night. --Steven Galloway, author of The Cellist of Sarajevo

'The Bellwether Revivals renders the cruelties and frailties of genius with acuity and tenderness, exploring the naive sophistication of bright young minds, the moral immunity granted to coteries of privilege, and the true nature of mastery in art. Seductive, resonant, and disquieting, Benjamin Wood's novel captures strains and cadences, qualities of music that are rarely rendered except in sound. --Eleanor Catton, award-winning author of The Rehearsal

`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' --Daily Mail

`The novel ... has as its lodestone Brideshead Revisited ... a timely examination of the conflict between religion and scepticism, a theme explored with more rigour 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' --Independent

`An intense, claustrophobic debut in which a troubled Cambridge student believes he has the gift to heal, 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

`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 Revivals 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

`Read it. Quite a debut' --Patrick Neate --Lee Randall, The Scotsman

'Oh, how I loved this novel! I was drawn in from the very first sentence and pretty much didn't put it down until I reached the last. This is the kind of story that makes you want to hole up under the covers-with a box of cookies and a mug of tea-and not come out until you've uncovered the mysteries at its heart. And those mysteries that stay with you long after you reluctantly emerge from bed. I find myself constantly thinking of Wood's characters-wonderful, surprising Oscar Lowe and those beautiful, doomed Bellwethers. It reminded me, more than anything, of Donna Tartt's The Secret History, another novel that utterly consumed me, body and soul' Joanna Smith Rakoff, author of the New York Times bestselling A Fortunate Age

'This thrilling campus drama begins with the death of Eden Bellwether, a magnetic music scholar and the leader of a Cambridge University clique of undergraduates. The story unravels backwards as Oscar, a working-call nurse and wide-eyed, Nick Carraway figure, if brought in as the outsider-witness after being befriended by another Bellwether - Eden's sister, Iris, and becoming embroiled in the group's sinister 'experimentations'. A heady, Costa-award shortlisted debut that hypnotises from the very start' --Independent

'An ambitious exploration of doubt, hope and faith' --Lee Randall, The Scotsman

About the Author:

Benjamin Wood was born in 1981 and grew up in north-west England. In 2004, he was awarded a Commonwealth Scholarship to attend the MFA Creative Writing Programme at the University of British Columbia, Canada, where he was also fiction editor of the Canadian literary journal PRISM International. Benjamin is now a lecturer in Creative Writing at Birkbeck, University of London. The Bellwether Revivals is his first novel.

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Book Description Penguin Books, United States, 2013. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Reprint. 201 x 135 mm. Language: English . Brand New Book. *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. Bookseller Inventory # AAS9780143123347

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Book Description Penguin Books, United States, 2013. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Reprint. 201 x 135 mm. Language: English . Brand New Book. *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. Bookseller Inventory # AAS9780143123347

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