Burnside, John I Put a Spell on You

ISBN 13: 9780224093873

I Put a Spell on You

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9780224093873: I Put a Spell on You
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In this exquisite, haunting book, John Burnside describes his coming of age from the industrial misery of Cowdenbeath and Corby to the new world of Cambridge. This is a memoir of romance – of lost love and the love of being lost – darkened by threat, illuminated by glamour.

The old Scots word ‘glamour’ means magical charm, and the first time he was played I Put a Spell on You, John Burnside thought he had never heard a more beautiful song – it was an enchantment, a fascination that would turn to obsession. Implicit in the song were all the ambiguities that intrigued him – love, possession and danger – and this book is an exploration of the darker side of glamour and attraction. Beginning with memories of a brutal murder, the book follows the author through a series of uncanny encounters with ‘lost girls’, with brilliant digressions on murder ballads, voodoo, acid and insomnia, and a cast that includes Kafka and Narcissus, Diane Arbus and Mel Lyman, The Four Tops and Screamin’ Jay Hawkins, and time spent lost in the Arctic Circle, black-and-white films and a mental institution. Ending with the tender summoning of the ghost of his dying mother as she sings along to the radio in her empty kitchen, I Put a Spell on You is a book about memory, about the other side of love: a book of secrets and wonders.

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Review:

"A marvellously meandering, digressive study of the nature of love... Burnside has a lovely garrulousness that is distinctively his own... Exact and enthralling." (Tessa Hadley Guardian)

"[An] indirect, peculiar, consuming memoir... Full of wonders." (Kate Kellaway Observer)

"A wise and wryly glum autobiography written in a highly rewarding, pared-back style." (Martin Hemming Sunday Times)

"Captivating and unsettling... A work of scalding honesty." (Sophie Elmhirst Financial Times)

"Intoxicating... Remarkable... A long-player that resonates long after the stylus has lifted." (Brian Morton Glasgow Sunday Herald)

Book Description:

The latest memoir by the prize-winning author of A Lie About My Father

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Other Popular Editions of the Same Title

9780099554943: I Put a Spell on You

Featured Edition

ISBN 10:  0099554941 ISBN 13:  9780099554943
Publisher: Vintage, 2015
Softcover

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Burnside, John
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John Burnside
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