Light Perpetual Audible Audiobook – Unabridged
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 20th century.
Because maybe there are always other futures. Other chances.
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.
From the best-selling, prize-winning author of Golden Hill, a novel of the everyday, the miraculous and the everlasting.
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|Listening Length||12 hours and 37 minutes|
|Audible.in Release Date||04 February 2021|
|Publisher||W. F. Howes Ltd|
|Best Sellers Rank|| #2,565 in Audible Audiobooks & Originals (See Top 100 in Audible Audiobooks & Originals) |
#5 in World War II Historical Fiction
#1,477 in Action & Adventure (Books)
#2,173 in Historical Fiction (Books)
Top reviews from other countries
Spufford dislodges history here in an intriguing little trope, pulling from the obliteration of 168 souls in a WW2 V2 rocket attack on Woolworths in Bexford (Lewisham way) the lives of the five as they might have been led. All of them relive that sense of their own oblivion as they grow up across a series of 15-year intervals. Each character changes gear, each gap a new layering of the self, a new chord. ‘Let the diva out,’ Jo says to herself during her recording gigs in LA. ‘Push rage and heartbreak into the night. Make the silver and the grey, ring; let the brown resound.’ These innovative little language effects are everywhere in the novel, a kind of randomising set of stabs into the anxiety of post-war England.
The savagery is there, too, the thuggery of fascism lingers on, but with all the massive centripetal forces that drive people like Ben out into the crushing desolation of paranoia and nightmare, there are others driven by spiritual power who will draw them back into the centre. Spufford is fascinated by those twin dynamics of intimacy and isolation and suggests that they characterise human lives everywhere, their haphazard entanglements with others vital to the way we grow into the light perpetual. The writing is grounded, detailed, filled with protracted lists of observations, as if the constant re-alignments necessary for the light of God to shine through the ‘seeming cloud of debris of our days’ are somehow woven into the fabric of the narrative.
The prose kicks and jolts across page-space, drawing attention to its own unique form. And that’s important. When Alec is waiting at a Tube station, he indulges ‘one of those moments where you see that the crowd is composed of, is nothing but, individual after individual after individual’. The novel’s constant revolving of perspectives through one pair of eyes to another brings families, new faces and exciting cultural alignments (Ben and Marsha are my favourite couple) to the fore. And once they surface, they plunge again and then resurface.
A novel, then, of chance, based on the ‘What If?’ of the initial premise. It didn’t happen; the characters never existed. But that never stopped the light shining through.