Author(s): Ronan Bennett
Where magnificence and squalor co-exist, there will always be envy, rage, cruelty, paranoia and violence... St Petersburg, 1914: imposing and shabby, monumental and squalid, and ÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂ¢ÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂ under its surface of frosty glamour ÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂ¢ÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂ seething with plots and secret allegiances. On a blustery April day O.V. Gulko, a respected newspaper editor, is murdered in front of a shocked crowd. Five days later Dr Otto Spethmann, famous psychoanalyst, receives a visit from the police. There has been another murder in the city ÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂ¢ÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂ and somehow he is implicated. He is mystified ÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂ¢ÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂ and deeply worried, as much for his young, spirited daughter as for himself. He is preoccupied, too, by two new patients: Anna Petrovna, the society beauty plagued with nightmares with whom he is steadily and inappropriately falling in love, and troubled genius Rozental, the brilliant but mentally fragile chess master, due to play the most important competition of his life - the spectacular St Petersburg chess tournament - but on the verge of a complete breakdown. With the city rife with speculation and alarm, Spethmann broods over his own chessboard, its pieces frozen mid-battle, and contemplates the many forces ÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂ¢ÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂ political, historical, sexual - that are holding him in their graspÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂ¢ÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂ¦
An extremely commercial new direction for Ronan Sensational serialisation of the novel, as it is being written, in the Observer every week Eye-catching press advertising; chapter samplers available
Shortlisted for Hughes & Hughes Irish Novel of the Year Award 2008.
Praise for HAVOC, IN ITS THIRD YEAR 'Searingly powerful...a fable and parable for all times - and ours in particular...sublimely written.' Independent 'A gripping novel...staggered with betrayal and intrigue and suffused with the hot threat of violence. Bennett's prose is economical, powerful, and often poetic.' The Times 'Bennett's evocation of a corner of England on the edge of an apocalypse is wonderfully done.' Guardian
Ronan Bennett was brought up in Belfast. He is the author of four novels, including the hugely acclaimed The Catastrophist (shortlisted for the Whitbread Novel Award) and Havoc, in Its Third Year (winner of the Hughes & Hughes Irish Novel of the Year and longlisted for both the Booker Prize and the IMPAC award). He has also written screenplays for film and television. Zugzwang is currently being serialised weekly in the Observer. Ronan Bennett lives in London with his family.