An American scientist, lecturing on cholera in Bombay, visits a makeshift hospital and makes a decision that will change her life forever. A carpenter sits in the Australian beach house he built for his adored wife, hearing strange noises in the walls. An aid worker in war-torn Africa watches, powerless, as a mission church, filled with people, is burned to the ground. John Murray's extraordinary stories unfold to reveal whole lives - people caught between the past and the present, between different cultures, and between their intellect and emotions. Muscular, atmospheric, by turns hilarious, horrifying and unbearably moving, these stories show their author to be a formidably talented writer.
'A real delight'
?Superb, really extraordinary. Murray?s prose is direct and elegant, the stories tight and brilliantly crafted. An exceptional achievement?
?Murray masterfully captures life?s incomprehensibility, even, perhaps, making it a little more comprehensible. Set against the global calamities of war, disease and poverty, the personal tragedies that he dramatizes ? bereavement, lost romance, life-long dreams slipping inexorably over the horizon ? remain real?
?Deals with the big and awkward questions. Murray offers a sort of world of fiction, constructing lives which move through vividly realized spaces while remaining rootless and at risk?
?Looms like an alp above the tundra of trivia so much contemporary fiction consists of?
?We engage with the characters at the deepest levels of feeling?
?An amazing feat ? prose that shares both the beauty and wilderness of the world he describes. The characters are all captivatingly unique. A fantastic collection?
?Compelling, compassionate and quietly inspirational, each of these tales is as satisfying as a novel?
?Adventures of the mind?
?Stark realistic prose?