ISBN is

9780575070936 / 0575070935

Being Light

by

Publisher:Orion

Edition:Softcover

Language:English

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About the book:

Richly praised for her first cult novel Alison Wonderland, Helen Smith's second novel, Being Light will delight those readers who admired the elegance and deadpan surrealism of her debut novel. In the weird world of Helen Smith, Being Light begins straightforwardly enough. Roy Travers is setting up a bouncy castle in Brixton, south London, when a freak gust of wind carries him far off into the sky. Roy plummets back to earth after a puncture to his castle. As he hurtles earthwards "dying and falling are indistinguishable to Roy in his final moments. He wakes in the arms of an angel. She isn't beautiful, although she is wearing white and she's soft and comforting". But all is most certainly not what it seems--least of all Roy's "angel".

The consequences of Roy's disappearance immerse the reader in a complicated and zany cast of characters, that includes Sheila, Roy's wife, who is convinced that aliens have kidnapped her husband; Mrs. Latimer, an animal trainer planning to use experimental drugs on the male population to turn them into pets, and the angelic eco-warrior Jeremy, with his mantra, "I'm going to stop the traffic". This is just a taste of the wacky characters assembled by Smith in a novel that is simply indefinable. At one moment it's a comedy of urban London people and manners, at the next moment a surreal mystery, and at other times a parody of urban environmentalism. Its parts do not necessarily lead up to a truly satisfying whole, but Smith is a wonderfully original and inventive writer who never bores her readers. --Jerry Brotton

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