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First Light

by Peter Ackroyd

ISBN 0802111610 / 9780802111616 / 0-8021-1161-0
Publisher Grove Pr
Language English
Edition Hardcover
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Book summary

First Light is not the darkest of Peter Ackroyd's novels (Hawksmoor has that honor), but fans of the macabre will relish its exhilarating combination of cosmic awe, ancient beings, and creepy underground tunnels, in a humorous suspense story as cleverly paced as a Hitchcock thriller. The story is that the excavation of a neolithic, astronomically aligned grave under the pastoral hills of Dorset, England, coincides with the startling reappearance of ancient stars (including H. P. Lovecraft's Aldebaran) in the night sky. A group of deliciously eccentric characters--archaeologists, astronomers, a stuffy civil servant, a stand-up comic, and vaguely menacing local villagers--converge at the site and collide with each other. As Gabriele Annan wrote in the London Sunday Telegraph, "Ackroyd is such a master of mood, of tension, angst, foreboding, frisson, but also of tenderness and exultation, that one is drawn into his tale as by a magus." [via]