The Bellwether Revivals: A Novel and over one million other books are available for Amazon Kindle. Learn more
  • List Price: $26.95
  • Save: $6.99 (26%)
FREE Shipping on orders over $35.
Only 1 left in stock.
Ships from and sold by Amazon.com.
Gift-wrap available.
FREE Shipping on orders over $35.
Used: Very Good | Details
Condition: Used: Very Good
Comment: While this book has been loved by someone else, they left it in great condition. Hurry and buy it before someone else does and take advantage of our FREE Super Saver Shipping!!!
Have one to sell? Sell on Amazon
Flip to back Flip to front
Listen Playing... Paused   You're listening to a sample of the Audible audio edition.
Learn more
See this image

The Bellwether Revivals: A Novel Hardcover – June 14, 2012


See all 17 formats and editions Hide other formats and editions
Amazon Price New from Used from
Kindle
"Please retry"
Hardcover, June 14, 2012
$19.96
$0.01 $0.01
Best%20Books%20of%202014

Frequently Bought Together

The Bellwether Revivals: A Novel + The Trinity Six
Price for both: $33.41

Buy the selected items together
NO_CONTENT_IN_FEATURE

Holiday Deals in Books
Holiday Deals in Books
Find deals for every reader in the Holiday Deals in Books store, featuring savings of up to 50% on cookbooks, children's books, literature & fiction, and more.

Product Details

  • Hardcover: 432 pages
  • Publisher: Viking Adult (June 14, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0670023590
  • ISBN-13: 978-0670023592
  • Product Dimensions: 9.3 x 6.4 x 1.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (22 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,128,476 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

“Wood vividly dramatizes the quandary that Oscar finds himself in: He’s so entranced by Iris and the Bellwether circle that he dreads challenging Eden directly, yet Eden could be a danger to himself and others. The showdown occurs at the remote estate owned by the absent Bellwether parents, where Eden retreats to a small outbuilding housing an organ — a place where the Phantom of the Opera would feel right at home.”
—Maureen Corrigan, The Washington Post
 
“Wood’s novel is weighty and so he sets himself a challenge. Fortunately, in the main, he pulls it off, at times triumphantly. . . . It would be an overstatement to suggest that Wood does for Cambridge what Evelyn Waugh does for Oxford but, to give him his due, he accurately captures, or recreates, that similar youthful hedonism and folly, and Eden is as offbeat and infuriating a creation as Sebastian Flyte. . . . Wood’s own original stamp is his treatment of that brittle boundary between genius and madness, and its inventiveness and execution makes this debut a compulsive read.”
—Malcolm Forbes, The National (UAE)
 
“From the moment young Oscar follows the organ music in Kings College chapel, I was ready to follow the talented Benjamin Wood anywhere. Wood writes beautifully about music, hypnotism, old people and the lush landscapes of Cambridge. And his intricate plot carries both Oscar and the reader to a place where the stakes, finally, are nothing less than life and death.”
—Margot Livesey, author of the New York Times bestselling The Flight of Gemma Hardy
 
“Oh how I loved this novel! I was drawn in from the very first sentence and pretty much didn’t put it down until I reached the last. This is the kind of story that makes you want to hole up under the covers and not come out until you’ve uncovered the mysteries at its heart. I find myself constantly thinking of Wood’s characters—wonderful, surprising Oscar Lowe and those beautiful, doomed Bellwethers. It reminded me, more than anything, of Donna Tartt’s The Secret History, another novel that utterly consumed me, body and soul.”
—Joanna Smith Rakoff, author of the New York Times bestselling A Fortunate Age
 
“Discovering the world of Benjamin Wood’s characters is like unlocking a series of psychological puzzles, mysterious and completely engrossing. Impossible to put down, The Bellwether Revivals is a brilliant investigation into obsessions and their entirely unpredictable consequences.”
—Susan Daitch, author of Paper Conspiracies
 
“Well-drawn . . . richly imagined emotion . . . Wood’s confident, sometimes creepy debut novel draws you in—like the faintly heard strain from that hauntingly played pipe-organ—and then, once you’re inside, holds on, ever tightening its grip.”
—The Independent on Sunday (UK)
 
The Bellwether Revivals is a stunningly good debut novel, a thrilling story of music and its hold on a group of young people’s minds and lives. Benjamin Wood writes with vigor, precision and intensity, with a story that will keep readers up all night.”
—Steven Galloway, bestselling author of The Cellist of Sarajevo
 
The Bellwether Revivals renders the cruelties and frailties of genius with acuity and tenderness, exploring the naïve sophistication of bright young minds, the moral immunity granted to coteries of privilege and the true nature of mastery in art. Seductive, resonant and disquieting, Benjamin Wood’s novel captures strains and cadences, qualities of music that are rarely rendered except in sound.”
—Eleanor Catton, award-winning author of The Rehearsal
 
“In this multi-themed and far-reaching novel, the dichotomies of reason and superstition, sanity and madness, science and faith, are given close and sustained attention. . . . An accomplished novel, suffused with intelligence and integrity. Wood gives voice to theories and ideas in a lucid and accessible way. . . . This skillful novel has flow, pace and a lightness of touch.”
—Samantha Harvey, The Guardian (UK)
 


“Previous authors have explored the proximity of genius to madness, but Wood treats this familiar theme with a freshness and intelligence that hint at greater things to come.”
—TLS
 
“There’s more than a hint of Donna Tartt’s The Secret History about this novel, with Cambridge taking the place of Vermont… highly effective.”
The Daily Mail (UK)
 
“The novel … has as its lodestone Brideshead Revisited … a timely examination of the conflict between religion and scepticism, a theme explored with more rigor than in this novel’s template. There, we rarely doubt that Waugh is on the side of grace and the supernatural. Donna Tartt’s The Secret History is also in the DNA here, and there are echoes of another literary analysis of the unhealthy emotional bond between a brother and sister, L P Hartley’s Eustace and Hilda.  Does it matter that Wood wears his influences so clearly on his sleeve? Some may find the book reads like a contemporary filigree on its illustrious predecessors, but most readers will find themselves transfixed by this richly drawn cast of characters. The fact that Wood can hold his own in such heavyweight company is a measure of his achievement.”
—Barry Forshaw, The Independent (UK)
 
“Music offers no real cure for sickness, as Oscar slowly and disturbingly discovers.  The bright boy from the sink estate realizes the Cambridge set he’s been sucked into, in an attempt to ensnare beautiful Iris, is racing towards a terrible danger.”
—The Daily Mirror (UK) (Four-star review)
 
“Intense . . . Benjamin Wood’s debut plunges into the heart of privileged Cambridge where musical genius Eden Bellwether is the leader of a coterie of acolytes.  Outsider Oscar—bookish and estranged from his working-class family—falls for Eden’s sister Iris and becomes involved with Eden’s conviction that he can heal the sick with the music of an obscure baroque composer.  Things go wrong when Eden tries to ‘mend’ Iris’s broken leg, and then attempts to cure an author of terminal brain cancer.  As events spiral out of control, the conflicts between madness and reason, religion and blind faith, become dangerously real.”
—Marie Claire (UK)
 
“Students have been in the headlines … will it bring the campus novel back into vogue? With not one but two books featuring students out this month, it certainly seems the case.  Written by graduates and both featuring Oxbridge graduates… The Bellwether Revivals by Benjamin Wood … boasts a 21st century spin on a genre that once upon a time seemed only to celebrate lofty minded or louche toffs.”
—Mariella Frostrup, Open Books BBC Radio 4
 
“Praise be, a brilliant debut novel reminiscent of the moral explorations of Iris Murdoch and Zadie Smith but younger in temperament, more directly passionate and theatrical.”
—Three Guys One Book
 
“Wood moves the reader deftly through pastoral Cambridge, into the British upper crust, and ultimately into the mad mind of Eden himself.”
—Kirkus Reviews
 
“Read it. Quite a debut.”
—Patrick Neate, author of City of Tiny Lights
 
The Bellwether Revivals takes a well-worn format and twists it from the word Go.  Main character from humble background insinuates self into the lives of a bunch of posh people, except that this time it’s different, and it’s crucial to the story that it is … Wood’s stylish, sensual novel really cast a spell on me. A fictional experiment. It worked.”
—Isabel Costello, isabelcostello.wordpress.com

About the Author

Benjamin Wood was born in 1981 and grew up in northwest England. In 2004, he was awarded a Commonwealth Scholarship to attend the MFA Creative Writing Programme at the University of British Columbia, Canada, where he was also the fiction editor of the literary journal PRISM International. Wood is now a lecturer in creative writing at Birkbeck, University of London. The Bellwether Revivals is his first novel.

More About the Author

Discover books, learn about writers, read author blogs, and more.

Customer Reviews

Very well written, fully fleshed-out characters and descriptive settings.
Jennifer Tucker
Rating: 5/5 It has been a long time since I've read a novel in which the prose was as beautiful as The Bellwether Revivals.
Alexandra
Or was I just reading far too much into it, (much like the characters themselves might do)?
Mary Lavers

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By CL on June 20, 2012
Format: Hardcover
The Bellwether Revivals is one of the best, most breathtaking books I've read in a while. Full of rich details and perfect pacing for the harrowing conclusion, I pored over each sentence with increasing fascination that such a young author could have such command over his story. Often, I found myself referring back to the short prelude, thinking, "A-ha, now I'm starting to see how the characters got to this very strange place."

The story centers on a group of young college students in England but is told from young Oscar's perspective, an initial outsider to both the group and the college world. He works at what is essentially a nursing home, where he's befriended Dr. Paulson, who is quite a character himself, both witty and ill-tempered. One day, while crossing near King's College, Oscar is drawn into a church by the organ music playing. This is how he meets Iris Bellwether, a girl he soon falls in love with. It is her brother, Eden, who is playing the music - and Oscar soon finds out that Eden is quite the musical genius.

As the story continues, Eden's behavior becomes more erratic, leading Iris to ask for Oscar's help. Eden believes he can heal people with music, and the bizarre things that he experiments with come closer to real danger for everyone involved.

When recommending the book to a friend, I told him that the story involves music theory/hypnosis/healing, the thin line between genius and insanity, psychology, what it feels like to be an outsider, an uncomfortable relationship between siblings, and dead bodies. It might sound a little nuts, but the story draws you in - and the pacing couldn't be better. I could barely stand to put the book down, yet I hated that it had to end.
Read more ›
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
14 of 16 people found the following review helpful By Lydia TOP 1000 REVIEWER on May 17, 2012
Format: Paperback
Every once in a while I'll start to read a book and within just a few minutes, I'll get goosebumps. That happened to me with The Bellwether Revivals - and honestly, I was surprised by it.

First of all - this book is described as a "masterpiece,"; a word that immediately sets me on edge because I feel as if I'm being set up to be disappointed. Secondly - the book centers around music - yet another thing that is bound to disappoint me since very few authors actually take the time to write intelligently about music and throw words around like Chopin and Beethoven like they are the end all/be all of classical music.

But once I began to read I was completely enchanted by the story being told. The beginning is perfect, and I don't want to spoil it by writing about it in detail - but as far as tension and masterful writing goes? It's a 5 out of 5. It sets a gothic tone, is gritty, powerful and made me want to find a corner where I could be sucked into the story and not leave until it was finished. That feeling warred with one that was wanting me to slow down and savor it, like every last bite of a really delicious piece of pie. I didn't want the story to end, yet I craved the ending and every bite along the way.

The Bellwether Revivals is the story of a strange pairing of siblings - academic, rich kids who attend King's College. Into their life comes a man who is employed at, what is essentially, a nursing home. He lacks the education of the set of people the siblings are involved with, yet reads and furthers his own mind outside of the classroom in a way that the rich set only dreams of.

Added to the fantastic richness of the characters is science - specifically psychology.
Read more ›
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Shanella on July 6, 2012
Format: Hardcover
Benjamin Wood makes a bold move in his debut novel, The Bellwether Revivals - he begun at the end. When I read the prologue and saw that he was telling the reader what to expect in the end, I was a little curious to see if I'd be able to see through the mystery or not. I was pleasantly surprised with the result.

The Bellwether Revivals is the story of Oscar, a young caregiver at a retirement home in Cambridge, who stumbles across Eden and Iris Bellwether along with their friends, Jane, Marcus and Yin. When Oscar and Iris start dating, he is drawn into the world of the five scholars who tend to stick to themselves. Eden, a gifted musician and composer seems fixated on the idea that he can heal others through his music. Iris, concerned for her brother's welfare, enlists Oscar's assistance in helping her brother.

The first thing I noticed about this book was the amount of research that went into the story. It's sometimes easy to dump so much information on a reader that it becomes overwhelming, however, the author's decision to allow the reader to gain information through multiple ways - newspaper clippings, dialogue about books, or even simple dialogue explaining theories - worked well together and I never felt overwhelmed by the new information.

While there were a lot of foreign concepts for me - music and hypnotism with a bit of psychology - the prose had an easy flow to it that allowed for the story - though rather dense with detail - to be a quick read. I found it to be well paced and engaging, even though we were told what to expect in the ending. There were lots of great quotes in this book, and even the things that I didn't necessarily agree with were interesting to ponder.
Read more ›
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again

Most Recent Customer Reviews