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The Lighthouse Paperback – August 15, 2012
Pierced by the Sun
A gripping tale of murder and redemption by the author of Like Water for Chocolate. Learn More
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It is this accumulation of the quotidian, in prose as tight as Magnus Mills's, which lends Moore's book its standout nature, and brings the novel to its ambiguous, thrilling end.--Philip Womack "The Telegraph "
This is powerful writing likely to shine in your memory for a long time.--Emily Cleaver "LITRO Magazine "
No surprise that this quietly startling novel won column inches when it landed on the Man Booker Prize longlist. After all, it's a slender debut released by a tiny independent publisher. Don't mistake The Lighthouse for an underdog, though. For starters, it's far too assured ... Though sparely told, the novel's simple-seeming narrative has the density of far longer work. People and places are intricately evoked with a forensic feel for mood. It's title becomes a recurring motif, from the Morse code torch flashes of Futh's boyhood to the lighthouse-shaped silver perfume case that he carries in his pocket, history filling the void left by its missing vial of scent. Warnings are emitted, too - by Futh's anxious aunt and an intense man he meets on the ferry. It all stokes a sense of ominousness that makes the denouement not a bit less shocking.--Hephzibah Anderson "The Daily Mail "
This is an incredibly powerful, sad story. A beautiful, if austere book. And an amazingly talented writer. If it is a first novel, I guess it will not be the last because this is the kind of writing that is here to stay...--Josephine Huys "Amazon.co.uk "
The Lighthouse looks simple but isn't, refusing to unscramble what seems a bleak moral about the hazards of reproduction, in the widest sense. Small wonder that it stood up to the crash-testing of a prize jury's reading and rereading. One of the year's 12 best novels? I can believe it.--Anthony Cummins "The Observer "
In The Lighthouse Alison Moore has created an unsettling, seemingly becalmed but oddly sensual, and entirely excellent novel.--Alan Bowden "Words of Mercury "
Alison Moore's debut novel has all the assurance of a veteran, a strong contender for the prize, its sense of despair will either be its making or its undoing: 9/10.--Roz Davison "Don't Read That Read This "
Moore's writing has a superb sense of the weight of memory.--Kate Saunders "The Times "
Ultimately, what drew me into this bleak tale of sorrow and abandonment was the quality of the writing - so taut and economical it even looked different on the page somehow - and so effective in creating a mounting sense of menace and unease. It never flinches.--Isabel Costello "On the literary sofa "
Alison Moore's writing is exquisite, the prose simple and powerful, but it's the use of imagery which really marks it out as something special.--Sue Magee "The Bookbag "
The Lighthouse is a stunning book. Read it. Then read it again.--Zoe King "Amazon.co.uk "
The Lighthouse is a spare, slim novel that explores grief and loss, the patterns in the way we are hurt and hurt others, and the childlike helplessness we feel as we suffer rejection and abandonment. It explores the central question about leaving and being left: even when it feels inevitable, why does it hurt so much, and why is this particular kind of numbness so repellent to others? The brutal ending continues to shock after several re-readings.--Jenn Ashworth "The Guardian "
This is a book that might have vanished had it not been picked up by the Booker judges. It deserves to be read, and reread. No laughs, no levity, just a beautiful, sad, overripe tale that lingers in the mind.--Isabel Berwick "Financial Times "
What must have gone some way to earning The Lighthouse a place on the longlist, though, is the admirable simplicity of Moore's prose. Like Futh, its without flourishes, yet beneath its outward straightforwardness lies a hauntingly complex exploration of the recurring patterns that life inevitably follows, often as a consequence of one's past.--Francesca Angelini "The Sunday Times "
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Top Customer Reviews
she became a tall lighthouse sending out kindly beams which some took for a welcome instead of warnings against the rocks - Muriel Spark , " The Curtain Blown by the Breeze"
And so begins a fascinating and somewhat challenging read, full of symbolism and ambiguity.
At first glance it appears to be a tale of the mundane details of the middle- aged , recently separated man named " Futh". We never learn if " Futh " is his first or last name, he is simply" Futh" and an easily forgettable man. Futh appears to be somewhat slow witted, having not learned to drive until he was middle aged, and someone who has great difficulty with a map and organizing his life. He is also socially awkward, having no one to serve as his best man at his own wedding except for his father.
The lighthouse exists for Futh's father as physical, technological interest; whereas for Futh, the lighthouse is a perfume container that many years ago belonged to Futh's mother. Futh's mother left her husband and Futh when Futh was but a 10 year old because she was " bored". He carries the silver lighthouse with him at all times, mainly a memory of his mother, but also somewhat of a talisman.
At beginning of the story, Futh is traveling to Germany to re- walk a holiday that he took with his father shortly after his mother left. During his "circular" walk he hopes to close some old wounds and try to come to terms with his life as a child , and his recent separation from his wife. Futh stays at inn named " Hellhaus" , which in English, " translates to" bright house" or " light house", but one can easily understand its other meaning. Hellhaus is owned and run by a rather dysfunctional couple, Bernard and Ester.Read more ›
Alison Moore superbly sets up the tension in this relatively brief novel. There is a certain pathos about all the characters. All appear to be damaged souls. The lighthouse is a metaphor used throughout the book and eventually becomes the touchstone for destruction. This is a beautifully written literary novel and a superb choice for the Booker shortlist.
On flashback to his ambles through Germany with his father, soon after the splitting of his parents, all he has to cling to of his mother through to his rather humdrum middle age is the model lighthouse she gave him as a child, a perfume container, which he hopes may one day give him a glimpse of better luck in his life.
For me it was the way life still cheated him, the way early embitterments in life can cast a permanent cloud over any future, that made me sympathise so deeply with Futh. However, the tone of the book is often so interminably loaded with cloud that the cumulative effect is almost depressing. Perhaps this is the success of the book but, to an extent, that success eluded me.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Thee main character is pathetic. The other characters have nothing to recommend them either. In short, there is no one in this book that it is possible to really care about.Published 10 months ago by Bettye R. Clement
This is a thoroughly enjoyable, small book. It is the story of Futh, a middle aged man recently separated, trying to make sense of his life. Read morePublished 16 months ago by Alumine Andrew
Rarely do I think a book has little to no redeeming value. I found one. The book is "The Lighthouse" by Alison Moore. The plot is disjointed and repetitive. Read morePublished 20 months ago by Sue Hansen
Would probably give this a 3.5
Weird yet compelling story, following a character named Futh, as he undertakes a walking tour of Germany to get over a recent broken marriage. Read more
An engaging book which was not predictable. A good weekend read.Published on July 28, 2014 by Candi Lloyd
The novel peeks into the life of middle-aged Futh, as he reflects on his childhood, his parents, and his recently ended marriage while on a walking holiday in Germany. Read morePublished on July 6, 2014 by J. Ang
The Lighthouse is an unusual novel. None of the characters are very attractive and little of note happens. Despite these drawbacks it's a book I had to finish. Read morePublished on June 28, 2014 by Geoff Naylor