Shortlisted for: New Writer of the Year – Specsavers National Book Awards 2012
Shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize 2012
The Lighthouse begins on a North Sea ferry, on the blustery outer deck of which stands Futh: a middle-aged, recently-separated man heading to Germany for a restorative walking holiday. After an encounter with an inexplicably hostile barman at a family-run hotel in Hellhaus, Futh sets out on his week-long circular walk along the Rhine. As he travels, he contemplates his childhood, a complicated friendship with the son of a lonely neighbour, his parents’ broken marriage and his own. But the story he keeps coming back to, the one that affects all others, is his mother abandoning him as a boy. Recalling his first trip to Germany with his newly single father, Futh is mindful of something he neglected to do there; an omission which threatens to have devastating repercussions for him this time around.
At the end of the week, sunburnt and blistered, Futh comes to the end of his pilgrimage, returning to what he sees as the sanctuary of the Hellhaus hotel; however, he is blissfully unaware of the events which have been unfolding there in his absence.
“A haunting and accomplished novel.” (Katy Guest, The Independent on Sunday )
“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)
“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 Andersonm, The Daily Mail )
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Hard work to follow the storyline
Shortlisted for dreariness