• The Lighthouse

  • By: Alison Moore
  • Narrated by: Eve Karpf
  • Length: 4 hrs and 59 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook
  • Release date: 11-09-12
  • Language: English
  • Publisher: Audible Studios
  • 3.5 out of 5 stars 3.4 (48 ratings)

Summary

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.
©2012 Alison Moore (P)2012 Audible Ltd
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Critic reviews

“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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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
3 out of 5 stars
By Steve on 12-10-12

Hard work to follow the storyline

I can't honestly say that I enjoyed this book. I found it jumped around a lot and I really had to concentrate to work out which part of whose life we were following now. It was well narrated but just sounded so very morose. A shame because I had been looking forward to hearing it.

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3 of 3 people found this review helpful

2 out of 5 stars
By Tumpline on 11-10-12

Shortlisted for dreariness

I'm working my way through the long list for the 2012 Man Booker Prize. This one has made the shortlist, although I cannot for the life of me think why. The narration was good but couldn't bring to life what, in all essence, is a cheerless, dreary book. Don't waste your money.

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3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
4 out of 5 stars
By Sukemin on 07-11-12

deceptively simple story that analyses a man

A man on a short holiday after a marital separation contemplates his ordinary life.
It is never dull. The author holds the reader's attention with sharp observations of the life of this mild man and his interactions and the interactions of others close to him , so well described that one is compelled to read on to discover more .

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1 of 1 people found this review helpful

3 out of 5 stars
By RI in Canada on 29-08-16

Quirky Novella

This short novel (novella?) was nominated for the Booker Prize. It is well written, but it's a curious thing. It tells the story of Futh, a recently separated Brit who takes a walk along the Rhine as a "holiday" to get his life together. It was enjoyable for sure, but it felt like it could have been much richer -- we got very little about the actual experience of his walking other than his sore feet and getting lost (with no sense of how the setting influenced his experience). In the plot, Futh sets out on a journey but the real focus is on his childhood past as we find out more about his non-self background. I think the story leaves us unsure whether he ever really did acquire a sense of a self, whether all of the reflection on his mother and his past was a worthwhile exercise or an empty one. I think it had great potential but fell short.

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