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The Northern Clemency

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The Northern Clemency Cover

ISBN13: 9781400044481
ISBN10: 1400044480
Condition: Standard
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Awards

The Rooster 2009 Morning News Tournament of Books Nominee
The Rooster 2009 Morning News Tournament of Books Nominee

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

Shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize and chosen as Amazon.com's Best Book of 2008, Northern Clemency is a sweeping, powerfully engaging story of ordinary lives that are profoundly shaped by the larger forces of history. Spanning more than twenty years of recent British history, and following two families whose lives are forever intertwined by the simple chance of geography, this is a novel of great dramatic and emotional depth.

Review:

"A finalist for the Man Booker Prize, Hensher's Sheffield-set suburban drama spans 20 years in the lives of two neighboring families: the Sellers and the Glovers. Katherine Glover's husband, Malcolm, assuming Katherine has been cheating on him, disappears the night before the Sellers arrive in Sheffield. Katherine confides her troubles in her new neighbor, Alice Sellers, and Malcolm quickly returns. Alice's daughter, Sandra, meanwhile, forms unlikely relationships with Katherine's two sons: one a friendship and one a doomed unrequited love sparked by a thoughtless act between two children. Epic in scale but more modest in its focus, Hensher presents a trove of insular, often obsessive characters; the narrative's wide-ranging perspective shifts between the minds of not only the Glovers and Sellers but also their neighbors, classmates and assorted others. Margaret Thatcher's impact comes to the fore during the miner's strike of 1984 and the subsequent privatization of the industry, but the novel's focus remains on domestic drama: the unease and desperation of adolescence, and the seemingly unbridgeable distances between parents, children, siblings and spouses." Publishers Weekly (Starred Review) (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)

Review:

Philip Hensher missed winning Britain's Booker Prize last month by a hair, but now comes a surprising consolation prize from the United States: Amazon has named "The Northern Clemency" the best book of 2008. I like this enormous novel very much, but I'm surprised that the savvy booksellers at Amazon would make such a daring choice in a recession-bound holiday season. After all, last year they picked... Washington Post Book Review (read the entire Washington Post review)

Synopsis:

The award-winning author of The Mulberry Empire brings us a sweeping chronicle of ordinary lives profoundly shaped by both the subtleties of everyday experience and the larger forces of history.

In 1974, the Sellers family is transplanted from London to Sheffield in northern England. On the day they move in, the Glover household across the street is in upheaval: convinced that his wife is having an affair, Malcolm Glover has suddenly disappeared. The reverberations of this rupture will echo through the years to come as the connection between the families deepens. But it will be the particular crises of ten-year-old Tim Glover—set off by two seemingly inconsequential but ultimately indelible acts of cruelty—that will erupt, full-blown, two decades later.

These lives unfold against the vividly rendered backdrop of twentieth-century England at the dawn of the Thatcher era: prosperity for some and disenfranchisement for others, which will have a drastic impact on both families.

Expansive and deeply felt, The Northern Clemency shows Philip Hensher to be one of our most masterly chroniclers of modern English life, and a storyteller of virtuosic gifts.

About the Author

Philip Henshers novels include Kitchen Venom, which won the Somerset Maugham Award, and The Mulberry Empire, which was long-listed for the Man Booker Prize. Chosen by Granta as one of its best young British novelists, he is professor of creative writing at Exeter University and a columnist for The Independent. He lives in London.

What Our Readers Are Saying

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Average customer rating based on 2 comments:

Erica Horne, April 17, 2009 (view all comments by Erica Horne)
This book was a bit hard to get into and you have to make an effort to sit down and get into it, but in the end it is worth the effort. It is the story who of two families that are neighbors in a Sheffield, England suburb-the Sellers and the Glovers. Over three decades, from the mid 1970s to the mid 1990s the book follows the day to day events of these two families, both the adults and the children. For some the minute of these seemingly ordinary events could be boring, but once I got into the story and the characters I was pulled in and found it an engaging read. It is not a book built around sex or violence, but the day to day lives of real people. What makes the book engaging is how the reader follows the lives of the characters and witnesses them progress, mature as their views change. For this reason the book maybe more interesting to those of us over forty, who have seen similar changes in ourselves; then again it would be a more important read for those under 30 so they know what to expect. The book is a bit long at over 700 pages and I did not like the structure of having no chapters, it made it hard to find a good stopping point; but maybe that was the authors point? Life offers no stopping point? Overall rating is a solid 4 stars.
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Bookwomyn, February 10, 2009 (view all comments by Bookwomyn)
It was a bit of a struggle for me to finish the book - bogged down a bit as the author changed from one time period to another but overall I liked it. The author sometimes let go with rambling sentences also which I had to read a time or two to keep straight but that's probably more the fault of my aging brain than his.
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Product Details

ISBN:
9781400044481
Author:
Hensher, Philip
Publisher:
Knopf
Subject:
Literary
Subject:
City and town life
Subject:
Great britain
Subject:
Great Britain Social conditions 1945-
Subject:
City and town life - England - Sheffield
Subject:
Literature-A to Z
Publication Date:
20081022
Binding:
Hardback
Grade Level:
General/trade
Language:
English
Pages:
608
Dimensions:
9.48x6.60x1.48 in. 2.12 lbs.

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Related Subjects


Featured Titles » Morning News Tournament » Tournament of Books 2009
Fiction and Poetry » Literature » A to Z

The Northern Clemency Used Hardcover
0 stars - 0 reviews
$9.95 In Stock
Product details 608 pages Random House - English 9781400044481 Reviews:
"Publishers Weekly Review" by , "A finalist for the Man Booker Prize, Hensher's Sheffield-set suburban drama spans 20 years in the lives of two neighboring families: the Sellers and the Glovers. Katherine Glover's husband, Malcolm, assuming Katherine has been cheating on him, disappears the night before the Sellers arrive in Sheffield. Katherine confides her troubles in her new neighbor, Alice Sellers, and Malcolm quickly returns. Alice's daughter, Sandra, meanwhile, forms unlikely relationships with Katherine's two sons: one a friendship and one a doomed unrequited love sparked by a thoughtless act between two children. Epic in scale but more modest in its focus, Hensher presents a trove of insular, often obsessive characters; the narrative's wide-ranging perspective shifts between the minds of not only the Glovers and Sellers but also their neighbors, classmates and assorted others. Margaret Thatcher's impact comes to the fore during the miner's strike of 1984 and the subsequent privatization of the industry, but the novel's focus remains on domestic drama: the unease and desperation of adolescence, and the seemingly unbridgeable distances between parents, children, siblings and spouses." Publishers Weekly (Starred Review) (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
"Synopsis" by , The award-winning author of The Mulberry Empire brings us a sweeping chronicle of ordinary lives profoundly shaped by both the subtleties of everyday experience and the larger forces of history.

In 1974, the Sellers family is transplanted from London to Sheffield in northern England. On the day they move in, the Glover household across the street is in upheaval: convinced that his wife is having an affair, Malcolm Glover has suddenly disappeared. The reverberations of this rupture will echo through the years to come as the connection between the families deepens. But it will be the particular crises of ten-year-old Tim Glover—set off by two seemingly inconsequential but ultimately indelible acts of cruelty—that will erupt, full-blown, two decades later.

These lives unfold against the vividly rendered backdrop of twentieth-century England at the dawn of the Thatcher era: prosperity for some and disenfranchisement for others, which will have a drastic impact on both families.

Expansive and deeply felt, The Northern Clemency shows Philip Hensher to be one of our most masterly chroniclers of modern English life, and a storyteller of virtuosic gifts.

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