Synopses & Reviews
Set in the bleak Fen Country of East Anglia, and spanning some 240 years in the lives of its haunted narrator and his ancestors, Waterland
is a book that takes in eels and incest, ale-making and madness, the heartless sweep of history and a family romance as tormented as any in Greek tragedy.
"Waterland, like the Hardy novels, carries with all else a profound knowledge of a people, a place, and their interweaving.... Swift tells his tale with wonderful contemporary verve and verbal felicity.... A fine and original work."--Los Angeles Times
"If you wanted to sum up this unusual novel, you might say that Graham Swift as author is rather a cross between Laurence Sterne and Kurt Vonnegut. Some of his chapters are discursive in the manner of Sterne, such as 'About the Fens,' which is a geography lesson, a geology lesson, and a family history all rolled into one. Some, such as 'About Coronation Ale,' have a bit of the narrative quality of Vonnegut. But the whole is a moving (not always in one direction) story that is unlike any other you may have read recently. You may want to read Waterland more than once." Reviewed by Daniel Weiss, Virginia Quarterly Review (Copyright 2006 Virginia Quarterly Review)
"Rich, ingenious, inspired." New York Times
"Perfectly controlled, superbly written....Waterland is original, compelling and narration of the highest order." The Guardian
"Waterland appropriates the Fens as Moby Dick did whaling or Wuthering Heights the moors...a beautiful, serious, and intelligent novel, admirably ambitious and original."The Observer
"A formidably intelligent book...animated by an impressive, angry pity at what human creatures are capable of doing to one another in the name of love and need....The most powerful novel I have read for some time." New York Review of Books
Set in the bleak Fen Country of East Anglia, and spanning some 240 years in the lives of its haunted narrator and his ancestors, Waterland is a book that takes in eels and incest, ale-making and madness, the heartless sweep of history and a family romance as tormented as any in Greek tragedy.
About the Author
Graham Swift is the author of six novels, including the Booker Prize-winning Last Orders. His work has been translated into more than twenty languages. He lives in London, England.