Rick Gekoski


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This critically acclaimed debut novel offers “an original and bleakly funny portrait of grief” in the singular mind and solitary life of its protagonist (The Economist).
Shortlisted for The McKitterick Prize and The Author’s Club Best First Novel Award
Cranky and reclusive, ageing and widowed, Dr. James Darke has expelled himself from the world. He writes compulsively in his ‘coming of old age’ journal; he eats little, drinks and smokes a lot; he tries to console himself with the wisdom of the great thinkers and poets, yet finds nothing but disappointment. And yet, cracks of light start to appear in his carefully managed darkness: the tender, bruised filaments of love for his daughter and grandson.
With scalding prose, ruthless intelligence and an unforgettably vivid protagonist, Darke confronts some of humanity’s greatest and most uncomfortable questions about how we choose to live, and to die.
“A supreme example of a natural and skilled storyteller.”—Colm Toibin
“Surprising…with a warmth that is genuinely and unexpectedly moving.”—The Guardian, UK
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307 printed pages
Original publication



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