The Island of Lost Souls
2006. First edition, first printing. A trade paperback in very good condition.
An exhilarating novel reminiscent of Ian McEwan and Rupert Thomson. Finn is drafted to fight in an escalating war against the enemies of democracy. He is twenty-four. Opposed to the conflict, disaffected with society and the state, afraid of dying. He sees no way out. Then a stranger slips him a calling card for an anti-draft network and the trauma of warfare is brought shockingly home to him with his brother's return from the front. Just days before he reports for duty, Finn faces a stark choice: go to war ... or go on the run, and be hunted down as a deserter and a coward. If he escapes, there is the promise of a new identity and a new life among people unlike any he has known. If he is caught, the punishment will be brutal. Finn must decide whether a government can order a young man to risk death for his country. And whether, in refusing to fight, he has what it takes to exchange bravery in battle for the courage of the dissident. Peace, if it comes at all, will come at a price.
'Comparisons with Ian McEwan and Iain Banks are inevitable but also justified' Literary Review 'Bedford is a clever, provocative writer, delivering writing that is interesting, nervewracking, bold, unusual, stylish, never complacent and always intelligent.' Mary Loudon, The Times 'McEwanesque, but without the self-conscious, intellectual gloss' D J Taylor, The Guardian
Martyn Bedford's previous novels, Acts of Revision, Exit, Orange & Red, The Houdini Girl and Black Cat, have been translated into twelve languages. He teaches creative writing at Manchester University and is a fiction critic for the Literary Review. He lives in West Yorkshire with his wife and two young daughters.