Saturday, 11 April 2009

Waterland - Graham Swift

Read: March 2006

One of the best books not to have won the Booker Prize, Waterland is a masterpiece of atmosphere and history.

Water and land, land and water, the battle between the two in the Fens of East Anglia serves as the setting for this most atmospheric of books. The story of invented history is recounted by an experience-weary school-teacher in the last days of his career. Deprived of a future, he takes a journey back into his past, into the history of his family and the place of his birth, and what comes out is a strangely believable account of rural England on the crest of change. The blurry sense of place is captured in pre-colour sepia and, like an old family photo, feels real and present. Rarely has a book remained so long in my memory.

8.5 out of 10

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