Unexploded, Paperback Book
5 out of 5 (1 rating)


Unexploded is Alison MacLeod's heartrending novel of love and prejudice in wartime Brighton.LONGLISTED FOR THE MAN BOOKER PRIZE 2013May, 1940.

Wartime Brighton. On Park Crescent, Geoffrey and Evelyn Beaumont and their eight-year-old son, Philip, anxiously await news of the expected enemy landing on the beaches.It is a year of change.

Geoffrey becomes Superintendent of the enemy alien camp at the far reaches of town, and Evelyn, desperate to feel useful, begins reading to some of the prisoners.

One of them is Otto Gottlieb, a 'degenerate' German-Jewish.

As Europe crumbles, Evelyn's and Otto's mutual distrust slowly begins to change into something else, which will shatter the structures on which her life, her family and her community rest.'Like a piece of finely wrought ironwork, uncommonly delicate but also astonishingly strong and tensile . . . a novel of staggering elegance and beauty' Independent'Compelling, fast-paced, powerful . . . the denouement is as heart-rending as it is unexpected' Financial Times'MacLeod's range - spanning the movingly real to the mysteriously surreal - is excitingly, imaginatively realised and unified in awareness of the dark menace of love's uncertainty' MetroAlison MacLeod was raised in Canada and has lived in England since 1987.

She is the author of three novels, The Changeling, The Wave Theory of Angels and Unexploded, and of a collection of stories, Fifteen Modern Tales of Attraction.

Unexploded was longlisted for the Man Booker Prize for Fiction 2013.

She is Professor of Contemporary Fiction at Chichester University and lives in Brighton.


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I knew nothing about the author before finding this book, but was hugely impressed by its literacy and fresh insights into what could have been quite cliched subject matter. A readable and gripping story of life in Brighton during the darkest days of World War 2, it has a nuanced and believable view of the moral issues of the time, and resists the heroic view.