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I Put a Spell on You by John Burnside
  

I Put a Spell on You

Literary Fiction   eBook Favourites   eBook Favourites   

RRP £16.99

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Beginning with memories of a brutal murder, this book follows the author through a series of uncanny encounters with 'lost girls', with brilliant digressions on murder ballads, voodoo, acid and insomnia, and a cast that includes Kafka and Narcissus, Diane Arbus and Mel Lyman, and The Four Tops and Screamin' Jay Hawkins.

If you like John Burnside you might also like to read books by Kathleen Winter, Julian Barnes and Graham Swift.

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Synopsis

I Put a Spell on You by John Burnside

In this exquisite, haunting book, John Burnside describes his coming of age from the industrial misery of Cowdenbeath and Corby to the new world of Cambridge. This is a memoir of romance - of lost love and the love of being lost - darkened by threat, illuminated by glamour. The old Scots word 'glamour' means magical charm, and the first time he was played I Put a Spell on You, John Burnside thought he had never heard a more beautiful song - it was an enchantment, a fascination that would turn to obsession. Implicit in the song were all the ambiguities that intrigued him - love, possession and danger - and this book is an exploration of the darker side of glamour and attraction. Beginning with memories of a brutal murder, the book follows the author through a series of uncanny encounters with 'lost girls', with brilliant digressions on murder ballads, voodoo, acid and insomnia, and a cast that includes Kafka and Narcissus, Diane Arbus and Mel Lyman, The Four Tops and Screamin' Jay Hawkins, and time spent lost in the Arctic Circle, black-and-white films and a mental institution. Ending with the tender summoning of the ghost of his dying mother as she sings along to the radio in her empty kitchen, I Put a Spell on You is a book about memory, about the other side of love: a book of secrets and wonders.

Reviews

A marvellously meandering, digressive study of the nature of love... Burnside has a lovely garrulousness that is distinctively his own... Exact and enthralling. -- Tessa Hadley Guardian [An] indirect, peculiar, consuming memoir... Full of wonders. -- Kate Kellaway Observer A wise and wryly glum autobiography written in a highly rewarding, pared-back style. -- Martin Hemming Sunday Times Captivating and unsettling... A work of scalding honesty. -- Sophie Elmhirst Financial Times Intoxicating... Remarkable... A long-player that resonates long after the stylus has lifted. -- Brian Morton Glasgow Sunday Herald


About the Author

John Burnside has published eleven previous collections of poetry, including among them The Asylum Dance, which won the 2000 Whitbread Poetry Award, and six works of fiction - most recently the novel, A Summer of Drowning, which came out this year. He has also written two books of memoirs, A Lie About My Father and Waking Up In Toytown.

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Book Info

Publication date

1st May 2014

Author

John Burnside

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Author's Website

johnburnside.com/

Publisher

Jonathan Cape Ltd an imprint of Vintage Publishing

Format

Hardback
256 pages

Categories

Literary Fiction
eBook Favourites
eBook Favourites

Autobiography: literary

ISBN

9780224093873

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