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The Weightless World by Anthony Trevelyan

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Longlisted for the Desmond Elliott Prize 2016.

Sharp, provocative, occasionally warped, this is a striking yet oh so readable debut novel. Steven Strauss and his boss Raymond Ess are on a business trip to buy an anti-gravity machine, and no, this isn't set in the future, it’s happening right here, (well in India), and it’s happening right now. From the captivating first sentence, right through to the last, I was held in the grip of ‘The Weightless World’ as it explored humanity in all it’s wonder and woe. India undulates through the story, the perfect background to the feverish tale of obsessive minds. Anthony Trevelyan doesn't stop to explain, at times I wasn't entirely sure where this ride was going to take me, or where it was going to stop, but I was thoroughly entertained along the way. Among the occasionally weird and wonderful, I found a penetrating, shrewd and thought provoking novel. ~ Liz Robinson


The Weightless World by Anthony Trevelyan

Raymond Ess is fifty-six, a senior executive, an important man. I’m twenty-eight, his personal assistant, not important at all. We work for Resolute Aviation and we’ve come to India to buy an antigravity machine.

That's right. An anti-gravity machine. And it seems crazy – to the narrator, to the reader, possibly even to Ess himself. But the existence of such an instrument also makes perfect sense. Because after all, Ess,the narrator Steven (and we, the readers) live in a world where technology is so advanced that even our phones might as well operate by magic, for all that we understand them. We live in an age when things that would once have seemed miraculous are starting to seem mundane – even if they still, sometimes, bring with them profound implications...

In The Weightless World, Anthony Trevelyan – a new, supremely talented voice in fiction – takes us right up to (and beyond) the limits of possibility. He also weaves a story of deep-rooted humanity, packed with unforgettable characters – and, at its core, an account of friendship, love and loss, which will touch your bleeding red heart.


“This is a novel steeped in the heat and light of the subcontinent. And while it requires an initial suspension of disbelief, its themes are wholly serious… This strikingly original debut probes not just the implications of technology but human ties, too.” (Stephanie Cross, The Lady)

“A literary, speculative, to-hell-with-pigeonholes piece of fiction, The Weightless World blends reality with a fantastical premise. … Galley Beggar Press is fast becoming a hallmark of great literary taste. Their back catalogue shimmers with glorious finds such as Randall, A Girl Is A Half-formed Thing, The White Goddess and Everlasting Lane. The Weightless World is a stylish addition to the canon.” (J.J. Marsh, Book Muse)

“The writing is wonderful, Steven’s voice exquisite… I wouldn’t be surprised to see this book at the very least on shortlists. … I know I’ll go back and read it again, delight in the story, the characters, the writing – it is, I think, that good. It carries a certain sense of – how should I say it – gravity.” (Van Is Reading)

“Engaging, funny and imaginative… The Weightless World is a fine debut, a well-aimed satire that manages to be equally enjoyable and thought-provoking.” (Thom Cuell, Workshy Fop) “A brisk comic tragedy, the adventure undertaken by the narrator and his boss Ess leads to a surprising, contemplative and ultimately touching ending.” (Lonesome Reader)

“The backdrop of India is beautifully evoked, with its heat, colour, economic contrasts and the duplicity of the multi-national business community… Taut and captivating, this is a fabulous read.” (Jackie Law, Never Imitate)

About the Author

Anthony Trevelyan

Anthony Trevelyan was born in 1973 and grew up in rural Lancashire. Currently he lives in Manchester with his wife and teaches English and Creative Writing at a sixth form college in Stockport. The Weightless World is his first novel.

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Book Info

Publication date

18th June 2015


Anthony Trevelyan

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Galley Beggar Press


268 pages


Literary Fiction
All Shortlists and Winners

Modern & contemporary fiction (post c 1945)



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