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From small-town England to the Russian court of the 17th century in the company of a man who can feel no pain. From an object of curiosity to a great surgeon himself we learn much of the science and the philosophy of the period as we travel with this extraordinary man in a very skilful, densely written, complicated novel. Challenging and intelligent, it is a rewarding read.
Comparison: David Liss, Iain Pears, Barry Unsworth.
In the mid 18th century James Dyer is born unable to feel pain. From a poor family wiped out by smallpox, he grows up a freak of nature to become a brilliant but heartless surgeon. Then, en route to St Petersburg in 1767 to inoculate the Empress Catherine against smallpox, he meets his match - a strange woman with supernatural healing powers who introduces him to pain. Driven mad by the shock, he returns to London and the Bethlem hospital for the insane. In a wonderfully evocative and exciting style Andrew Miller takes us through Europe at a time of enlightenment, vividly portraying the life of a cold, insensate man as he discovers love and, eventually, compassion.
'A wild adventure through 18th-century England and Russia, medicine, madness, landscape and weather, rendered in prose of consummate beauty.' - Elspeth Barker, Books of the Year, Independent
'A timeless and thought-provoking fable about human nature...It is something very rare in modern fiction, a true work of art.' - Spectator
'Strange, unsettling, sad, beautiful, and profound' - Literary Review
Publication date: 19/02/1998
Publisher: Hodder & Stoughton General Division
Format: Paperback (b Format)
|Publication date:||19th February 1998|
|Publisher:||Hodder & Stoughton General Division|
|Format:||Paperback (b Format)|
|Genres:||eBook Favourites, Historical Fiction,|
Andrew Miller was born in Bristol in 1960. He has lived in Spain, Japan, Ireland and France, and currently lives in Somerset. His first novel, INGENIOUS PAIN, was published by Sceptre in 1997 and won the James Tait Black Memorial Prize for Fiction, the International IMPAC Dublin Literary Award and the Grinzane Cavour prize in Italy. His second novel, CASANOVA, was published in 1998, followed by OXYGEN, which was shortlisted for the Whitbread Novel Award and the Booker Prize in 2001, and THE OPTIMISTS, published in 2005.More About Andrew Miller