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In a Strange Room by Damon Galgut

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Shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize 2010.

This is a beautifully written detailed story of an ongoing journey in foreign parts, written in the present tense, and sometimes in the first person. From the first page, a sense of aloneness and yearning for emotional connection emanate from the narrative as the writer travels from country to country. The descriptive detail is vivid and conjures up the sense both of place and personality. It is cautious, watchful and contemplative and the personalities, more than the places, intrigue and catch attention. His journey is symbolic of much more than merely ticking off places of interest. It is for anonymity, to leave the old self behind and an aching wish to find a place and person to relate to which permeates the page. The sensitivity of the author and his constant moving on makes his journey a microcosm of life itself as he looks for a sense of belonging. It would be difficult to find a more acutely observed or stunningly written personal travelogue in fact or fiction. Highly recommended.

If you like Damon Galgut you might also like to read books by John Banville, Alan Hollinghurst and Clare Morrall.

The Good Book Guide logo The Good Book Guide Review. This intriguing novel is actually three overlapping stories with the same narrator, a man called Damon who tells us of a series of journeys he has made on three continents. It is a haunting and thought-provoking book by a young author who is deservedly being compared with his compatriot J M Coetzee.


In a Strange Room by Damon Galgut

A young man takes three journeys, through Greece, India and Africa. He travels with little purpose, letting the chance encounters of the road dictate his path. But although he knows that he is drifting, he is unable to settle. It is as if, without these encounters, the person he is cannot exist. And yet each journey ends in disaster. A novel of longing and thwarted desire, rage and compassion, In a Strange Room is an extraordinary evocation of one man's search for love, and a place to call home.


'Beautiful. Strikingly conceived and hauntingly written.'
Jan Morris, Guardian

About the Author

Damon Galgut was born in Pretoria in 1963. He wrote his first novel, A Sinless Season, when he was seventeen. His other books include Small Circle of Beings, The Beautiful Screaming of Pigs, The Quarry and The Good Doctor. The Good Doctor was shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize, the International IMPAC Dublin Award and the Commonwealth Writers Prize. Damon Galgut lives in Cape Town.

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Book Info

Publication date

7th May 2015


Damon Galgut

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Atlantic Books


192 pages


Literary Fiction
eBook Favourites

Modern & contemporary fiction (post c 1945)



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