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A Cruel Madness
About the book
  • Published: 3 January 2005
  • ISBN: 9780099437192
  • Imprint: Vintage
  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 176
  • RRP: $24.99

A Cruel Madness


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'As compelling as a thriller-Mr Thubron has hit that most disturbing target, the target of imaginative truth' Nina Bawden, Daily Telegraph

When a part-time worker in a mental hospital meets his old girlfriend inside he is not sure at first is she is a patient. Their reunion is haunted and haunting, and from the memory of their past affair there unfolds a labyrinth which darkens from romantic obsession to feelings deeper and more disturbing. Colin Thubron creates a world of passion, delusion, and reality mingling with unreality, the all-enveloping sense of longing and of loss.

  • Pub date: 3 January 2005
  • ISBN: 9780099437192
  • Imprint: Vintage
  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 176
  • RRP: $24.99

About the Author

Colin Thubron

Colin Thubron is an acknowledged master of travel writing, and the winner of many prizes and awards. His first writing was about the Middle East - Damascus, Lebanon and Cyprus. In 1982 he travelled into the Soviet Union in an ancient Morris Marina, pursued by the KGB, a journey he recorded in Among the Russians. From these early experiences developed his classic travel books: Behind the Wall (winner of the Hawthornden Prize and the Thomas Cook Travel Award), The Lost Heart of Asia, In Siberia (Prix Bouvier) and Shadow of the Silk Road. His most recent book is To a Mountain in Tibet (all available in Vintage). Colin Thubron was President of the Royal Society of Literature from 2010 to 2017.

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Praise for A Cruel Madness

“A nightmare vision of emotional instability and insanity-If Van Gogh or Munch had been novelists, or Strindberg a painter, they would have created similar mental landscapes-A work of fiction whose hold on the intellect is as strong as its grip on the senses: that sounds, looks, tastes and smells like a minor masterpiece”

Time Out

“Brilliant-A Cruel Madness brings to mind other novels set in the microcosmic world of a hospital, Thomas Mann's Magic Mountain, Alexander Solzhenitsyn's Cancer Ward, Ken Kesey's One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest”

New York Times Book Review

“With terrifying vividness, Mr Thubron creates a phantasmagoric world”

Spectator

“A quietly extraordinary tour de force”

Times Literary Supplement

“Colin Thubron conjures up, within a tight narrative, a whole persuasive world - not just the physical setting of the hospital, but the tortuous and paradoxical internal world of the warped mind”

Penelope Lively


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