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  • Published: 13 August 2020
  • ISBN: 9780099583776
  • Imprint: Vintage
  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 368
  • RRP: $22.99

Broken Ghost



A Welsh community witnesses a ghostly woman floating over a ridge. How could an apparition unite these dispossessed people or their fragmented country?

**WINNER OF THE 2020 WALES BOOK OF THE YEAR AWARD**

'A magnificently gifted writer' Irvine Welsh

A Welsh community witnesses a strange vision: the huge spectre of a woman floating over a ridge. Is it a collective hallucination, a meteorological phenomenon, or something supernatural? The individuals living in these mountains are already battling their own demons - of drink, drugs, domestic violence, depression - how could an apparition unite these crushed people or their fragmented country?

This is a novel that gives voices to the marginalised, the dispossessed, the forgotten. An examination of modern humanity's desperate need to live meaningfully and vividly in a mediated world - where individual autonomy is lost and the collective heart is atomised and exploited. Disturbing and unforgettable, darkly funny and deeply moving, it is written in a charged language that is vernacular, lyrical and hieratic all at once. Broken Ghost is a howl of anguish and a summoning of gods.

'Combines myth, drug culture and iconoclastic political vision in a wild music that's also a call to arms' New Statesman, Books of the Year

'Griffiths has forged a chimerical piece of radical fiction, a Blake-like reverie on the possibility (or not) of spiritual regeneration in our time.' Guardian
'This is a book powered along with ferocious momentum by the raw nervous energy of its characters, whose demotic, alternating narratives seem to muscle bodily off the page.' Daily Mail

  • Published: 13 August 2020
  • ISBN: 9780099583776
  • Imprint: Vintage
  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 368
  • RRP: $22.99

About the author

Niall Griffiths

Niall Griffiths was born in Liverpool in 1966 and now lives in Wales. He has published seven previous novels: Grits, Sheepshagger, Kelly + Victor, Stump, Wreckage, Runt and A Great Big Shining Star.

Also by Niall Griffiths

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Praise for Broken Ghost

Novel by novel, Niall Griffiths’s exploration of transgressive, desperate lives has become essential reading for anyone who wants to understand what’s going on in Britain today. His latest book, the deeply intelligent Broken Ghost, combines myth, drug culture and iconoclastic political vision in a wild music that’s also a call to arms. This important book outstrips even its own virtuoso literary technique.

Fiona Sampson, New Statesman, *Books of the Year*

A Blake-like reverie on the possibility (or not) of spiritual regeneration in our time… what triumphs in Broken Ghost is the treasurable ecstasy of its lyrical flights...This important novel comes from a tradition: from the green fuse of Dylan Thomas...The result, though, is something new, a profane, passionate response to nature and to the countryside, which is rarely encountered in contemporary British fiction any more.

Alan Warner, Guardian

This is a book powered along with ferocious momentum by the raw nervous energy of its characters, whose demotic, alternating narratives seem to muscle bodily off the page.

Stephanie Cross, Daily Mail

Niall Griffiths has, like Kelman, crafted a sophisticated literary voice for the kind of people routinely dismissed not even as old-school proletarians but as a worthless “feral underclass”… It rewards us with soaring lyricism, the bite and drive of its vernacular voices, and the recurrent search for “something transcendent” in natural beauty, in human love, in the rapture of consciousness itself, in the ancient rhythms and cycles of the land.

Boyd Tonkin, The Arts Desk

Pairing Irvine Welsh’s demotic vim with the conspiratorial frisson of a David Peace novel, Broken Ghost is strange and compelling.

Anthony Cummins, Observer

Griffiths’s novel poses some fascinating questions…[Broken Ghost’s] exploration of the unfulfilled dreams of an underclass of drug addicts and single mothers is intelligent and challenging.

Max Davidson, Mail on Sunday

Griffiths submerges the reader in a prosaic world of benefit investigations, bare-knuckle boxing, and watching Jeremy Kyle with Diamond White cider… Griffiths’s novel is an unusual mix of political and mystical, lifted by the possibility…of social transformation.

Phil Baker, Sunday Times

[Griffiths has an] astonishing ability to downshift from an unsentimental and lyrical evocation of the natural world to the seamy and sordid rendering of the basest of human interaction… Broken Ghost is about what seeps out at the periphery when the centre is rotten.

Duncan White, Spectator

In Broken Ghost he [Griffiths] has produced what will surely turn out to be one of the most important and engaging novels in post-Brexit British literature.

Charlie Connelly, New European

Broken Ghost succeeds through its unflinching approach. It is a tempestuous journey of recovery and decay all the way up to the despotism of its harrowing finish which serves as a wrenching reminder that the prelude of the dystopian tomorrow is today.

Gareth Kent, Wales Arts Review

[Broken Ghosts] revels in the unpleasant truth of how profane people really are… thoroughly political… Griffiths wants the reader to feel ostracized from the characters to the same extent that the characters feel ostracized from wider society.

Samuel Graydon, Times Literary Supplement

A glittering and ferocious portrait of our time… wonderfully angry, funny, involving … Broken Ghost by Niall Griffiths…is a bitter and sparkling masterpiece.

Horatio Clare, Wales Arts Review

Broken Ghost is a bleak, uplifting, angry, magical, heartbreaking book in which people keep on trying to be the best they can be despite a world designed to provoke them otherwise. Griffiths' brilliant novel is by some distance my fiction highlight of 2019.

Charlie Connelly, New European, *Books of the Year*

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