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About the book
  • Published: 19 June 2017
  • ISBN: 9780099532651
  • Imprint: Vintage
  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 384
  • RRP: $22.99
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Night of Fire




The breathtaking, emotionally wrenching new novel from the award-winning novelist and travel writer, Colin Thubron

It began with a spark...

A house is burning. Its six tenants include a failed priest, a naturalist, a neurosurgeon and a photographer. Their landlord's relationship to them is both intimate and shadowy. At times he shares their obsessions and memories. He will also share their fate.

The passions of these individuals reach beyond the dying house that holds them. One recalls a lonely childhood, another the cremation grounds of India, another an African refugee camp. But will their stories be consumed forever by the flames?

  • Pub date: 19 June 2017
  • ISBN: 9780099532651
  • Imprint: Vintage
  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 384
  • RRP: $22.99

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 Night of Fire

“Thubron returns with what might be his masterpiece… Thubron’s prose shines a penetrating light on the nature of memory and being human. Sublime.”

Simon Humphreys, Mail on Sunday

“Intensely moving”

Tim Martin, Sunday Telegraph

“An engrossing, unsettling and brutally beautiful masterpiece.”

John Harding, Daily Mail

“Each life story…is told with all this writer’s irresistible narrative gift”

Ursula K. Le Guin, Guardian

“Medicine owes an equal debt of gratitude to him for evoking a journey through the brain with the same adventurous and beguiled spirit as he might a rainforest or ancient city… With the ease of a master craftsman he makes up new words…lovingly evokes the extraordinary places he has passed through… This outstanding novel confirms that there is nowhere Thubron fears to tread.”

Melissa Katsoulis, The Times

“His calm, contemplative tone and his mastery of imagery…are on full display here.”

Edmund Gordon, Sunday Times

“The novel impresses with its literary craft and ambition.”

Ian Thomson, Evening Standard

“A deeply personal, characteristically ambitious book.”

John Preston, Daily Telegraph

“A compelling, lyrical tale of how a single spark unravels seven entwined lives.”

Hannah Shaddock, Radio Times

“Thubron has written a novel which is at once disturbing and consoling. It makes you both think and feel at the same time, which is perhaps what the best fiction does more surely than any other art form.”

Allan Massie, Spectator

“Each character [is] perfectly formed.”

Choice Magazine

“Thubron’s prose is, of course, finely crafted. He veers in style between lyrical heights… Night of Fire could best be described as a poetic and erudite meditation on the journey of life.”

Linden Burleigh, Literary Review

“[It is] beautifully written, as vivid as Thubron’s striking travel writing… Night of Fire fuses realism with the structure of a modern fable.”

Anjali Joseph, Times Literary Supplement

“By [one] of the most brilliant writers of our day... Night of Fire evokes the emotions of seven tenants, plus their landlord, when their apartment house is burnt down”

Jan Morris, Spectator, Book of the Year

“Thubron’s ability to span that geographical, cultural and philosophical range is just one remarkable element of this profound and exquisite novel”

Washington Post

“Ambitious but accomplished, Night Of Fire is a meditation on memory, mortality and what makes us who we are. Thubron’s readiness to deal with profound questions is impressive and the novel leaves a lasting trace.”

Alastair Mabbott, Herald Scotland

“Set in a house that’s burning to the ground… It a series of poignant, interlocked vignettes, Thubron deftly sketches the lives of the doomed inhabitants, evoking powerful images of place, of loss and shared humanity.”

Simon Shaw, Mail on Sunday


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