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About the book
  • Published: 30 November 2011
  • ISBN: 9781448114184
  • Imprint: Vintage Digital
  • Format: EBook
  • Pages: 288
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The Locust Room




Burnside's finest - and most disturbing - novel since The Dumb House.

Twenty five years ago, during the spring and summer of 1975, a rapist stalked the streets of Cambridge, attacking young, single women in their bed-sits and flats and subjecting them to horrifying and increasingly violent assaults. For several months the city endured a climate of fear and suspicion, where the old assumptions about sexual relations and civic decency fell into question, and no male could be taken at face value. These events for the background to The Locust Room, John Burnside's extraordinary new novel, in which a young photographer is forced by circumstances to examine his relations with women, with other men and with his family at home. Over one dramatic summer, he becomes involved in a series of sexual intrigues and acts of subtle violence as he journeys towards tentative self-definition and what he comes to see as honourable isolation. What emerges from this atmosphere of tension and terror is Burnside's finest novel so far; an exquisitely written, beautifully observed fiction - and a moving examination of the possibilities of male tenderness, individual autonomy and personal grace.

  • Pub date: 30 November 2011
  • ISBN: 9781448114184
  • Imprint: Vintage Digital
  • Format: EBook
  • Pages: 288

About the Author

John Burnside

John Burnside is amongst the most acclaimed writers of his generation. His novels, short stories, poetry and memoirs have won numerous awards, including the Geoffrey Faber Memorial Prize, the Whitbread Poetry Award, the Encore Award and the Saltire Scottish Book of the Year. In 2011 he became only the second person to win both the Forward and T. S. Eliot Prizes for poetry for the same book, Black Cat Bone. In 2015 he was a judge for the Man Booker Prize. He is a Professor in the School of English at St Andrews University.

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Praise for The Locust Room

“A subtle, finely observed mediation on male relationships”

Daily Mail

“The Locust Room is thoughtful, provocative in the best sense, and ultimately moving. It is Burnside at this best. And that is very good indeed”

Glasgow Herald

“The Locust Room is a dark, tense, exquisitely cruel, painfully tender novel. It intrigues”

The Times


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