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Unexploded - Alison MacLeod

Unexploded - Alison MacLeod

Title: Unexploded

Author:  Alison MacLeod

ISBN:  9780241142639

Weight:  977 g

Signed first edition, first printing



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Our price:  £16.99

Unexploded by Alison MacLeod

May 1940.  On Park Crescent, Geoffrey and Evelyn Beaumont and their eight-year-old son, Philip, anxiously await news of the expected enemy landing on the beaches of Brighton.

It is a year of tension and change.  Geoffrey becomes Superintendent of the enemy alien camp at the far reaches of town, while Philip is gripped by the rumour that Hitler will make Brighton’s Royal Pavilion his English HQ.  As the rumours continue to fly and the days tick on, Evelyn struggles to fall in with the war effort and the constraints of her role in life, and her thoughts become tinged with a mounting, indefinable desperation.

Then she meets Otto Gottlieb, a ‘degenerate’ German-Jewish painter and prisoner in her husband’s internment camp.  As Europe crumbles, Evelyn’s and Otto’s mutual distrust slowly begins to change into something else, which will shatter the structures on which her life, her family and her community rest.  Love collides with fear, the power of art with the forces of war, and the lives of Evelyn, Otto and Geoffrey are changed irrevocably.

Peer & Press Reviews

An intelligent, perceptive novel by a writer of great descriptive power…  Like her modernist forebears, MacLeod knows that life and death, the terrible and the mundane always co-exist – her genius lies in illustrating these truths while simultaneously spinning a bona fide pageturner.

Daily Mail

Unexploded is an unforgettable book.  With exquisitely researched and rendered detail, the author plunges us into the panic and paranoia of war, fusing international politics, national politics and family politics in her powerful study of hypocrisy, oppression, cultural misunderstanding and desire.


Compelling, fast-paced, powerful.  The descriptions of wartime Brighton are pin-sharp… the denouement is as heartrending as it is unexpected.

Financial Times

Bibliographic Info

Attribute Details
Title Unexploded
Book Features
Edition / printing First edition, first printing
Overall condition Fine / Fine (see our article on Condition Grades)
Signed On the title page
Awards and Media
Awards and prizes Man Booker Prize 2013 – longlist
Media adaptation BBC Radio 4 Book at Bedtime: ten 15-minute episodes, airing Mon-Fri at 10:45pm from 31 Mar 2014.
Book Stats
Publisher Penguin Books
Imprint Hamish Hamilton
Publication date
Printed by Clays Ltd, Bungay
ISBN 13 9780241142639
ISBN 10 0241142636
Format Hardcover with dust jacket
Pages 337
Size (h x w x d) 241 x 161 x 33mm
Image and Design Credits
Author photograph Kate MacLeod
Jacket image Leonard McCombe / Picture Post / Getty Images

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