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book cover of Reading in the Dark

Reading in the Dark

(1996)
A novel by

 
 
Awards
The Man Booker Prize Best Novel (nominee)
The Derry of poet Seamus Deane's first novel, Reading in the Dark is a perilous place. Ghosts haunt the stairwells of apartment buildings, a curse follows two families down through the generations, close friends turn out to be police informers and the police are as likely to persecute an innocent man as protect him. And hovering over all the violence, poverty and despair of 1940s Northern Ireland is the spectre of the "Troubles". The hero of the novel is an unnamed young man whose life turns upside down when a policeman frames him. Deception becomes his only means of self-defence. But the initial lie on the part of the policeman and the narrator's corresponding trickery are only part of the tangled web Deane weaves here. Early in the novel we learn that Uncle Eddie, an Irish Republican Army gunman, was blown up in the town distillery in 1922. In addition to sorting out his own problems, the narrator seeks the truth about his uncle's death.

Reading in the Dark sounds grim, and in some respects it is, yet leavening is provided by infusions of the Irish folktales and legends that inform the characters' daily life. And then there is the language. Deane is a poet, and his prose shows it: sex is like fire, "glinting with greed and danger"; ice snores and candles are swathed in a "thick drapery of wax". Readers looking for a thoughtful, serious and beautifully written novel will find one in Reading in the Dark.

    

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Used availability for Seamus Deane's Reading in the Dark

Hardback Editions

June 1999 : USA Hardback
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Title: Reading in Dark
Author(s): Seamus Deane
ISBN: 0-517-41311-6 / 978-0-517-41311-1 (USA edition)
Publisher: Random House Value Publishing
Availability: Amazon   Amazon UK   


April 1997 : USA Hardback
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Title: Reading in the Dark
Author(s): Seamus Deane
ISBN: 0-394-57440-0 / 978-0-394-57440-0 (USA edition)
Publisher: Alfred A. Knopf
Availability: Amazon   Amazon UK   Amazon CA   


September 1996 : UK Hardback
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Title: Reading in the Dark
Author(s): Seamus Deane
ISBN: 0-224-04405-2 / 978-0-224-04405-9 (UK edition)
Publisher: Jonathan Cape Ltd
Availability: Amazon   Amazon UK   Amazon CA   


Paperback Editions

April 1997 : UK Paperback
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Title: Reading In The Dark
Author(s): Seamus Deane
ISBN: 0-09-974441-4 / 978-0-09-974441-2 (UK edition)
Publisher: Vintage
Availability: Amazon   Amazon UK   Amazon CA   


February 1998 : USA Paperback
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Title: Reading in the Dark: A Novel
Author(s): Seamus Deane
ISBN: 0-375-70023-4 / 978-0-375-70023-1 (USA edition)
Publisher: Vintage International
Availability: Amazon   Amazon UK   Amazon CA   


April 1996 : UK Paperback

Title: Reading in the Dark (Proof Copy)
Author(s): Seamus Deane
ISBN: 0-224-04773-6 / 978-0-224-04773-9 (UK edition)
Publisher: Jonathan Cape Ltd
Availability: Amazon UK   Amazon CA   


Audio Editions

November 2010 : UK Audio edition
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Title: Reading in the Dark
Author(s): Seamus Deane
Publisher: Audible Studios
Availability: Amazon UK   


August 2001 : UK Audio CD
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Title: Reading in the Dark: Complete & Unabridged
Author(s): Seamus Deane
ISBN: 0-7540-5445-4 / 978-0-7540-5445-0 (UK edition)
Publisher: Chivers Audio Books
Availability: Amazon   Amazon UK   Amazon CA   


1999 : USA Audio Cassette

Title: Reading in the Dark
Author(s): Seamus Deane
ISBN: 0-7887-2934-9 / 978-0-7887-2934-8 (USA edition)
Publisher: recorded books
Availability: Amazon   


November 1997 : UK Audio Cassette
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Title: Reading in the Dark: Complete & Unabridged
Author(s): Seamus Deane
ISBN: 0-7540-0080-X / 978-0-7540-0080-8 (UK edition)
Publisher: Chivers Audio Books
Availability: Amazon   Amazon UK   Amazon CA