- Published: 05/01/2023
- ISBN: 9781783789535
- Granta Books
- 288 pages
The End of Nightwork
Pol suffers from a very rare hormonal disorder that ages him erratically; when he was thirteen, his body aged ten years overnight, and now in his early thirties, he still has the outward appearance of a twenty-three-year-old. But with his condition dormant, Pol and his wife Caroline manage to live an ordinary life in Kilburn. They’re happy enough, even if having a young child has put something of a strain on their marriage. That and Pol’s obsessive interest in the writings of an obscure seventeenth-century Puritan prophet, Bartholomew Playfere, and his premonitions of ecological disaster and the end of the world.
But while Pol is failing to complete his research on Playfere, he encounters a radical new movement that argues that all economic and political events are part of an aeon-long struggle between the old and the young – that the ‘hoarist’ habit of violence, their need to conquer, has also affected how they treat the planet. The leader of this popular movement predicts an imminent inter-generational conflict – father against son, mother against daughter – that echoes Playfere’s own prophecies.
Against this increasingly fraught backdrop, Pol’s dormant condition threatens to resurface – putting both the safety and happiness of his family at risk.
Rapturous, disruptive and quietly, complexly devastating, The End of Nightwork combines satire, elegy and fantastic portraiture to thrilling effect. A myriad of tender, terrifying cataclysms told with wit and true originality. A reckoning
Eley Williams, author of Attrib. and The Liar's Dictionary
A strange and wonderful debut. A meditation on history and a lovingly-drawn portrait of a marriage, Aidan Cottrell-Boyce's novel goes straight to the anxious heart of our present, preapocalyptic moment with grace, wisdom, empathy and a boatload of brilliant one-liners
Paul Murray, author of Skippy Dies
The End of Nightwork is a rare thing; a novel of ideas that also happens to be deeply moving. There is wit and erudition here, but never at the expense of the book's abiding tenderness, insight and empathy
Keiran Goddard, author of Hourglass
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