Novels

Alan Wall is the author of six critically acclaimed novels:

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In Wall's first novel, Bless the Thief, Tom Lynch's search for the truth about his parentage and his dealings with the secretive Delaquay Society draw him into a spiral of drink, drugs, obsession and prostitution.

'This is an elegant piece of writing, full of things ne'er so well expressed, and sentences that glide along like chipped-glass swans on water, catching the light.'  Helen Stevenson, Independent.

'His book is full of passion, charged with a sense of the transforming power of art and with the reality of good and evil.  It is an impressive and unusual debut.'  Christina Patterson, Observer.



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In Silent Conversations Jack Goodrich - a copywriter fascinated by the myth of Ishtar, Sumerian goddess of sex and battle - retreats into exoticism and jeopardises his relationship with the woman with whom he's falling in love.
'A wonderfully well-crafted novel, full of droll desperation, excellent jokes, erudition and cultivation... utterly convincing and full of a lot of sadness as well as some brilliant wit.'  Terry Eagleton.
'Wall conjures up Toni Inglish, a rock singer of genius, drug addiction, ill temper, trademark cropped head... Integrity and the lack of it has as many layers in this novel as an archaeological dig... It takes nerve to make the main narrator of your second novel a blocked writer, but Alan Wall has taken that hurdle almost without breaking stride.'  Elaine Feinstein, The Times.



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The Lightning Cage fuses the stories of Richard Pelham, an eighteenth century poet, and Christopher Bayliss, a modern man whose disillusionment with academia and the Catholic Church has trapped him in the world of commerce. Bayliss' research into Pelham's tightrope walk between madness and genius takes him to the brink of financial ruin, isolation and psychological destruction.

'The Lightning Cage is that rarest of all pleasures: a wonderful literary work which is also a truly gripping read.'  Roy Porter. 
'Wall sets up a sparkling dialogue between the Enlightenment and "our own chaotic age", exploring the relationships between madness, creativity, religion and the supernatural.'  Frank Egerton, Financial Times.


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The School of Night is a relentlessly gripping narrative crammed with exuberant symbolism and erudite speculation on alchemy, epistemology, and psychoanalysis. Sean Tallow's twin obsessions with the arcane transactions of an Elizabethan secret society and the true identity of the writer of Shakespeare's plays lead him towards a life of crime.  The School of Night was chosen by Jonathan Bate as a Book of the Year for the Sunday Telegraph.
'What you get with an Alan Wall novel is everything, and more: history, philosophy, poetry, crime, social commentary, love, sex and death.  His content exceeds the form.  His books teem with plots and ideas like tapeworms in a gut, or maggots feeding on a corpse.  Reading Wall is an education.  The only thing that could possibly improve his work is an index.'  Ian Samson, Guardian.   



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China is a tragic and tangled, but redemptive, tale of art, money, industrial decline, globalisation, terrorism and the new anarchism. It tells the story of Digby Wilton, aging scion of an English porcelain dynasty,  and his self-destructive but talented son, Theo, a jazz musician who retreats from life and the sweep of history into music, booze and serial philandering.  

'The text is springy with puns and glittering with multiple internal parallels... constant high energy collisions between classical and romantic - affect and intelligence, anarchy and anality - feel desperate in the best possible way... A dense, poetic, exhilarating, intensely readable book.'  M. John Harrison, Guardian.



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Intellectually engaging and deeply moving, Sylvie's Riddle explores the connection between the images we construct and the way we make sense of our world.  Its subtle brew of invention, compassion and wit make it a wonderfully inventive novel of ideas.  

Sylvie Ashton is a lecturer fascinated by the cultural role of images - those derived from lenses pointed at distant stars and those of the earthbound stars of popular culture.   Her quest is to understand way we order the world through images so vital to our lives we cannot escape them.  Her husband, Owen, an amnesiac scriptwriter, is also involved in an obsessive pursuit of the potent image and is leaving a trail of emotion wreckage in his wake.  In Sylvie's Riddle the worlds of affect, intellect, art and modern
 physics collide to devastating effect.   

"Sylvie’s Riddle is about image, identity, memory and betrayal and has, in its intellectualism, something in common with the best work of Aldous Huxley.  Within the context of an emotionally engaging, fast-paced and absorbing story of character, Wall has succeeded in exploring many of the most interesting ideas of the late 20th and early 21st centuries, yet he never strays into mere abstraction and all his observations are anchored in the maze-like relationships of a well-drawn cast of characters."  Michael Moorcock, Telegraph.