Four young people in 1970s' London fuelled by love, betrayal and creative ambition
**** As read on BBC Radio 4 Book at Bedtime ****
Luke is a young playwright: intense, magnetic and hungry for experience. Fleeing a disastrous upbringing in the North East he arrives in London and shares a flat with Paul, an aspiring producer, and beautiful, fiery Leigh.
The three of them set up a radical theatre company, their friendship forged in rehearsal rooms above pubs, candlelit power cuts, and smoky late-night parties, part of a thrilling new generation of writers, directors and rising voices.
When Nina, a fragile actress, strays towards their group, Luke recognises a damaged soul and the balance between the friends is threatened. Luke is torn between loyalty, desire and his own painful past, until everything he values, even the promise of the future, is in danger. Suddenly the Fallout threatens to be immense.
Read Caroline Baum's Review
Sadie Jones made an impressive debut with The Outcast. Now she's back with an evocative, atmospheric novel about four young people in 1970s London pursuing their dreams and ambitions in the world of theatre. Luke is a young playwright burning to make a radical contribution to drama. As a producer, Paul has to weigh up commercial concerns while searching for new material. The two share a flat with stage manager Leigh, who wavers, in her affection for both men. While Nina, a fragile actress (her Chekhovian name hints at doom) has beauty and talent but thanks to insecurities about her mother's own failed career on the stage, makes poor choices. Having grown up in London in the era Jones writes about and having witnessed the explosion of talent in the independent theatre scene that came from the regions and from non-establishment voices, I can attest to the novel's authenticity. Jones nails the mood of the times, the sense of breaking with tradition and with the constraints of class, the nerves and heightened emotion of opening nights, the intense relationships that solidify and fracture in the course of a production: it all feels and sounds just right.
About the Author
Sadie Jones won the Costa First Novel Award with her debut The Outcast ('Riveting', Lionel Shriver; 'Devastatingly good', Daily Mail; 'Gripping', Harper's Bazaar). It was also shortlisted for the Orange Prize and was a Richard and Judy Summer Reads Number One bestseller. Her second novel, Small Wars ('Outstanding', The Times; 'Compelling', Daily Telegraph; 'One of the best books about the English at war ever', Joel Morris) was longlisted for the Orange Prize and her third, The Uninvited Guests was described by the Financial Times as 'dazzlingly well-written... a midsummer night's dream of a book... Unforgettable'. She lives with her family in London.
"An intoxicating and immersive read... It is a fraught and compelling novel; one that replays itself uncomfortably in the mind long after it is finished" -- Lucy Atkins Sunday Times "Beautifully written... An intense and absorbing story" -- Deirdre O'Brien Sunday Mirror "Intense... Ms Jones is unflinching as she plots the course of fallout with no shelter, of wounded lives undone by desperation in love and art" -- Carmela Ciuraru New York Times "Written with a precision and a level of descriptive subtlety that puts her up there with our foremost novelists. I can't help but feel that if she had been born Samuel Jones she would already be considered on a par with the Barneses and McEwans of this parish... Fallout is crafted with a pared-back delicacy and attention to detail that shows an author determined to do better with every sentence. And at the same time, there is an intensity of focus, a merciless yet empathetic gaze directed towards each of the main characters that ensures we care deeply about each of them" -- Elizabeth Day Observer "Hugely enjoyable... Fallout is both deliciously gobble-able and carefully constructed... A thoroughly pleasurable read" -- Holly Williams Independent on Sunday
Number Of Pages: 416
Published: 1st May 2014
Dimensions (cm): 23.2 x 15.5 x 3.1
Weight (kg): 0.55