The characters in Simon Van Booy's The Illusion of Separateness discover at their darkest moments of fear and isolation that they are not alone, that they were never alone, that every human being is a link in a chain we cannot see.
This gripping novel - inspired by true events - tells the interwoven stories of a deformed German infantryman, a lonely British film child on the brink of starvation, and a caretaker at a retirement home for actors in Santa Monica.
The same world moves under each of them, so that one by one, through seemingly random acts of selflessness, a veil is lifted to reveal the vital parts they have played in one another's lives, and the illusion of their separateness.
Read Caroline Baum's Review:
I had never heard of Simon Van Booy but now I am an instant fan of his beautiful elegant prose and storytelling which unfurls like a gorgeous flower, revealing more and more layers.
Based on the true story of an airman who came down in France during World War Two, this book travels far and wide from that point, ranging in time and place in a series of stories that weave together into a tapestry of common humanity.
A graceful reminder that even in moments of darkest fear and solitude, we are not alone, and that the links between us are often hidden, complex and resonate from generation to generation. In other words, only connect.
'A spare, elliptical story of human connection, framed by the horror of World War II...the story snaps together beautifully. A brilliant...novel that shows how a single act can echo through time; definitely recommended.' * Library Journal US * 'Using restraint and a subtle dose of foreshadowing, Van Booy expertly entangles these disparate lives; but it's what he leaves out that captures the imagination...the writing is what makes this remarkable book soar.' * Publishers Weekly US * 'Each character is beautifully drawn, with a rich interior life, starkly different from one another in their experiences, yet each with a curious ache in their hearts. What emerges is a delicate, complex, moving novel, one to withstand - demand even - an instant second reading.' * Telegraph UK * `Simon Van Booy's reputation can only grow with this, his second novel...It tramps through the muddy fields and dark spirits of the Second World War, but it carries you with it effortlessly, leaving the reader with a rare feeling of lightness at the end.' * Independent UK * `Touching...The elegance of Van Booy's evocative prose has led to comparisons with F. Scott Fitzgerald; it's some claim but one this little gem of a book completely justifies.' * Daily Mail UK * 'Van Booy writes with muted, unsentimental elegance about the impulses that bind us together.' * The Times UK * 'A beautifully written book.' * Age/Sydney Morning Herald * 'Simon Van Booy is an extraordinary writer.' * Binnie Kirshenbaum * 'Real life tastes plastic next to the words of Simon Van Booy.' -- Martin Page
Number Of Pages: 224
Published: 26th June 2013
Publisher: Text Publishing Co
Country of Publication: AU
Dimensions (cm): 19.8 x 12.7 x 1.7
Weight (kg): 0.2