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Electricity [Paperback]

Ray Robinson
4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (21 customer reviews)
RRP: 9.99
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Book Description

2 Mar 2007

Lily's epilepsy means she's used to seeing the world in terms of angles -- you look at every surface, you weigh up every corner, and you think of your head slamming into it -- but what would she be like without her sharp edges? Prickly, spiky, up-front honest and down-to-earth practical, Lily is thirty, and life's not easy but she gets by. Needing no-one and asking for nothing, it's just her and her epilepsy: her constant companion.

But then her mother -- who Lily's not seen for years -- dies, and Lily is drawn back into a world she thought she'd long since left behind. Forced to renegotiate the boundaries of her life, she realises she has alot to learn -- about relationships, about the past, and about herself -- and some difficult decisions ahead of her.

‘An eviscerating debut novel . . . Its fast, furious plot, kaleidoscopic imagery, blunt observations and a wry, ingenuous, hugely compassionate heroine make Electricity a breathtaking assault on the senses’ Guardian

‘An energetic debut, bristling with talent . . . It's black, savage, funny and rather uncomfortably haunting’ The Times

'Ray Robinson's Electricity is a thorny, uncompromising novel, with attitude. It is also -- thanks to Lily O'Connor, its sharp-edged, hard-living, tough-talking narrator -- mesmerising, uplifting and unexpectedly tender' JIM CRACE


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Product details

  • Paperback: 336 pages
  • Publisher: Picador; New Ed edition (2 Mar 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0330440691
  • ISBN-13: 978-0330440691
  • Product Dimensions: 13 x 19.7 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (21 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 526,417 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Robinson first won attention in 2006 with his debut novel, Electricity (Picador, 2006). It was shortlisted for both the James Tait Black Memorial Prize, and the Authors' Club First Novel Award.

Electricity was filmed by Stone City Films in 2013, starring Agyness Deyn as Lily, and will be released in cinemas in 2014.

Robinson's other novels are The Man Without (Picador, 2008), Forgetting Zoe (Heinemann, 2010), and Jawbone Lake (Heinemann, 2014).

Forgetting Zoe was selected for the inaugural Fiction Uncovered promotion and was the Observer's 'Thriller of the Month'. Robinson was hailed as 'among the most impressive voices of Britain's younger generation' by the Irish Times.

Robinson is a post-graduate of Lancaster University, where he was awarded a Ph.D. in Creative Writing in 2006, and is a Literary Mentor and Reader for The Literary Consultancy.

He has appeared at literary festivals around the world, including La Feria Internacional del Libro de Guadalajara, Mexico, and the Edinburgh International Book Festival.

Product Description

Review

'Lily is a sharp narrator, the writing is strong and there could be even better to come' -- Observer

'Robinson's delicate tiptoeing between the two personae is confident and exquisite' -- Herald

'very tough and very tender, and Lily is a fearsome and
compellingly alive creation.' -- Independent on Sunday

Book Description

Lily's epilepsy means she's used to seeing the world in terms of angles -- you look at every surface, you weigh up every corner, and you think of your head slamming into it -- but what would she be like without her sharp edges? Prickly, spiky, up-front honest and down-to-earth practical, Lily is thirty, and life's not easy but she gets by. Gets on with it. Has to -- what choice is there? So she's learned to make do, to make the most of things, to look after -- and out for -- herself. Coping, managing, surviving. Needing no-one and asking for nothing. Just her and her epilepsy: her constant companion. But then her mother -- who Lily's not seen for years -- dies, and Lily is drawn back into a world she thought she'd long since left behind. At the same time, however, it's also somewhere disturbingly unfamiliar: newly reunited with one of her brothers, and hoping to track down the other, Lily is no longer alone. Forced to renegotiate the boundaries of her life, she realises she has alot to learn -- about relationships, about the past, and about herself -- and some difficult decisions ahead of her. Electricity is Lily's story; told in fits and starts, it's an edgy, compelling novel and a distinctive debut.

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Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
4.7 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
15 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant debut 20 Feb 2007
By Lynne
Format:Paperback
"Electricity" is a brilliant debut novel. I found it compelling, beautifully written, and by turns both poignantly moving and laugh-out-loud funny. The protagonist, Lily, is a real achievement: captivating, complex, and utterly believable. From the start you find yourself rooting for Lily in her heartbreaking search for her missing brother, Mikey, and in her equally challenging search for love and happiness.

Just as Mark Haddon's "Curious Incident..." gave you some sense of what it is like to have Asperger's Syndrome, so "Electricity" gives you a powerful and evocative insight into the experience of having epilepsy. It's fascinating to see the world through the prism of Lily's epilepsy, and her experience informs, without ever overwhelming, the entire novel.

Lily is not the only gem in this novel: there are a host of intriguing and fascinating characters. In particular I loved the portrayal of Lily's flamboyant poker-champion brother, Barry.

This is a really original and interesting novel. I loved it, and would highly recommend it.
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25 of 26 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Madi, 11/02/06 - Fantastic Read 11 Feb 2006
By M. Ruby
Format:Paperback
I am writing as a sufferer of epilepsy who has recently read a draft of ‘Electricity’ by Ray Robinson.
I was diagnosed with Epilepsy in 1995 following surgery to remove a benign brain tumour, and was introduced to Ray by a mutual friend during the research phase of his writing. I have always been very keen to be open about my Epilepsy and help others understand the subtleties of a much misunderstood condition.
I found Ray to be very thorough in his approach to his research, and was indeed impressed by his tenacity in securing interviews with medical professionals and Epilepsy sufferers alike.
The very word ‘Epilepsy’ can cause fear, misunderstanding and conflicting emotions due to a huge number of pre-conceptions about the condition. In reading ‘Electricity’ I was moved to laughter and tears, and not just because I understand the challenges that Epilepsy brings. Through his honest and thorough research and real art for capturing and sharing a character Ray took me on a journey that said so much about the challenges we all face in life. Ray cleverly uses the ‘lens’ of Epilepsy to tell a much bigger story whilst being true to the realities of the condition.
Ray has used some really innovative devices to depict some of the realities of Epilepsy without resorting to straightforward descriptions. This makes his book an experience and not just a read, taking what appears on the page beyond what the written word can convey and sharing a deeper experience with the reader. All this is achieved in a style that makes Lily’s story much more accessible to a broad cross-section of readers.
Read more ›
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars fantastic 24 May 2006
By Anna
Format:Paperback
I read this book after having read the review of it in the Guardian. After such a dazzling review, I was expecting a great read. I was not disappointed. In fact, this book exceeded all my expectations.

Ray Robinson uses language that is so vivid that you want to read it slowly so that you can savour every last word, yet the story is so compelling that you want to race through to find out what happens. The many and varied characters are really brought to life by this author, and given that many of the characters are quite unusual people, the portrayals are both convincing and thought provoking. The depiction of the main character's poker playing brother is particularly memorable.

During the time I was reading this book, every time that I put it down, I found myself mulling over the descriptions, the characters and the storyline, and I was always eager to pick it up again and read a couple more pages. Very few other books that I have read have had such an effect on me, and I really think that this is one of the great strengths of Electricity.

I am already looking forward to the next book by this author and in the meantime I would wholeheartedly recommend this book to anyone.

Buy it now!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant and original debut novel 23 May 2006
By Lynne
Format:Paperback
"Electricity" is a brilliant debut novel. I found it compelling, beautifully written, and by turns both poignantly moving and laugh-out-loud funny. The protagonist, Lily, is a real achievement: captivating, complex, and utterly believable. From the start you find yourself rooting for Lily in her heartbreaking search for her missing brother, Mikey, and in her equally challenging search for love and happiness.

Just as Mark Haddon's "Curious Incident..." gave you some sense of what it is like to have Asperger's Syndrome, so "Electricity" gives you a powerful and evocative insight into the experience of having epilepsy. It's fascinating to see the world through the prism of Lily's epilepsy, and her experience informs, without ever overwhelming, the entire novel.

Lily is not the only gem in this novel: there are a host of intriguing and fascinating characters. In particular I loved the portrayal of Lily's flamboyant poker-champion brother, Barry.

This is a really original and interesting novel. I loved it, and would highly recommend it.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Great book, page-turner
Sorry but I don't know what Vongolo is talking about. He/she is talking about the reviews of this book as though it were some chancer who published it themselves and then got spam... Read more
Published 5 months ago by Book Lover
1.0 out of 5 stars A lot of friends reviews!! Beware!!
I fell for the 5 star rating - idiot that I am. The Debt of thanks section of the book has a long list - 'most of all to Lynne' - who has reviewed the book twice - and has only... Read more
Published 11 months ago by Vongolo
5.0 out of 5 stars Real life, lived by some people, warts and all
This is a very gritty book which encompasses the human condition and relationships, and a medical condition, epilepsy; I can never recall epilepsy being written about in such... Read more
Published 12 months ago by Bunchie
5.0 out of 5 stars Read it
Any book that starts with joy division lyrics has got to be worth a read. Electricity is an incredible insight into living with epilepsy, written in a dramatic style in which I... Read more
Published 15 months ago by Jack
4.0 out of 5 stars Electricity
An easy read with an interesting heroine. Not my usual sort of book, but enjoyable all the same. I read it quickly, always a good sign, in fact I was reluctant to put it down. Read more
Published on 13 Oct 2010 by Susan Webb
5.0 out of 5 stars The book that seduced me to read again
Robinson is a contemporary artist painting vivid pictures through words, giving the reader insight into a World of interrupted childhood and epilepsy as well as writing about the... Read more
Published on 30 Sep 2008 by Richard A. Plant
5.0 out of 5 stars This debut buzzes and hums with life
Lily has epilepsy, and her condition certainly co-stars with her in this brave novel of families lost and found. Read more
Published on 1 July 2008 by Annabel Gaskell
5.0 out of 5 stars A warm and wonderful debut from an exceptional new talent!
This is a truly wonderful novel, full of warmth, humour and insightful observation. I loved this book and when I'd finished reading it, I stayed in its world a long time. Read more
Published on 17 April 2007 by C. Allan
5.0 out of 5 stars Electric
This is a great book with a very compelling heroine whose voice just lifts up from the page to greet you. Read more
Published on 4 Jan 2007 by N. Monaghan
5.0 out of 5 stars James - London
This was an excelent read : it was thought provoking, gritty with humorous dialogue and informative. Read more
Published on 29 May 2006 by James Skinner
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