Start reading I Put a Spell on You on your Kindle in under a minute. Don't have a Kindle? Get your Kindle here or start reading now with a free Kindle Reading App.

Deliver to your Kindle or other device


Try it free

Sample the beginning of this book for free

Deliver to your Kindle or other device

Sorry, this item is not available in
Image not available for
Image not available

I Put a Spell on You [Kindle Edition]

John Burnside
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)

Print List Price: £16.99
Kindle Price: £6.99 includes VAT* & free wireless delivery via Amazon Whispernet
You Save: £10.00 (59%)
* Unlike print books, digital books are subject to VAT.

Free Kindle Reading App Anybody can read Kindle books—even without a Kindle device—with the FREE Kindle app for smartphones, tablets and computers.

To get the free app, enter your e-mail address or mobile phone number.


Amazon Price New from Used from
Kindle Edition £6.99  
Hardcover £13.59  
Kindle Daily Deal
Kindle Daily Deal: Up to 70% off
Each day we unveil a new book deal at a specially discounted price--for that day only. Learn more about the Kindle Daily Deal or sign up for the Kindle Daily Deal Newsletter to receive free e-mail notifications about each day's deal.

Book Description

In this exquisite, haunting book, John Burnside describes his coming of age from the industrial misery of Cowdenbeath and Corby to the new world of Cambridge. This is a memoir of romance – of lost love and the love of being lost – darkened by threat, illuminated by glamour.

The old Scots word ‘glamour’ means magical charm, and the first time he was played I Put a Spell on You, John Burnside thought he had never heard a more beautiful song – it was an enchantment, a fascination that would turn to obsession. Implicit in the song were all the ambiguities that intrigued him – love, possession and danger – and this book is an exploration of the darker side of glamour and attraction. Beginning with memories of a brutal murder, the book follows the author through a series of uncanny encounters with ‘lost girls’, with brilliant digressions on murder ballads, voodoo, acid and insomnia, and a cast that includes Kafka and Narcissus, Diane Arbus and Mel Lyman, The Four Tops and Screamin’ Jay Hawkins, and time spent lost in the Arctic Circle, black-and-white films and a mental institution. Ending with the tender summoning of the ghost of his dying mother as she sings along to the radio in her empty kitchen, I Put a Spell on You is a book about memory, about the other side of love: a book of secrets and wonders.

Product Description


"A marvellously meandering, digressive study of the nature of love… Burnside has a lovely garrulousness that is distinctively his own… Exact and enthralling." (Tessa Hadley Guardian)

"[An] indirect, peculiar, consuming memoir… Full of wonders." (Kate Kellaway Observer)

"A wise and wryly glum autobiography written in a highly rewarding, pared-back style." (Martin Hemming Sunday Times)

"Captivating and unsettling… A work of scalding honesty." (Sophie Elmhirst Financial Times)

"Intoxicating… Remarkable… A long-player that resonates long after the stylus has lifted." (Brian Morton Glasgow Sunday Herald)

Book Description

The latest memoir by the prize-winning author of A Lie About My Father

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 786 KB
  • Print Length: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Vintage Digital (1 May 2014)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00I50K1NS
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #214,974 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
  •  Would you like to give feedback on images?

What Other Items Do Customers Buy After Viewing This Item?

Customer Reviews

4 star
3 star
2 star
4.0 out of 5 stars
4.0 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Another stunning book from Burnside 21 Jun. 2014
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Getting a new Burnside book, whether poetry, novel, short stories or autobiography is always an event. He reaches places that are rarely got to.

This new book doesn't disappoint. His ability to plunge the depths of characters and events, convincingly portraying them in such beautiful sentences, is stunning. He writes with such pared-down simplicity and integrity.
Was this review helpful to you?
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
One of the most beautifully written and inspiring books I've ever read.
Burnside can construct a sentence like few others.
A extraordinary read - as a previous reviewer mentions, it's a perfectly crafted memoir. However, it's also a treatise on glamour, on grammar and life for the 21st century male.
It may be tough for some readers, but I can't recommend highly enough.
Comment | 
Was this review helpful to you?
6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Memoir From Another World 6 Jun. 2014
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
This is a complex and deeply moving work. Although it has to be largely classified as a "memoir" it is much more than that; it is an account of how a young man from Cowdenbeath moved gradually towards becoming the accomplished writer "John Burnside", via Corby, the Cambridge Tech, Fulbourn Mental Hospital, and a few other places. Yet it is only a "memoir" in the same sense that James Joyce's Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man is a "memoir"; it, like Joyce's book, is also an "apologia", an account of how the writer began to move from a relatively ordinary and aimless young man towards the extraordinary writer he has become. In the process, recollections of his life and some of its events are mixed with accounts of influences on his work, ranging (amongst others) from rock musicians, jazz singers, the photographer Diane Arbus, the haunting landscape of Finnmark in northern Norway, and Cambridge drug culture of the 1960s. W.B. Yeats wrote, "A poet writes always of his personal life, in his finest work out of its tragedy, whatever it be, remorse, lost love, or mere loneliness". This is, indeed, such a work. It will not be for everyone, as it is challenging, but I suspect that this is a book which will endure.
Was this review helpful to you?
3 of 7 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Weird Weird Weird! 23 July 2014
By Ancass
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I bought this book because of the glowing reviews it has been receiving but oh how I wish I hadn't bothered. What a load of codswallop! It started off well enough but soon descended into a series of some of the weirdest tales I've ever encountered. So weird in fact that I gave up before I reached the halfway mark! Maybe it's a 'girl thing' but I just didn't get it!
Was this review helpful to you?
Search Customer Reviews
Only search this product's reviews

Customer Discussions

This product's forum
Discussion Replies Latest Post
No discussions yet

Ask questions, Share opinions, Gain insight
Start a new discussion
First post:
Prompts for sign-in

Search Customer Discussions
Search all Amazon discussions

Look for similar items by category