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The Lighthouse (Unabridged)
 
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The Lighthouse (Unabridged) [Audio Download]

by Alison Moore (Author), Eve Karpf (Narrator)
3.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (132 customer reviews)
List Price: £10.99 (Prices include VAT)
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Product details

  • Audio Download
  • Listening Length: 4 hours and 59 minutes
  • Program Type: Audiobook
  • Version: Unabridged
  • Publisher: Audible Studios
  • Audible.co.uk Release Date: 11 Sep 2012
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B0099S2E76
  • Average Customer Review: 3.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (132 customer reviews)
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Product Description

Shortlisted for: New Writer of the Year - Specsavers National Book Awards 2012

Shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize 2012

The Lighthouse begins on a North Sea ferry, on the blustery outer deck of which stands Futh: a middle-aged, recently-separated man heading to Germany for a restorative walking holiday. After an encounter with an inexplicably hostile barman at a family-run hotel in Hellhaus, Futh sets out on his week-long circular walk along the Rhine. As he travels, he contemplates his childhood, a complicated friendship with the son of a lonely neighbour, his parents' broken marriage and his own. But the story he keeps coming back to, the one that affects all others, is his mother abandoning him as a boy. Recalling his first trip to Germany with his newly single father, Futh is mindful of something he neglected to do there; an omission which threatens to have devastating repercussions for him this time around.

At the end of the week, sunburnt and blistered, Futh comes to the end of his pilgrimage, returning to what he sees as the sanctuary of the Hellhaus hotel; however, he is blissfully unaware of the events which have been unfolding there in his absence.

©2012 Alison Moore; (P)2012 Audible Ltd

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
91 of 102 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Violet scented loneliness 15 Aug 2012
By MisterHobgoblin TOP 500 REVIEWER VINE VOICE
Format:Kindle Edition
The Lighthouse is an unusual and terribly sad novel. It is also rather good.

The novel tells two stories in interleaved chapters. The odd numbered chapters tell the story of a man called Futh who is going on a walking holiday in Germany, somewhat half-heartedly. The even numbered chapters tell the story of Ester, a guest house landlady.

Futh is lonely; he is middle aged, separated from his wife Angela and seems to lack any real support network, either in the form of friends or family. He has a back story, but very little present story. He is simply adrift, waiting to see which way the tide sends him, his only anchor is a silver lighthouse in his pocket. The opening chapter, set on the deck of a car ferry plying the Harwich to Hook of Holland route tells us that this is unlikely to be a story of ostentatious wealth and splendour.

Meanwhile, Ester, the landlady of the first and last hotel on Futh's planned walking route also has a small lighthouse. Moreover, her guesthouse is called the Hellehaus - a literal but incorrect translation of "light house" in German. She, too, is lonely and bobbing in the tide, not going anywhere but quietly leading the life of Molly Bloom. This use of repeated imagery is a real trademark in the novel. Whether it is lighthouses, violets, bathrooms or a host of other images, they keep cropping up over and over again. At first this feels uncomfortable but by the end of the short novel, it is a source of immense power. Moreover, the story keeps returning to the same few incidents, each time offering just a little bit more information or a slightly different perspective. It builds into something very simple but very evocative

The overall impression is deeply melancholy.
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24 of 27 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant writing style, but disappointing story 17 Oct 2012
By Ben
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
The book was quite promising at the beginning. The writing style is very detailed and clear. The present tense for the actual journey he is undertaking is contrasted against the past tense for his back story, and this is done very well. However, the book is written throughout in very close focus, which gets a little wearisome after a while. The observation of minute details, which at first impresses for the expertise behind it, becomes wearying and relentless after a while.

As other reviewers have said, the main character, Futh, is rather dull, and personally I found his name really irritating by the end of the book. Although bad things happen to him, it is difficult to feel much sympathy towards him because there is little to like about him. The story doesn't really develop - although his past is revealed in bits, it is more or less all the same - people don't like him, and he doesn't have very much fun. The book could begin and end anywhere and the effect would be the same. The ending is a mild blip on a more or less horizontal line.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
By Mrs. K. A. Wheatley TOP 500 REVIEWER VINE VOICE
Format:Paperback
It's hard to pinpoint how I feel about this book. Firstly, I can see why it has been shortlisted for lots of awards. It is clever, and playful in its construction if not its subject matter. It is beautifully, tightly written, and there is not a wasted word in the whole book. It is thoughtful and eerie, and leaves you pondering it long after you have read it.

On the other hand, having read it, I found myself wondering why I had stuck with it.

It tells the story of Futh, a bunglingly incompetent, lonely, emotionally illiterate man in middle age, whose wife has left him, and who goes on a walking holiday in Germany to reinvigorate himself before coming home to start a new life. It also tells the story of Ester, a blowsy, alcoholic, German land lady, whose life has turned out to be full of disappointment and haunted with a misery she is incapable of dealing with and blots out with sex and gin. Ester and Futh's lives intertwine and their chance encounter leads to disaster.

The story is horrible in the way it maps out the futility and drab misery of wasted human existence, both Futh and Ester's. Its sense of impending doom gets more and more persistent as the story unfolds and you find yourself willing Futh in particular, to wake up to himself and his life. As it is, there is nothing to be done, and the consequence is a car crash of a book that leaves you feeling unsettled and sad with the world.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars discussion provoking 11 July 2013
By Alyben
Format:Kindle Edition
This book has been read by 4 people at work now after I couldn't stop talking about it. One colleague absolutely hated it - felt it was boring and narrowly focused. The rest of us have had really intense discussions about these fictitious but compelling characters and their stories.
It made me feel very uncomfortable and I certainly didn't empathise with any of the characters, but the way the characters are drawn and their wearisome, solitary, daily, numbing lives is strangely compelling. Not a book I could forget in a hurry and unusually for me, one I can see myself re-reading very soon to see if I can pick up all the nuances I missed first time round.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Opinion of "The Lighthouse" 1 April 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I had a taster on my Kindle and was keen to read the novel. I thought it was very well-wrtitten but i found the ending to be most disappointing. Perhaps I missed the point. I picked up most of the 'threads' in the story but on the final page I thought: "Oh. Is that it?"
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars To the Lighthouse or not
Not Virginia Woolf but one was enough. Read this for its characters and style. Not at all pretentious and well worth it!
Published 12 days ago by Brian Last
5.0 out of 5 stars Moving and desperately sad
I loved this beautiful novel. With a surgeon's skill the writer strips back to the bone, revealing what it is to be human and to suffer, but she writes with such compassion and... Read more
Published 22 days ago by countrygirl
4.0 out of 5 stars Unsettling and haunting
This is not a book to love (hence no 5 stars), but one to admire. Spare prose and recurrent imagery creates a small and oppressively compulsive and claustrophobic world, with a... Read more
Published 1 month ago by Stephen
4.0 out of 5 stars Delightfully morose
Written in a clipped, sparse style and featuring two lonely, wasted souls set on a collision course this short book is well worth a read. Read more
Published 1 month ago by Fute
3.0 out of 5 stars Complex but dull
I don't know what to make of this book. It started well and the first quarter built a quiet sense of mystery and impending menace. Read more
Published 2 months ago by Bookie
1.0 out of 5 stars I Finished it but am not sure why
Perhaps it was his name "Futh": a name of dismissal, a name of discharged air, somehow from learning this everything went downhill from then on for me. Read more
Published 2 months ago by Donald Tosh
2.0 out of 5 stars Would not recommend
This book goes nowhere, it is well written, as you would expect for a Man Booker winner, but it is a dreary book. No characters to warm to and no resolution at the end of the book. Read more
Published 4 months ago by Nellie
2.0 out of 5 stars At I least it was short
The main character was uninteresting and I rapidly lost interest in him . T he only good part was the ending which made me laugh. Read more
Published 4 months ago by MR. W.S.DOIG
1.0 out of 5 stars The lighthouse
How could this book have been nominated for any award! Depressing book that does not really go anywhere. Waste of my time.
Published 5 months ago by Elizabeth A Macey
5.0 out of 5 stars The Lighthouse by Alison Moore
I have recently bought and read this book,
after just finding out about Alison Moore having read about the Pre war house book. Read more
Published 7 months ago by iris
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