A Division of the Light Hardcover – 1 Mar 2012
- Choose from over 13,000 locations across the UK
- Prime members get unlimited deliveries at no additional cost
- Find your preferred location and add it to your address book
- Dispatch to this address when you check out
Customers Who Viewed This Item Also Viewed
Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
'A masterful novel' Melvyn Bragg. (Melvyn Bragg)
''a moral fable for our time, sharp in its analysis of our failure of emotions and our diffidence and self-serving ... a novel of lasting importance' Carlisle News and Star. (Carlisle News and Star)
'A peculiar, brilliant novel; the ending is extraordinary' Saga.
'As a work of art this novel is stylish and confidently framed - a compelling composition' Writer's Hub.(Writer's Hub)
'A strange, brilliant work' Kazuo Ishiguro. (Kazuo Ishiguro)
'An enigmatic novel that transports the reader somewhere unexpected' New Books Magazine. (New Books Magazine)
'an extra layer of deviousness' DJ Taylor, Independent.
'intriguing' Big Issue.
'If I was a Booker judge, I'd put this on the longlist' Farm Lane Books.(Farm Lane Books)
'Burns captures the photographer's obsession with form and light quite brilliantly and the story gets appealingly strange and dark ... technically it's a very fine piece of writing' Bookbag. (Bookbag)
'Burns' description of the intricate and delicate sword play of seduction is suspenseful and compelling' Red Online. (Red Online)
Engrossing, dense and unsettling, Burns's quiet horror is ingenious' Monocle magazine. (Monocle magazine)
It is unusual to see characters in such a clear, unrelenting light, with no airbrushing, and the casual cruelty of human relationships, is artfully and unflinchingly depicted' TLS. (TLS)
''The crisis is beautifully set up, in a pattern of imagery that both advances the plot and functions in its own right, with a control and cumulative power that make the novel compelling' Fiction Uncovered. (Fiction Uncovered)
About the Author
Christopher Burns is the author of five previous novels and a collection of short stories. He lives with his wife near the western edge of the English Lake District.
Top Customer Reviews
Are our lives controlled - are events 'meant' - or are we at the mercy of random forces? When Alice Fell decides to walk down a different street and is mugged, she is photographed by Gregory Pharaoh, also there by chance on his way home from an assignment. It is the beginning of an obsession, and a collision with the elemental forces that recur like motifs throughout the book. The patterns in the narrative echo the patterns of light Gregory plays with in his photographs. How much of what we see is merely illusion? How do we know what is true?
This is a difficult feat for a writer to bring off - a novel of ideas, a narrative of patterns, dependent on the interplay of three characters who are essentially unlikeable. Alice is a manipulative ball-breaker who uses her sexual power over men and always stops short of commitment. Her boyfriend Thomas is so lacking in self-confidence and motivation he has made Alice the whole of his world and in so doing, undermined any security he had left. Gregory is selfish, egotistical, dispassionate, used to getting exactly what he wants, and holding the world at the other end of his camera lens. His values are pictorial values.Read more ›
The bulk of the story involves a burgeoning relationship between successful fifty-something widowed photographer Gregory Pharoah, and a much younger woman, Alice Fell (and yep, those names sure do have meaning).
They meet when Pharaoh witnesses Alice being knocked down (`like a felled tree') and robbed in a London street. Pharoah not only helps Alice, but also takes shots of the incident. He is attracted to her, wants to take more shots of her, and is glad when she makes contact. From the beginning we are told, clunkily perhaps, that Personal Change, that great driver of novels, is on the way for Pharoah. He could do with it - conforming to most of what we are told by writers about photographers (and ageing, successful, single men), he is arrogant, self-centred, emptyish, interested only in surfaces and the briefest of relationships. Alice too is of a type - she believes she is special, has a `need to be unlike other people' and is a grasper of chances, a wannabe-muse, a woman whose ambitions are realised through dalliances with professional and intelligent (if also boring and self-centred) men, and seen, the author tells us, as `mysterious and exciting' (though to the reader she appears a shallow fake and Pharaoh's straightforward, disapproving daughter Cassie sees through her in a minute): she also is a firm believer in fate and `patterns'.Read more ›
If you are looking for an action packed adventure, then look elsewhere, you won't find thrills, vicarious or otherwise, here. Burns draws his characters with the skill of an old master.
There are flaws however; I didn't "like" any of the characters, with the exception of the photographer's daughter who I thought I could gradually grow to love, given the chance.
Very little happens in this really excellent novel. Well, there are two explosions I suppose, the first being a metaphor for the second. Burns descriptions of the area in which he (Burns) lives are not only accurate but also evocative. It made me want to visit the locations described.
I found the end somewhat unconvincing; the actions of Gregory were out of character for the person previously so carefully drawn. That said, what do I know? At the end of the novel Gregory stares into a mirror - what does he see? What would any of us see if observing ourselves in the same mirror? Robert Burns in "Ode to a louse" had something to say on this subject. Two Burns? Two explosions? Burns and introspection define the power of this novel.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
This is a very well written book but quite disturbing. The reason for giving 4 stars instead of 5 is that the narrative is slightly contrived. Read morePublished on 9 Oct. 2013 by ACB
This is a curious book. The first part focuses on photographer Gregory Pharaoh's obsessive sexual attraction to Alice Fell. Read morePublished on 26 April 2013 by Geoff Crocker
I found this book compulsive to read. There is an attention to detail in every action and description which is almost pedantic and almost annoying, but which seems to work in... Read morePublished on 23 Jan. 2013 by Geoff Buck
It was okay, nicely written but not very convincing at the end. Interesting idea, however and a good book overall.
It might have worked as a short story (where telling is as valid as showing), but by the end I was
trudging. Read more
The phrase "powerful novel" is readily applied these days, usually to novels with a degree of violence in their plot, but real literary power is internal, stemming from the... Read morePublished on 9 Mar. 2012 by David Rose
Christopher Burns' 'A Division of the Light' is an unusual novel; strange, rather brilliant in places, but oddly unsatisfying in others. Read morePublished on 4 Mar. 2012 by Susie B
This book is edgy, sometimes disturbing, but its is always compelling. I could not stop reading it. The climax of the novel is utterly unexpected. Read morePublished on 4 Mar. 2012 by ElizabethR