The heat of the day Paperback – 1 Jan 1979
Customers Who Bought This Item Also Bought
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.
"Probably the most intelligent noir ever written...The situation is surreal, the psychologizing profound, and the eerie inwardness trapped in Bowen's distinctive prose resonates inside a peculiar silence that fills the reader's heart with dread" (Los Angeles Times)
"One of three quintessential London 'war' novels, the others being Patrick Hamilton's Hangover Square and Graham Greene's The End of the Affair. No other novel conjures the spooky solemnity of the Blitz so adroitly" (Time Out)
"A tensely charged story of betrayal" (Independent)
"Marvellously witty, poetic and socially perceptive novels... she is bang on form with The Heat of the Day" (John Bayley Independent)
"This world reminds you of both Henry James and Graham Greene...a world both placid and violently fractured...Bowen's prose is crisp and precise, but also suggestive and haunting...She combines moral refinement and pitiless but compasionate understanding" (Sunday Times) --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
A tense thriller of suspicion, betrayal and espionage set in wartime London --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.See all Product Description
What Other Items Do Customers Buy After Viewing This Item?
Top Customer Reviews
This isn't an action packed novel of spies and espionage that it might seem but that is all to the book's benefit. Stella and the other characters are all perfectly observed and beautifully portrayed. Bowen's prose draws you into those nights of fear and steaming days of ennui, the `hot yellow sands of each afternoon'. High moments of the story are attached to historical Allied events but this isn't a war story as such, although it does deal with lives irreparably altered by the outbreak of war. I love the rhythm and the delicate nature of the prose, there is a haunting beauty to this book that deserves to be more widely known.
Here's another interesting book about the run up to the Second World War:
The Separate Principle
There is a muted intensity to all personal interactions, and this is the kind of book where we need to pay attention to every word spoken, to every tiny gesture made, to almost decode the currents between people.
If you come to this book expecting either a war-time romance, or a spy story then you will inevitably be disappointed. So much of this book is obscure, based around things not said, actions not taken, deeds which don't happen, and the book is haunted by ghosts: not just the dead, but the bombed churches which cannot ring their bells, and the dead souls of the living.
London is familiar and yet also alien, and many of the characters are portrayed in a similar way. So this is an odd book in lots of ways which keeps us feeling somehow just a little off-kilter - but it builds up into a strange, almost dreamy, mysterious and peculiarly haunting read.
Ostensibly The Heat of the Day is a spy novel, a wartime noir.
In the first chapter Stella, the heroine, is told by a shady individual called Harrison that her lover, Robert, is selling secrets to the enemy. Harrison offers to withhold this information from his superiors if Stella agrees to become his lover. To begin with Stella is dubious. If what Robert does is performing an act for her then the implication is that his love too is part of the act. A surface cracks. The habitat of love in which Stella has lived comes to resemble the broken exposed bombed buildings littering London’s landscape. Bowen is brilliant at relating these inward crisis moments to the external world. Every description of place contains psychological insights into her characters. When, later, Stella visits Robert’s home she is horrified by the suffocating deceit of decorum she encounters in his mother and sister, a decorum that has already humiliated and unmanned Robert’s father. Robert calls his mother Muttikins. Enough said! The rot starts at home.
Stella herself is involved in a deceit. She had deceived her son about his father. Contrary to popular belief it was not she who betrayed him but the other way round.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
condition ok, bit disappointed not to have the dust cover like it shows in then photo.Published 14 months ago by amanda b
Bowen made me work very hard! Intense and dense writing but worthy of discussion!Published 15 months ago by Amazon Customer
This is an amazing book. So glad i happened to see it in a list of 100 best novels. When reading it you are IN 1940's London. It is simply superbPublished 18 months ago by Steven Conway
One of the most long winded, verbose books i have ever read. The only reason i read it was because it was chosen by my book club. Read morePublished 19 months ago by Blondie
I thought there might be more to it than the TV drama but it was not really. An ok read.Published on 12 Jun. 2014 by Rog
This is a 'pre-loved' book but in very good condition. I am enjoying the book although the style of writing is not one that is used today. That makes it all the more interesting.Published on 9 April 2014 by Gillian