A gunman seizes hostages a short drive from Leonard Lessing's house. His face leaps out of the evening news - and out of Leonard's own past . . . Lennie Lessing is a jazzman taking a break. His glory days seem to be behind him, his body is letting him down, and rather than continue to take on the world, he relives old gigs and feeds his media addiction during solitary days at home. Increasingly estranged from his busy wife Francine, who is herself mourning the sudden absence of her only daughter, Leonard has found his own groove: suburban and safe from surprises. He could continue like this for years. Then comes the news bulletin that threatens to change everything. Leonard has a choice to make. Set in England, 2024, and George Bush's Texas, 2006, this hypnotic novel wonders whether a life full of sound and fury signifies more than a life lived quietly, and asks what it truly means to love, to believe, and to be courageous.
Jim Crace has enjoyed great success in both Britain and United States and his work is widely translated. He is the prize-winning author of nine previous books, including Continent (winner of the 1986 Whitbread First Novel Award and the Guardian Fiction Prize), Quarantine (winner of the 1998 Whitbread Novel of the Year and shortlisted for the Booker Prize) and Being Dead (winner of the 2001 National Book Critics Circle Award). He lives in Birmingham.