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Publisher's Summary

Brighton, May 1940. A time of tension and change. Geoffrey Beaumont becomes Superintendent of the enemy alien camp on the edge of town, his son Philip is gripped by the rumour that Hitler will make Brighton his English HQ, and his wife Evelyn meets Otto Gottlieb, a 'degenerate' German-Jewish painter imprisoned in the camp. As love collides with fear, the power of art with the forces of war, the lives of Evelyn, Otto, and Geoffrey are changed irrevocably.

Longlisted for The Man Booker Prize 2013

©2013 Alison MacLeod (P)2013 W F Howes Ltd

Critic Reviews

"MacLeod's range - spanning the movingly real to the mysteriously surreal - is excitingly, imaginatively realised" ( Metro)
"Alison MacLeod is a strikingly original voice. Her stories create intimate worlds and make the reader live in them with an intensity which is haunting, disturbing and above all beguiling" (Helen Dunmore)

What listeners say about Unexploded

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  • Vichy
  • 01-24-20

Beautifully rendered tale

This story could almost be the negative frame of JoJo Rabbit. Any redemption is hard to anticipate and long awaited. As folk of Brighton anticipate the imminent landing of Hitler on the beaches and, rather than the Blitz spirit, the sickening creep of middle-class fascism takes hold of innocent minds.
The nuances of a mature complex marriage are explored with subtlety and wisdom, as are the flawed characters of the main characters.
The novel’s denouement is arrived at fraught with stomach clenching tension and the author achieves a not unsurprising ending without sentimentality or melodrama.
The narrator has a good voice but the editing lets her down by including several errors of phrasing and a mistaken mid-sentence pause. It’s a pity to be distracted by such things.