Signals of Distress

Jim Crace

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04 September 2008

November 1836, and Aylmer Smith is making the voyage from his London home to coastal Wherrytown to deliver bad news. Once there he becomes embroiled with the American crew of the Belle, torn from their ship by a fierce storm and left stranded to wreak havoc in the village.

A Dickensian cast of characters and Jim Crace’s characteristically poetic prose make for an extraordinary novel: a historical yet timeless exploration of clashing cultures, communication and technology, which sees Crace at his illuminating and expansive best.

‘Our foremost cartographer of fictional topographies’ Will Self, Independent on Sunday Books of the Year

‘Masterly . . . imbued with the tang and power of the sea’ Independent

‘Fresh, vibrant, and unpredictable to the end’ Herald