'A Shock inhabits the secret life of a city, its hidden energies. It dramatizes how patterns form and then disperse, how stories are made and relationships created . . . remarkable' - Colm Tóibín, author of Brooklyn
'Political, pertinent, spunky and funny, A Shock is a grand sweep of modern storytelling' - June Caldwell, author of Room Little Darker
In A Shock, a clutch of more or less loosely connected characters appear, disappear and reappear. They are all of them on the fringes of London life, often clinging on – to sanity or solvency or a story – by their fingertips.
Keith Ridgway, author of the acclaimed Hawthorn & Child, writes about people whose understanding of their own situation is only ever partial and fuzzy, who are consumed by emotions and anxieties and narratives, or the lack thereof, that they cannot master. He focuses on peripheral figures who mean well and to whom things happen, and happen confusingly, and his fictional strategies reflect this focus. In a deftly conjured high-wire act, Ridgway achieves the fine balance between the imperatives of drama and fidelity to his characters. The result is pin-sharp and often breathtaking.
'A Shock is a perfect, living circle of beauty and mystery, clearsighted and compassionate, and, at times, wonderfully funny’ - David Hayden, author of Darker With the Lights On
A Shock inhabits the secret life of a city, its hidden energies. It dramatizes how patterns form and then disperse, how stories are made and relationships created. Keith Ridgway offers his London a luminous glow, but his competing narratives are also rooted in a real place, with a remarkable sense of character and the shifting systems that make up his contemporary urban space
Keith Ridgway's gifts as a writer are many: his complex, vivid characters, his ability to create a humane and tender cityscape in an unfeeling metropolis, and to dig into our fallibilities and desires with such humour and compassion
Ridgway brings an impeccably attentive ear and eye to the stories and dreams and defiances of his contemporary London characters. In these multiple voices he miraculously captures, with innovative clarity, what it means to be alive here and now, in or out of it on love or loneliness or the phone. A great and generous book, an incomparable achievement