Released on 17 March 2006.

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3.65 based on 157 ratings & 20 reviews on

2006 Long-listed

Waverton Good Read Award


Lily's epilepsy means she's used to seeing the world in terms of angles -- you look at every surface, you weigh up every corner, and you think of your head slamming into it -- but what would she be like without her sharp edges? Prickly, spiky, up-front honest and down-to-earth practical, Lily is thirty, and life's not easy but she gets by. Gets on with it. Has to -- what choice is there? So she's learned to make do, to make the most of things, to look after -- and out for -- herself. Coping, managing, surviving. Needing no-one and asking for nothing. Just her and her epilepsy: her constant companion.

But then her mother -- who Lily's not seen for years -- dies, and Lily is drawn back into a world she thought she'd long since left behind. At the same time, however, it's also somewhere disturbingly unfamiliar: newly reunited with one of her brothers, and hoping to track down the other, Lily is no longer alone. Forced to renegotiate the boundaries of her life, she realises she has alot to learn -- about relationships, about the past, and about herself -- and some difficult decisions ahead of her.

Electricity is Lily's story; told in fits and starts, it's an edgy, compelling novel and a distinctive debut.

In the media

An eviscerating debut novel . . . Its fast, furious plot, kaleidoscopic imagery, blunt observations and a wry, ingenuous, hugely compassionate heroine make Electricity a breathtaking assault on the senses
This visceral debut novel is narrated by Lily O'Connor, a darkly defiant 30-year-old epileptic whose life is punctuated by violent seizures. Robinson chronicles her desperate pursuit of her brother, Mickey, from Blackpool to London with a visual language so vivid you're steamrollered right into their subterranean world.
An energetic debut, bristling with talent . . . It's black, savage, funny and rather uncomfortably haunting
The Times