Genre: Fiction
Published: 3 February 2012
Publisher: Simon & Schuster (UK)
International Rights have been sold to Canada/McClelland & Stewart, France/Zulma, Israel/Penn, Italy/Adriano Salani, Spain/Duomo, US/Viking

The Bellwether Revivals

by Benjamin Wood

Bright, bookish Oscar Lowe has escaped the council estate where he was raised and now works in a care home for the elderly in Cambridge. His conversations with the home’s most ill-tempered but fascinating resident, former professor Dr Bram Paulsen, are the closest he comes to the academic life all around him. But when he falls in love with Iris Bellwether, a beautiful and enigmatic student at King’s College, he is seduced into her world of scholarship and privilege, and soon becomes embroiled in the strange machinations of her brilliant but troubled brother Eden. Eden is a gifted musician and polymath and believes that he is destined for greatness. He is convinced that he can heal people through music and Oscar finds himself involved in a series of disturbing experiments with Eden, Iris and their other friends that convince him that Eden himself needs help – but Oscar’s recognition of the danger that faces them all comes too late…

"A stunningly good debut novel … Wood writes with vigour, precision and intensity, with a story that will keep readers up all night." - Steven Galloway, author of THE CELLIST OF SARAJEVO
"THE BELLWETHER REVIVALS renders the cruelties and frailties of genius with acuity and tenderness, exploring the naive sophistication of bright young minds, the moral immunity granted to coteries of privilege, and the true nature of mastery in art. Seductive, resonant, and disquieting, Benjamin Wood's novel captures strains and cadences, qualities of music that are rarely rendered except in sound." - Eleanor Catton, award-winning author of THE REHEARSAL
"Read it. Quite a debut." - Patrick Neate, award-winning author of MUSUNGU JIM
"‘From the moment young Oscar follows the organ music into King's College chapel, I was ready to follow the talented Benjamin Wood anywhere. Wood writes beautifully about music, hypnotism, old people and the lush landscapes of Cambridge. And his intricate plot carries both Oscar and the reader to a place where the stakes, finally, are nothing less than life and death. In the tradition of THE SECRET HISTORY, THE BELLWETHER REVIVALS explores the world of privileged youth to wonderful effect." - Margot Livesey, author of the New York Times bestselling THE FLIGHT OF GEMMA HARDY
"Oh, how I loved this novel! I was drawn in from the very first sentence and pretty much didn’t put it down until I reached the last. This is the kind of story that makes you want to hole up under the covers—with a box of cookies and a mug of tea—and not come out until you’ve uncovered the mysteries at its heart. And those mysteries that stay with you long after you reluctantly emerge from bed. I find myself constantly thinking of Wood’s characters—wonderful, surprising Oscar Lowe and those beautiful, doomed Bellwethers. It reminded me, more than anything, of Donna Tartt’s THE SECRET HISTORY, another novel that utterly consumed me, body and soul." - Joanna Smith Rakoff, author of the New York Times bestselling A FORTUNATE AGE
"There's more than a hint of Donna Tartt's THE SECRET HISTORY about this novel, with Cambridge taking the place of Vermont... highly effective." - Daily Mail
"Students have been in the headlines ... will it bring the campus novel back into vogue? With not one but two books featuring students out this month, it certainly seems the case. Written by graduates and both featuring Oxbridge graduates... THE BELLWETHER REVIVALS by Benjamin Wood ... boasts a 21st century spin on a genre that once upon a time seemed only to celebrate lofty minded or louche toffs.." - Mariella Frostrup, BBC Radio 4 "Open Books"
"In prose that's unfussy but effortlessly vivid, filled with nice descriptive flourishes ... Wood's confident, sometimes creepy debut novel draws you in – like the faintly heard strain from that hauntingly played pipe-organ – and then, once you're inside, holds on, ever tightening its grip." - Daniel Hahn, Independent on Sunday
"Previous authors have explored the proximity of genius to madness, but Wood treats this familiar theme with a freshness and intelligence that hint at greater things to come." - TLS
"This is my favourite book of the month. Hypnotic and mesmerising, it really draws you in. About a privileged set of Cambridge students and one brilliant music scholar on the edge of insanity, it has echoes of Brideshead, Donna Tartt or Naomi Alderman’s The Lessons. Really very special." - Sarah Broadhurst, The Bookseller, February Titles: Paperback Preview, Ones to Watch
"An ambitious exploration of doubt, hope and faith." - Lee Randall, The Scotsman

Other Books by Benjamin Wood