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Out Of This World


About The Book


In 1972, Robert Beech, First World War veteran and prominent figure in the arms industry, is killed by a car bomb. The event cuts short the career of his son Harry, a news photographer, and comes close to destroying his granddaughter Sophie. Ten years later, Harry, now working in aerial photography, and Sophie, visiting an analyst in New York, remain scarred and divided by the event. Around their broken relationship and Harry’s memories of his truncated career and his father, the novel builds a story that is acutely private yet sweepingly public, at the heart of which lies Harry’s lifelong dedication of the camera.

Out of This World spans many of the twentieth century’s scenes of conflict, but also contains some of Graham Swift’s most achingly intimate scenes of personal confrontation—scenes that, powerful and haunting as photographs can be, no photographs can capture.

‘Deserves to be ranked in the forefront of contemporary literature’ New York Times

‘Superb, profound’ Sunday Times

About The Author

© Janus van den Eijnden

Graham Swift was born in 1949 and is the author of eleven novels,two collections of short stories, including the highly acclaimed England and Other Stories, and of Making an Elephant, a book of essays, portraits, poetry and reflections on his life in writing. His most recent novel, Mothering Sunday, became an international bestseller and won The Hawthornden Prize for best work of imaginative literature. With Waterland he won the Guardian Fiction Prize, and with Last Orders the Booker Prize. Both novels were made into films. His work has appeared in over thirty languages.

About The Readers

Product Details

  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster Audio UK (November 25, 2021)
  • Runtime: 6 hours and 12 minutes
  • ISBN13: 9781471187490

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Raves and Reviews

'Swift’s most ambitious and outward-looking novel…In unravelling the unhappy lives of member’s of the Beech family, the plot embraces the history of the century’s warfare and the attempts of individuals to escape the legacy of their past…a moving and painful saga.'

– Sunday Times

'Out of this World  reaches beyond mere felicity of language by scrutinizing, in an intensely personal fashion, the perfectly drawn and imperfectly human characters of Harry Beech, an Englishman, and his daughter, Sophie… Swift’s achievement is that the important story of their self-education has been told with such simple, startling beauty. Not a book the reader is likely to forget, Out of this World deserves to be ranked at the forefront of contemporary literature.'

– New York Times

'A book which attempts to lay bare the soul of our green and pleasant land and embrace the broad sweep of time from the Bronze Age on, while encapsulating a claustrophobic family drama, is incredibly ambitious. The novel succeeds brilliantly…Swift writes with such clarity and economy the impression the book gives is of having been shown all the majesty and the emotional perplexity of history itself. A remarkably courageous novel and by far the best he has written.'

– Time Out

'The gradual rediscovery of the terrible past is as tense as a thriller…a powerful and exciting book.'

– The Times

'Swift focuses with brilliant clarity and depth our Western angst and alienation – not only recording reality but conferring it…compulsively re-readable.'

– Mail on Sunday

'It appeals to the emotions, the intellect and the imagination …It contains more matter than half a dozen worthy novels each twice its size: its subject is the impact of the 20th century on consciousness. What is astonishing is that Swift treats this mighty theme with the delicacy of a Renoir…Swift’s great qualities as a writer are the keen freshness of his imagination, the accuracy of observation and the precision of his style…This is a novel for those who still believe in the importance of fiction.'

– Scotsman

'Glorious…a moving, ingenious and often very funny tale of family love and estrangement that takes us to the moon and back, through the 20th century, around the world – Greece, Nuremberg, Vietnam – and deep into his characters’ wounded, resilient hearts…breathtaking virtuosity…rich, complicated, joyful, arresting.'

– USA Today

'As its title implies, this book breaks deliberately loose from geographical bonds, cruising the world’s skies from Wiltshire to Nuremberg, from Brooklyn to Thessalonika, from Cyprus to Vietnam…It is that rarest of English artefacts, a novel of ideas, but ideas that seem to emerge effortlessly from a classic generational conflict that spans the first seven decades of the 20th century. And it’s all done in a book of only 200 intensely concentrated pages. Quite a feat.'

– Toronto Globe and Mail

'Even with the resounding breadth and ambition of the novel as it sweeps over the century’s catastrophes, its strength is not only in the detailing of public violence but in the evocation of very personal trauma and loss…superb, profound.'

– Sunday Times

'A brilliantly imagined, tautly written novel…we gradually sense the heart-tug of love triumphing over years of alienation…Swift’s gift is to make us listen, with empathy and eagerness to learn, to the voices of Harry and Sophie.'

– Newsday

'An uncompromising and intense novel, addressing itself to the issues of our time seriously but not bitterly: in the general disintegration, love and hope secure a kind of future.'

– Hilary Mantel

'The central themes of Swift’s previous work – historical ‘truth’, family betrayal, the false certainties bred by time  and fantasy – are all here, given a sharper ironic focus than before…It provides yet more evidence, were any needed, of Swift’s stature as a novelist of ideas-in-action.'

– Evening Standard

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