The Northern Clemency by Philip Hensher

No critic rating

Waiting for minimum critic reviews

See 16 Critic Reviews

unrated

Synopsis

In 1974, the Sellers family is transplanted from London to Sheffield in northern England. On the day they move in, the Glover household across the street is in upheaval: convinced that his wife is having an affair, Malcolm Glover has suddenly disappeared. The reverberations of this rupture will echo through the years to come as the connection between the families deepens. But it will be the particular crises of ten-year-old Tim Glover—set off by two seemingly inconsequential but ultimately indelible acts of cruelty—that will erupt, full-blown, two decades later in a shocking conclusion.
 
Expansive and deeply felt, The Northern Clemency shows Philip Hensher to be one of our most masterly chroniclers of modern life, and a storyteller of virtuosic gifts.


From the Trade Paperback edition.
 

About Philip Hensher

See more books from this Author
Philip Hensher is a columnist for The Independent, an arts critic for The Spectator, and one of Granta's Best of Young British Novelists. He has written one collection of short stories and eight novels, including The Mulberry Empire, King of the Badgers, and The Northern Clemency, which was short-listed for the Man Booker Prize. He lives in South London and Geneva.
 
Published October 22, 2008 by Anchor. 757 pages
Genres: Literature & Fiction. Fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for The Northern Clemency

The New York Times

See more reviews from this publication

Mr. Hensher can look at an earthling child and see features “bunched together and resentfully squashed in a round scowling face, like a tight-pressed Brussels sprout.” He can look at a garish home and see “all the fractal elaborations of a wart.” He can look at a dead pet and see “a vile porridge...

Dec 03 2008 | Read Full Review of The Northern Clemency

The New York Times

See more reviews from this publication

“The Northern Clemency” is a 600-page multigenerational epic set in the northern English city of Sheffield, famous for steel, coal mines and the retrenched male strippers immortalized in “The Full Monty.” Written by a distinguished creative writing professor, blurbed by Philip Pullman, a finalist...

Dec 12 2008 | Read Full Review of The Northern Clemency

The Guardian

See more reviews from this publication

The Northern Clemency by Philip Hensher, read by Carole Boyd Buy it from the Guardian bookshop Search the Guardian bookshop This epic novel (in length, if not quite as a stablemate of T...

Apr 11 2009 | Read Full Review of The Northern Clemency

The Guardian

See more reviews from this publication

The Northern Clemency by Philip Hensher Buy it from the Guardian bookshop Search the Guardian bookshop Philip Hensher's novel, shortlisted for last year's Booker, f...

May 03 2009 | Read Full Review of The Northern Clemency

The Guardian

See more reviews from this publication

The Northern Clemency by Philip Hensher Buy it from the Guardian bookshop Search the Guardian bookshop The Northern Clemency has been called an epic because of its ...

Apr 25 2009 | Read Full Review of The Northern Clemency

The Guardian

See more reviews from this publication

A few weeks ago, Hensher wrote a piece in Prospect in which he criticised other recent state-of-the-nation novels - Jonathan Coe's The Rotter's Club, Blake Morrison's South of the River, Richard T Kelly's Crusaders - for their clichés and over-reliance on research rather than memory.

Apr 20 2008 | Read Full Review of The Northern Clemency

The Guardian

See more reviews from this publication

The Northern Clemency by Philip Hensher 736pp, Fourth Estate, £17.99 The social backdrop of a novel usually becomes apparent through historical events, fashions or figures of speech.

Mar 29 2008 | Read Full Review of The Northern Clemency

The Bookbag

I really did enjoy several of the more focussed sections of the story – Katherine's particularly, and the end of Tim's – and the light humour (the lifeguard and his reading was my favourite), so there is a scope for much appreciation, as well as many copies being put down in exasperation.

Oct 24 2009 | Read Full Review of The Northern Clemency

Review (Barnes & Noble)

As exotic (and revolting) as much of this might sound to American ears, food is just one of the many effective markers Hensher deploys to situate his sweeping story of lower-middle-class British life through the tumultuous period of industrial upheaval that climaxed with the 1984 miners' strike ...

Dec 14 2008 | Read Full Review of The Northern Clemency

Tampa Bay Times

Author Philip Hensher has been a judge in the past, so the defeat must have been especially disheartening, and Hensher has made no secret of this fact.

Nov 03 2010 | Read Full Review of The Northern Clemency

MostlyFiction Book Reviews

The novel, which begins and ends in Sheffield, spans the years 1974-1994, and as the history of the Glover and the Sellers families unfolds, replete with adultery, deceit, and scandal, significant social shifts in the country take place.

Apr 10 2010 | Read Full Review of The Northern Clemency

The Millions

As a clinic on realist technique, The Northern Clemency is impressive – impressive enough, apparently, to earn a spot on the Booker shortlist and a designation as Amazon.com’s best book of 2008 – but is there anything of much urgency here?

Jan 12 2009 | Read Full Review of The Northern Clemency

Bookmarks Magazine

Janet Maslin Seattle Times 4 of 5 Stars "While the book, on its surface, appears to be an old-fashioned novel—symphonic in scale, almost Victorian in its dense detail—it also recalls the experiments of Virginia Woolf (especially The Years) with its multiple leaps in time and shifts in point ...

Nov 10 2008 | Read Full Review of The Northern Clemency

Chamber Four

The Northern Clemency is the sprawling kind of novel, following two English families and dozens of characters over several decades, and for more than 600 pages.

Apr 01 2009 | Read Full Review of The Northern Clemency

Socialist Review

Hensher's droll approach draws the reader into the middle class comfort zones: flower arranging, dressing up for war games, garden shrubs, gimmicky gadgets, reviving the tango.

| Read Full Review of The Northern Clemency

The Paris Review

It’s a town: it’s not a village and it’s not a city.

Sep 27 2011 | Read Full Review of The Northern Clemency

Reader Rating for The Northern Clemency
59%

An aggregated and normalized score based on 49 user ratings from iDreamBooks & iTunes


Rate this book!

Add Review
×