Hide this

Results from Google Books

Click on a thumbnail to go to Google Books.

The Light of Day by Graham Swift

The Light of Day (original 2003; edition 2004)

by Graham Swift

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
6642014,446 (3.39)44
Title:The Light of Day
Authors:Graham Swift
Info:Gardners Books (2004), Paperback
Collections:SMI - ZWI
Tags:England, tbr

Work details

The Light of Day by Graham Swift (2003)



Sign up for LibraryThing to find out whether you'll like this book.

No current Talk conversations about this book.

» See also 44 mentions

English (19)  Dutch (1)  All languages (20)
Showing 1-5 of 19 (next | show all)
Until I got to the end I wondered why the book was called ‘the light of day’. Was it to suggest an examination of past events with a backward-looking, discriminating eye? It probably suggests more than the optimism and yearning in its final use.

Anyway, it’s a great book, very slow-moving, the enjoyment coming from the reflective tone, the beautifully chosen, apt wording and its sense of continuity and pure examination of what we’re like, what civilisation is and what we want (and don’t want) in life. It may be about an ex-policeman now private detective falling in love with a client who’s in jail for killing her husband but really it’s about what makes us tick. ( )
  evening | Jun 5, 2014 |
This is a sensitively written novel about love that explores not only how it can last and endure, but also how much pain and anguish it can cause. Told through the words of a private investigator and ex-policeman, the story gradually reveals how George was attracted to one of his clients who employed him to investigate her husband’s affair. The tragic consequences of this are paralleled by the revelations and disgrace that lead to George’s earlier dismissal from the police force and his own marriage’s breakdown. However, despite these circumstances Swift draws optimism, through George’s closer relationship with his daughter and his devotion to his client.
  camharlow2 | May 20, 2014 |
Gave this up pretty quickly. I attempted the audio version, so perhaps it translates poorly in that format, but the style made the story entirely impossible to comprehend. I kept checking my ipod to see if it was skipping chapters because there seemed to be no coherent narrative. Just as I thought I had grasped whatever the protagonist was rattling on about, the focus and topic seemed to shift to something else. Perhaps some people find this sort of storytelling gymnastics compelling, but it felt like trying to carry on a conversation with someone suffering from profound dementia.
  PortM | Nov 30, 2013 |
Chose this book from Soffitta1's 1001-VBB. Look forward to read it!
  BoekenTrol71 | Mar 31, 2013 |
This is the story of George Webb, failed police officer turned private detective. His life has been turned around by one case: the murder of Mr. Nash by his wife. Mrs. Nash hired George to follow her husband, who was cheating on her. George was drawn to her, and two years later, is still totally wrapped up in her life.

Graham Swift has done an outstanding job of painting a picture of George: his personality, hopes, fears and longings. The book takes place over a single day, but with flashbacks to cover George's life. The writing is fast-paced, even though this is primarily a character study. It definitely made me want to read more by this author. ( )
  LynnB | May 19, 2012 |
Showing 1-5 of 19 (next | show all)
no reviews | add a review
You must log in to edit Common Knowledge data.
For more help see the Common Knowledge help page.
Series (with order)
Canonical title
Original title
Alternative titles
Original publication date
Important places
Important events
Related movies
Awards and honors
All's fair in love and war.
For Candice
First words
"Something's come over you."
Last words
(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
Disambiguation notice
Publisher's editors
Publisher series
Original language

References to this work on external resources.

Wikipedia in English


Book description
Haiku summary

Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0375415491, Hardcover)

In The Light of Day, Booker Prize-winning author Graham Swift takes readers into the mind of an ex-cop turned private investigator, who mulls over his relationship with a former client jailed for murdering her husband. In classic noir fashion, Webb has fallen for his client and anxiously awaits her release. Moreover, Webb had been called in to track the husband's affair, and Webb's role in the crime remains dubious. Swift's novel is somewhat in the vein of stream-of-consciousness style; Webb's thoughts are described, as they take place throughout a single day, in no particular order and without adhering to any strict plot structure. The novel's strength is indeed its structure: it is based not on chronology but as if on a sort of emotional resonance, with Webb's thoughts and preoccupations providing the novel with a depth not normally found in traditional detective novels. As an example, Swift writes of Webb's recollection of tailing the husband, after he had ended the affair and put his ex-lover on a plane:
He headed back towards the car park. In his shoes what would I have done? Found some spot that looked out on the runways? Pressed my nose against cold glass? All those taxiing lights. All those trundling planes, the people inside them like mere possibilities. At night it's hard to follow....
Webb is a fallible gumshoe who doesn't wear his heart on his sleeve, but, thanks to Swift's deft prose, has the range of his emotions revealed as he looks toward the future and contemplates his past actions in The Light of Day. --Michael Ferch

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:19:20 -0400)

(see all 3 descriptions)

Traces a day in the life of divorced private investigator George Webb as he evaluates his past as a police officer, unpromising prospects, and all-consuming relationship with a former client.

(summary from another edition)

» see all 4 descriptions

Quick Links

Swap Ebooks Audio
22 avail.
47 wanted
5 pay4 pay

Popular covers


Average: (3.39)
0.5 2
1 2
1.5 2
2 10
2.5 6
3 36
3.5 9
4 38
4.5 2
5 13


2 editions of this book were published by Audible.com.

See editions


An edition of this book was published by HighBridge.

» Publisher information page

Is this you?

Become a LibraryThing Author.


Help/FAQs | About | Privacy/Terms | Blog | Contact | LibraryThing.com | APIs | WikiThing | Common Knowledge | Legacy Libraries | Early Reviewers | 94,381,673 books! | Top bar: Always visible