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After Me Comes the Flood (2014)

by Sarah Perry

Other authors: See the other authors section.

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2392189,169 (2.8)14
One hot summer's day, John Cole decides to leave his life behind. He shuts up the bookshop no one ever comes to and drives out of London. When his car breaks down and he becomes lost on an isolated road, he goes looking for help, and stumbles into the grounds of a grand but dilapidated house. Its residents welcome him with open arms but there's more to this strange community than meets the eye. They all know him by name, they've prepared a room for him, and claim to have been waiting for him all along. As nights and days pass John finds himself drawn into a baffling menagerie. There is Hester, their matriarchal, controlling host; Alex and Claire, siblings full of child-like wonder and delusions; the mercurial Eve; Elijah a faithless former preacher haunted by the Bible; and chain-smoking Walker, wreathed in smoke and hostility. Who are these people? And what do they intend for John? Elegant, gently sinister and psychologically complex, After Me Comes The Flood is a haunting and hypnotic debut novel by a brilliant new voice.… (more)
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» See also 14 mentions

Showing 1-5 of 19 (next | show all)
DNF. Sad because I loved The Essex Serpent. I got half way through this and I couldn't care less about the characters - who are all mentally ill aside from the painfully boring narrator/protagonist. I mention the mental illness because typically that enough would interest me enough to stick with a book. This is the first time I've put a book down since 2018. It's not a horrible book by any standard I just don't have the patience to stick with it at the moment. Sorry Sarah. ( )
  rosscharles | May 19, 2021 |
No comment. Could not even be bothered to find out what happened.... ( )
1 vote Ma_Washigeri | Jan 23, 2021 |
It hasn't rained for some weeks and it is hot. John closes his London bookshop and drives into the Essex countryside. He isn't sure where he is heading and when his car overheats and he walks to a nearby house he is welcomed by name. In the dining room he meets the collection of people living in the house and things become a little clearer when he is shown his room where the belongings of another John are waiting. John fortunately answers the telephone when the expected John rings to say he has been delayed and he stays among a group of people all of whom are damaged or suffering in some way. This lacks some of the mastery of Sarah Perry's later novels but she does build up the tension through the days as John interacts with different characters in the house. There is an incident at the beach that is dealt with and it is soon clear that was not the incident the reader is waiting for. That the incident involves the reservoir and a young man is no surprise. ( )
1 vote CarolKub | Jan 4, 2021 |
Managed 50 pages and it was quite engrossing as a lonely old chap finds a mysterious house on a hot day, full of strange people. Very "Le Grand Meaulnes." Only instead of gradually seeing where we're going, it became increasingly incomprehensible and peculiar and I lost all interest. ( )
  starbox | Oct 16, 2020 |
Not much for this one. It rambles without really getting anywhere. The main character is a mistaken person in a mistaken place with no idea what he is doing. This left me with no idea of what this was about, where it was going, or even if it got there.

I put it in the "given up on" basket before going back to retrieve because I thought it may go somewhere. It only went in the bin.

If it had some some sex or violence it would have been gratuitous but at least it would have made it bearable. ( )
  Ken-Me-Old-Mate | Sep 24, 2020 |
Showing 1-5 of 19 (next | show all)
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Sarah Perryprimary authorall editionscalculated
Dyer, PeterDesignersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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One hot summer's day, John Cole decides to leave his life behind. He shuts up the bookshop no one ever comes to and drives out of London. When his car breaks down and he becomes lost on an isolated road, he goes looking for help, and stumbles into the grounds of a grand but dilapidated house. Its residents welcome him with open arms but there's more to this strange community than meets the eye. They all know him by name, they've prepared a room for him, and claim to have been waiting for him all along. As nights and days pass John finds himself drawn into a baffling menagerie. There is Hester, their matriarchal, controlling host; Alex and Claire, siblings full of child-like wonder and delusions; the mercurial Eve; Elijah a faithless former preacher haunted by the Bible; and chain-smoking Walker, wreathed in smoke and hostility. Who are these people? And what do they intend for John? Elegant, gently sinister and psychologically complex, After Me Comes The Flood is a haunting and hypnotic debut novel by a brilliant new voice.

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