The Lighthouse

The Lighthouse Alison Moore
  • Title: The Lighthouse
  • Author: Alison Moore
  • ISBN: -
  • Page: 241
  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • The Lighthouse Alison Moore The Lighthouse The Lighthouse begins on a North Sea ferry on whose blustery outer deck stands Futh a middle aged recently separated man heading to Germany for a restorative walking holiday Spending his first nigh
    The Lighthouse begins on a North Sea ferry, on whose blustery outer deck stands Futh, a middle aged, recently separated man heading to Germany for a restorative walking holiday Spending his first night in Hellhaus at a small, family run hotel, he finds the landlady hospitable but is troubled by an encounter with an inexplicably hostile barman In the morning, Futh puts thThe Lighthouse begins on a North Sea ferry, on whose blustery outer deck stands Futh, a middle aged, recently separated man heading to Germany for a restorative walking holiday Spending his first night in Hellhaus at a small, family run hotel, he finds the landlady hospitable but is troubled by an encounter with an inexplicably hostile barman In the morning, Futh puts the episode behind him and sets out on his week long circular walk along the Rhine As he travels, he contemplates his childhood a complicated friendship with the son of a lonely neighbour his parents broken marriage and his own But the story he keeps coming back to, the person and the event affecting all others, is his mother and her abandonment of him as a boy, which left him with a void to fill, a substitute to find He recalls his first trip to Germany with his newly single father He is mindful of something he neglected to do there, an omission which threatens to have devastating repercussions for him this time around At the end of the week, Futh, sunburnt and blistered, comes to the end of his circular walk, returning to what he sees as the sanctuary of the Hellhaus hotel, unaware of the events which have been unfolding there in his absence.
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      Alison Moore

    About Alison Moore


    1. Born in Manchester in 1971, Alison Moore lives next but one to a sheep field in a village on the Leicestershire Nottinghamshire border, with her husband Dan and son Arthur.She is a member of Nottingham Writers Studio and an honorary lecturer in the School of English at Nottingham University.In 2012 her novel The Lighthouse, the unsettling tale of a middle aged man who embarks on a contemplative German walking holiday after the break up of his marriage only to find himself alienated than ever, was shortlisted for the Man Booker prize.


    792 Comments


    1. This is a story about emptiness it is a story about how people long for what they do not have, and look for it everywhere and in everyone it s a story about empty people and empty lives And in this Moore provides an excellent case study in the characterisation of Futh, a man who embodies an extreme sense of loneliness It s also about futility and the fruitless nature of such longing Instead of living in the now and making the most of what we do have the human mind always seeks such impossibiliti [...]

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    2. The Lighthouse is one of those novels which grows on you as you read it and you only realise how good a novel it is a little after you have finished it.It is written from the point of view of 2 characters Both have boring, mundane lives The man,Futh,is someone to whom things happen He is not a person who could ever be described as proactive The woman, Ester,is a sad and disappointed person with an inappropriate libido Futh and Ester virtually never meet or speak to one another but the whole stor [...]

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    3. Some books are a rich substantial meal This one hardly qualifies as a snack To push the analogy a bit further a bowl of clear soup that smells unusual and turns up something disconcerting and unidentifiable Transparent, but still off putting.Surely no one in their right mind would stay at a hotel called Hellhaus I mean, hell house Bit Stephen King isn t it And then this guy on a walking holiday and so you call him Futh, which sounds a lot like foot Hopeless and helpless, he is In his mid forties [...]

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    4. The twin central narratives of Alison Moore s Booker Prize nominated novel The Lighthouse take place over a week, following Futh and Ester, whose stories cross, diverge and finally converge Futh is always referred to without title, and we never learn his forename He is eminently forgettable after a week Ester cannot picture him at all and the other stranger Futh meets at the start of the book, Carl, after a week finds that he cannot really visualise him or remember his name I myself have in the [...]

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    5. This is not a novel It is a joke I don t feel though that the long shaggy build up equals the punch line view spoiler I know, a groanworthy spoiler, truly hide spoiler or vice versa.My heart, an unreasonable organ, abandoning its regular duties, tells me that the author has the qualities of a short story writer Here though they are stretched out and the details felt superfluous at times Did I care, did I know became do I know, do I care Nor does it really feel like a novella.The second chapter h [...]

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    6. I m not sure what the opposite of sublime literature is called, but the British own it Ever since reading the novels of Barbara Pym in the late 70s, I ve marveled at this national genre of misery drab constricted lives of careful economies and invincible repression Sad food seems to be the abiding metaphor In Pym I recall characters fixing small meals out of tins Early in Alison Moore s crafted short novel we find the hapless Futh being served a meal by the equally wretched Ester Ester goes to t [...]

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    7. I was so looking forward to this So disappointed Is there a genre for books where nothing happens and you just don t care about any of the characters What is it called If I knew, I could make sure to avoid books like this in future because they are an utter waste of my time to read I d really like to know what a writer s motivation is to write something like this Moore seems to take no pleasure in words, nor her characters, nor in plot This results in an overwhelming sense of detachment, which t [...]

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    8. This is one of the most carefully constructed novels I have read in a while The author spent a lot of time planning this book with pre chosen symbolism The major theme in this book is scent in fact, the main character is a chemist who works in synthetic smell scratch and sniff technology The smells are interwoven in the book and link all of the characters intricately and if you follow the weave of the scents you see the greater fabric of the story I think this technique is what impressed me the [...]

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    9. I reached for a random book on Friday as we were leaving the house I had expected a book to arrive that day but it did not and so I reached up to my to be read book shelf and grabbed a book I bought in London in November A book I had intended to read for a while but did not know just when Turns out it was now.We drove 2,5 hours into the deep woods The deep Woods of Norway To a cabin we refer to as Elsewhere.Where we coccoon We eat, play, laugh, and mostly we turn pages In hammocks, in chairs, on [...]

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    10. Another one from the 2012 Booker shortlist.The Lighthouse is a brief novel, following two characters that interact only at the beginning and end Both live lonely, isolated, unhappy lives both seem powerless to change anything.I did enjoy how the book was written It felt like at least four simultaneous stories were being told Futh in present day, where he and his wife have separated and he is doing a walking loop in Germany Futh as a child right as his mother has left Futh as a young adult, newly [...]

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    11. Horrid, horrid, horrid I could not stand this I gave it 62 pages, which is than generous for a book I m hating as much as I hated this one It s a puzzlement to me how this got longlisted for the Booker prize Some people s tastes are unfathomable.

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    12. This is the other Booker nominated book about a man who embarks on a trek, and ruminates about his life and his disappointments The similarities with The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry stop there though Here, the story is about the lighthouse, and those it warns Or beckons The tale is prefaced with a quote from Muriel Spark s short story The Curtain Blown by the Breeze she became a tall lighthouse sending out kindly beams which some took for welcome instead of warnings against the rocks I fou [...]

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    13. I purchased The Lighthouse just by chance from the Oxfam Bookshop on Byres Road on my boyfriend s birthday I remember seeing a few copies about when it was published, but have never read any reviews of it nor did I know anyone in real life who had read it I started it out of intrigue on the same day and read a large portion of it in the dim light of a Walkabout bar in central Glasgow whilst trying to drown out the sounds of very loud football supporters during an Arsenal game , and was immediate [...]

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    14. This book weaves a spell I read it in one evening because I couldn t put it down It follows a man named Futh, who is taking a trip to Germany, and a woman named Ester, who works at a hotel where Futh stays Both Futh and Ester spend a lot of time thinking about the past, and the story crisscrosses between their memories and the present.The writing is both evocative and sparse the scenes are chilling in their simplicity It s the kind of ominous story that made me want to yell out, Don t go there T [...]

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    15. This is a strange little novel, and it gives rise to intriguingly polarized responses I can see why, even though I liked it myself.Certainly, there s very little here for anyone looking for characters with whom they can identify, which accounts for some of the bad reviews this novel has received from readers Neither of the main characters focalizers is appealing in the least, though I didn t see that as a weakness in the novel Futh is a hapless, emotionally constipated Englishman, recovering fro [...]

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    16. An indie novel shortlisted for the Booker is quite a feat I have mixed feelings about this novel, some of the details were wonderful, some I felt were not necessary and some were just boring There was very little humor and very little dialogue, yet the structure was original and I liked how the book was presented Scents, good and bad tie all the threads of the story together and is present in both separate parts of the story There is an unexpected ending, but I never really warmed up to not felt [...]

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    17. I enjoyed The Lighthouse and read it in three days That said it was a strange book with its impotent main character who seems incapable of doing anything well and lurches from mild embarrassment to mild embarrassment and never learns from his errors.It s simply and well written and worth a look.

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    18. The Lighthouse by Alison Moore is a novel of smells Perfumes figure strongly, as does camphor, with formaldehyde and octyl acetate making cameo appearances The lighthouse of the title is a model, a decorative, presentation container that once held a phial of perfume It was a present for a woman married to a chemist called Futh The chemist and the woman had a son also called Futh because it is a surname , who also took up chemistry Futh the father was German and bored his wife, especially when ta [...]

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    19. Reviews of this book are all over the place I can see why people would give up on it There really isn t a likeable character in the whole book That, actually, I didn t have a problem with Unlikeable characters can be far interesting than likeable ones just as bad guys as long as they have some depth can be quite compelling We like to think of ourselves as good and likeable and so why wouldn t we find our opposites fascinating Maybe it says something about me that I found myself empathising with [...]

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    20. she was in Best British Short Stories 2011 with me, a great story, and now this debut novel is on the Booker longlistr some reason the library has lent me a large print copy, very weird to read.excellent a strange, listless feel to it as the characters all seem to drift into marriages and affairs etc The main protagonist, Futh, is characterised as easy to forget people do not remember what he looks like He goes on holiday after his divorce, thinking back on his childhood and youth and almost sta [...]

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    21. The LighthouseI enjoyed reading the Lighthouse and I started it after I was lucky enough to meet the novelist at a conference of writers I attended earlier this year Alison is perhaps best known for her short stories, so this is a thin volume 183 pages and is full of small yet powerful vignettes.The main character, Futh, is not a particularly loving or winning guy, so this book feels oddly glum His miserable existence is gradually explored and the story of his unpleasant, fatalistic beginnings i [...]

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    22. It would be a wonderful thing if this first novel won the Man Booker Prize It seems to depict one small world lonely man goes away after break up of marriage to reflect but welded to his apparently small world are the memories of other small worlds that make up a much larger world that neither he nor the reader can forget The characters are so vividly drawn and the spare, clear writing expands far beyond its 183 pages to create a series of encounters that puzzle and fascinate, and above all fill [...]

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    23. What a dark little creepy crawly of a book In the best way possible Deftly written, heavily atmospheric and foreboding, this gothic miniature creates all sorts of discomfort, pity and awkwardness on its way to an end that I can only assume was black comedy Look, Moore says, these people are so very very damaged, it is inevitable that they are going to do bad things, either through malice or haplessness But she doesn t pity her characters exactly, there s a bit wryness than that, and frankly, we [...]

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    24. Very well written However, as I got to around the halfway mark, I had an epiphany I hated virtually every single character in the book I especially hated the two main characters, Futh and Ester I finished the book without noticing a single characteristic of either that was even slightly appealing I found myself wondering if Futh had some form of Asperger s his ability to understand others seemed to be pretty much nil, but then, he had no understanding of himself, either I finished this book, but [...]

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    25. This slim volume tells the story of Futh, a forty something man, newly divorced, who decides to take a walking holiday in Germany before returning to England to start life as a single man We first meet him on the ferry crossing slight, middle aged, with thinning hair and an oddly forgettable presence Futh s journey is largely uneventful he gives a lift to a man he meets on the ferry then continues alone, having his suitcase sent on ahead as he walks a scenic circuit between the six hotels he is [...]

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    26. I was very impressed by this It s a great portrait of loneliness, inconsequentiality and memory It s rewardingly creepy too The novel is especially strong on the way memory works smells and imagery violets, lighthouses, camphor are picked up by different characters in the arbitrary way they are in life In the absence of much to live for today, characters cleave to memories from decades before This is utterly believable Futh is a great, damaged antihero reminding me very much of another damned by [...]

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    27. I finished this a week ago and I find it really sticks to the ribs I wasn t expecting that It is about one of those people who are just doomed to remain alone Futh from childhood, is the master of the missed connection, the unseen situation, the misunderstood meaning Not even his own mother ever had much use for him This novel is very tightly constructed to bring all these non connections together It sounds like it could be terribly depressing but the missed connections are gossamer rather than [...]

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    28. An admirable first novel The progressive unveiling of Futh s he is such a non entity that he never is given a first name memories and obsessions works well in tandem with the web of the moment that will finally destroy him Unlike the uplifting and much lighter Unlikely Pilgramage of Harold Fry there is a sense of rising doom to Futh s circular walking holiday and circular paring back of layers of memory While I can appreciate the use of symbolic elements that touch all of the characters scent, l [...]

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