When mysterious loner Jim Smith moves into remote Paradise Farmhouse, he experiences some strange but wonderful midnight visits from an ethereal woman. He soon discovers that this dream-like figure is the incarnation of a 1960s beauty, immortalized in a famous nude portrait that belongs to his neighbour. Intrigued, Jim abandons his customary aloofness to find out more, and accepts a dinner invitation from his landlords - a billionaire-thug and his beautiful but mistreated wife. The dinner party - a chance for a brilliantly satirical sketch of the braying upper class hunting set - is disastrous and, soon after, Jim's pastoral idyll disintegrates. His lambs die. Cows give no milk. Bees swarm. Sensing his ghostly lover has turned malevolent, Jim knows he must placate her before the circle of decay reaches those he loves - even if that means making the ultimate sacrifice. Both unsettling ghost story and intense love story, The Gate of Air is by turns poetic, learned, satirical and allegorical. This is a beautifully crafted novel about love and loneliness, life and death, and the indelible traces we leave behind us when we die.
A literary ghost story. When mysterious loner Jim Smith moves into remote Paradise Farmhouse, he experiences some strange but wonderful midnight visits from an ethereal woman. He soon discovers that this dream-like figure is the incarnation of a 1960s beauty, immortalized in a famous nude portrait that belongs to his neighbour.
'Not only a brilliant study of rural decay and the tragedy of the commons, but also both an unsettling ghost story and a strangely moving romance, and it succeeds beautifully on all those levels' John Burnside, The Times. * The Times *Nobody - but nobody - tells a love story better - Paul Baily, Daily Telegraph. * Daily Telegraph *...beguiling, poetic prose...a moving meditation on what it is to love - Daily Mail. * Daily Mail *'A wayward and extraordinary ghost story which finds room for both a personal appearance by the goddess of love and a discourse on the political economy of the British countryside.' Evening Standard Books of the Year. * Evening Standard *'Layers are peeled off the palimpsest of the English landscape, and of literature itself... the book's final paragraph is nothing short of magical... [Buchan] is a novelist who takes no literary convention for granted, and each book he writes is a discovery' Stephen Poole, Guardian. * Guardian *I don't believe this country has a better writer to offer than James Buchan - Michael Hofmann, London Review of Books. * London Review of Books *
James Buchan is the author of several novels, including A Parish of Rich Women, which won the 1984 Whitbread Book of the Year award, and Heart's Journey in Winter which won the Guardian prize. He is also an outstanding literary critic and non-fiction writer whose works include a biography of Adam Smith, Frozen Desire: An Enquiry into the Meaning of Money and Captial of the Mind.