The Resurrectionist

They are such thin things, these lives of ours; cheap got, cheap lost, mere flickers against the ever dark, brief shadows on a wall. This life no more substantial than breath, a light which fills the chambers of our bodies, and is gone. James Bradley, The Resurrectionist

What is a life worth? Can we ever escape our past?

Gabriel Swift is apprenticed to a surgeon at a time when scientists rubbed shoulders with criminals, obliged to buy corpses from grave robbers in order to study anatomy. Gabriel sinks into the underworld of London in 1826, where the poor are numerous and vanish without a trace.

This is a grim, tense novel that mixes stomach-turning gothic thrills and dirty realism with a surprising lyricism and melancholy beauty. I admire James Bradley’s achievement.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s