Francis King

The Agony of Alzheimer’s

The Wilderness


Jonathan Cape 328pp £12.99 order from our bookshop

Whereas sufferers from diseases such as cancer, tuberculosis and multiple sclerosis have produced graphic accounts of their experiences up to only a few hours before their deaths, with Alzheimer’s there cruelly comes a moment when the victim is literally lost for words. Fortunately, from time to time some writer – not a sufferer but possessed of exceptional intuition and literary skill, such as Norah Hoult in her 1944 There Were No Windows (reissued by Persephone four years ago) and now Samantha Harvey in this remarkable first novel, long-listed for this year’s Booker Prize – manages to persuade one that, yes, this is exactly what it must be like to suffer this ghastly affliction.

Follow Literary Review on Twitter

  • Last Tweets

    • 'Hart sets out to unsettle, startle and disturb. In this strange, disconcerting, radical version of a strange, disc… ,
    • Here is @MannJessica's June crime fiction round-up, discussing books by Georges Simenon, Jack Grimwood,… ,
    • John Stubbs reviews Stephen Greenblatt's latest, 'Tyrant: Shakespeare on Power' ,
    • RT : What happened when US military strategist Herman Kahn - one of Kubrick’s three models for Dr Strangelove - took LSD… ,
    • 'Pollan has no doubt that the use of psychedelics could have a powerfully beneficial effect on a range of condition… ,
    • A memoir about an Untouchable family and the 'formation of modern India': 'Ants among Elephants' by @gidla_sujatha… ,
    • RT : First founded in Edinburgh in 1979, is considered a trusted independent source for reviews of new book… ,