Sam Leith

The Appalling Snow

His Coldest Winter

By

Fourth Estate 265pp £15.99 order from our bookshop

‘Into many a green valley’, Auden wrote, ‘Drifts the appalling snow…’ In 1962 the hardest winter for two centuries hit the English countryside, and the appalling snow drifts into the lives of Derek Beaven’s two protagonists. One is Alan Rae, whom we meet as he rides his new motorcycle home from London through the countryside, exhilarated and afraid. The other is Geoffrey Fairhurst, a young researcher who works with Alan’s father, Lionel (a wartime rocket scientist), at a laboratory where they are trying, essentially, to invent the microchip. Both know, but don’t quite allow themselves to know, that the business the laboratory is in is, one way or another, military.

Follow Literary Review on Twitter

  • Last Tweets

    • Whom did Picasso label a 'bristly pig'? Read Rosalind P Blakesley's review of The Collector by Natalya Semenova to… ,
    • Alexandra Gajda on Anna Beer's new biography, Patriot or Traitor: The Life and Death of Sir Walter Ralegh ,
    • Mark Lawson reviews @jonathancoe's Middle England - The Rotters' Club for our Brexit age. ,
    • 'Behind every book that is published lies ... a haunted landscape, populated by the ghosts of things written and ex… ,
    • 'We once more live in a great age of dragon invention' Here's Tom Shippey on Martin Arnold's The Dragon ,
    • RT : Man at the q&a part of the book panel: Don't say it Don't say it Don't say it Don't say it Don't say it Don't s… ,
    • Here's @epkaufm's Whiteshift, reviewed in this month's magazine by ,