The Bellwether Revivals by Benjamin WoodThe Bellwether Revivals by Benjamin Wood

The Bellwether Revivals

byBenjamin Wood

Paperback | May 28, 2013

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Part Secret History, part Brideshead Revisited for the 21st century, a page-turning, romantic, eerie tale of genius and, possibly, madness, now in paperback.

The Bellwether Revivals opens and closes with bodies. The story of whose bodies and how they come to be spread about an elegant house on the river near Cambridge is told by Oscar, a young, bright working-class man who has fallen in love with an upper-class Cambridge student, Iris, and has thereby become entangled with a group of close friends, led by Iris's charismatic, brilliant, possibly dangerous brother. For Eden Bellwether believes he can heal -- and perhaps more -- through the power of music.
    In this stunning debut, we too are utterly unsure as to whether Eden Bellwether is a saviour or a villain, and whether Oscar will be able to solve this mystery in time to save himself, if not everyone else.

BENJAMIN WOOD was born in 1981 and grew up in northwest England. In 2004, he was awarded a Commonwealth Scholarship to attend the MFA Creative Writing programme at the University of British Columbia. During his tenure as fiction editor of Canadian literary journal, PRISM international, the publication was awarded the Writers' Trust of ...
Title:The Bellwether RevivalsFormat:PaperbackDimensions:432 pages, 8 × 5.17 × 1.17 inPublished:May 28, 2013Publisher:McClelland & StewartLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0771089325

ISBN - 13:9780771089329

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Rated 4 out of 5 by from Engrossing Benjamin Wood grabbed my attention from the first sentence of his debut novel. With three bodies, two dead, one barely alive, we are introduced to a world that is shocking and undefined Through twist, turns and “coincidence,” the puzzle unfolds: marring music, literature, psychology, religion and science, life and death, with an unhealthy dose of madness. Wood’s prose flow, effortlessly, from page to page – chapter to chapter. The pace is such that there is no good place to close the book and set this story aside. I had a hard time putting it down. Our protagonist, Oscar Lowe, is a 20-year-old nurse who becomes enmeshed with a group of educated, privileged, students. Two of the group – siblings: the girl, Iris, whom he is falling in love with and her brother, Eden, the ringleader. Eden is something of a prodigy… and possibly a mad man. Things are not always clear as the events are unraveling. Iris is both independent and a damsel in distress. Yet her manner and intellect are beyond her nineteen years of living. Dr. Paulsen, an elderly, retired professor, in Oscar’s care, is both his educator in literature as well as with cautions about his new friends from the Ivy-league. Paulsen also holds a piece of the puzzle. Things that seem unconnected become entwined as Oscar tries to keep a promise to Iris. With the introduction of Herbert Crest, a long time friend of Dr. Paulsen, Oscar has found an ally in his quest for the truth. A quest that started the moment Oscar diverted from his route home. One decision can alter a life’s journey, leading to a dichotomy of things. “Hope is a form of madness. A benevolent one, sure, but madness all the same.” Crest, a psychologist, informs Oscar. Yet there is hope in the pages of “The Bellwether Revivals,” and not even the most skeptical among the characters seems immune. Really… What is life without hope? The danger lies in what is inspired when all hope is lost and the truth is too much to bear.
Date published: 2018-03-23
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Could have been so much better This book had a good beginning and I had high hopes starting out. It had all the traits of a fascinating read but never seemed to reach its full potential. I can't pinpoint any one thing, it just seemed like there should be something more. The experiments by Eden weren't all that disturbing and the events that unfolded at the end were a bit of a leap for me. It was a bit unclear how it all came about and I think more time should have been spent exploring Edens thought processes and motives. Not a bad read, just lacking something to make it great.
Date published: 2012-08-09
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Great Book! I found this book to be eerie in a good way. It was interesting and enthralling, I could not put it down whatsoever! From the opening chapter I found that it was bringing the reader into a mystery of sorts, opening with a body but not knowing what happened, or even who this person is. I really enjoyed following the story of each of these characters through Oscar's view, especially that of Eden. He was an interesting character to figure out, and I really enjoyed his passion in his beliefs. It was also interesting to see how Eden gets by day to day with the belief that he is able to heal, and the story of how he came to believe this was an interesting one. I can tell that Benjamin Wood did a lot of research for this book, there is a large psychological aspect to this book that is very interesting to me. I studied psychology in school and this story really appeals to that side of me, with the way Eden acts. I really enjoy how Benjamin goes in depth into the psychological aspect, really bringing out the way that Eden could have a disorder and how his friends try to help him. Benjamin also does a great job writing the differences between the classes, especially through the family dynamics. It was interesting to see how each family treated home life, and the idea of schooling. The ending of this book also came as a huge surprise to me. After going through the whole story, I was expecting a completely different ending, but it was definitely powerful. I loved the big twist! This is an amazing debut novel from Benjamin Wood, and I see many great things to come in the future.
Date published: 2012-03-27
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Great read The Bellwether Revivals opens and closes with bodies. The story of whose bodies and how they come to be spread about an elegant house on the river near Cambridge is told by Oscar, a young, bright working middle class man who has fallen in love with an upper-class Cambridge student, Iris, and thereby become entangled with a group of close friends. Her brother, Eden Bellwether, believes he can heal others through his music and has a strange relationship with Iris.
Date published: 2012-03-07

Editorial Reviews

 • "Intriguing characters and situations that are difficult to resist ... fast-paced ... mesmerizing." -- Chatelaine • "Stunningly good ... Wood writes with vigour, precision and intensity, with a story that will keep readers up all night." -- Steven Galloway, author of The Cellist of Sarajevo  • "A powerful read that explores the conflicts that arise between logic, religion and blind faith" -- The Bookseller • "Effortlessly vivid ... Wood's confident, sometimes creepy debut novel draws you in ... and then, once you're inside, holds on, ever tightening its grip." -- Independent on Sunday • "Previous authors have explored the proximity of genius to madness, but Wood treats this familiar theme with a freshness and intelligence that hint at greater things to come." -- TLS