Observatory Mansions was once the Orme family's ancestral home. Now it is a crumbing apartment block, stranded on a traffic island and peopled with eccentrics. Alice Orme never stirs from her bed, her husband lives in his old armchair, and Francis, their son, practises his own art of stillness as a human statue in the centre of the decaying city. He lives by his Law of White Gloves, never touching anything without their protection, and collects items for his secret exhibition - items stolen, not because of any monetary worth, but because they are treasured by the owners. Edward Carey's debut is a novel of immense originality - a strangely haunting landscape occupied by compelling and unforgettable characters. 'Edward Carey has an imagination of tremendous range and power. He transforms the familiar stuff of life in shapes utterly strange and marvellous. This is a novel of truly startling originality' Patrick McGrath 'A striking debut, not simply for the skill with which it conjures its bizarrerie but for the way it wrings pity from an incredible setting' Times Literary Supplement

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