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He Wants


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About the Author

Alison Moore's first novel, The Lighthouse, was shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize 2012 and the National Book Awards 2012 (New Writer of the Year), winning the McKitterick Prize 2013. Her shorter fiction has been published in Best British Short Stories anthologies and in her debut collection The Pre-War House and Other Stories, whose title story won a novella prize. Born in Manchester in 1971, she lives near Nottingham with her husband Dan and son Arthur.


The best novels are the ones that leave you with a sense of yearning, and in He Wants, Alison Moore proves her mastery of the medium... As Lewis's desires are revealed, the reader is drawn into a compelling series of regrets, coincidences and reminders that life doesn't often bestow second chances... Moore's tightly wreathed prose and assured plotting ensure a bittersweet longing for more once the final page is turned.

-- Lynsey May * The List *

How she achieves such big impact with such small ingredients is a mystery to me, but she does. She bloody well does.

-- Gav Collins * Gav's Book Reviews *

brave and rigorous

-- Rachel Cusk * The Guardian *

Moore movingly mines the aching gap between aspiration and actuality.

-- Anita Sethi * The Observer *

He Wants is a funny, touching, life-affirming novel about desire.

-- Anne Goodwin * Annecdotal *

An elegant story.

-- Sue Magee * The Bookbag *

As entertaining as it was gripping; Moore walks a tightrope between tragedy-cum-thriller and deadpan comedy and she does not fall.

-- Clare Fisher * Litro Magazine *

It is difficult to pinpoint exactly how she creates such compelling (though often unlikeable) characters, turning their everyday doings into a page-turning story, the atmosphere quietly unsettling.

-- Marija Smits * For Books' Sake *

Moore is a serious talent. There's art here. There's care.

-- Sam Leith * The Financial Times *

He Wants is an assured and confident second novel which deserves to be reread to fully appreciate its complexities. With sparse prose, astute descriptions, and subtle humour, Moore has cemented herself as one of my favourite authors.

* The Perfectionist Pen *

it is a short novel but needs no further chapters; its impact lies, in part, in its brevity and in its silences... There are dark aspects to He Wants and an intensity of emotion that will pull you in until the last page.

-- F.C. Malby

He Wants will easily be one of my books of the year... He Wants left me feeling both completely uplifted and utterly devastated, all at once.

-- Simon Savidge * Savidge Reads *

Alison Moore is very good on modern alienation... She doesn't so much lay bare a life as shine blinding pinpricks into its darkest corners.

-- Claire Allfree * Metro *

It's a quick, compelling read with real depth and heart, and I loved it.

-- Ali Hope * Shiny New Books *

a witty and very moving novel

-- Jonathan Edwards * New Welsh Review *

I really loved this book... I read it greedily and quickly; I had to force myself to slow down and savour it. And what she's so good at is conjuring a sense of atmospheric, quiet unease. I think it's the kind of book that will really get under people's skin.

-- Kiran Dass * Radio New Zealand *

This book went where I didn't expect it to go, and that's what made reading it so memorable and an enthralling reading experience. It's a fairly simple story centred around Lewis, a retired RE teacher who has lived his life doing the opposite of how he imagined things would turn out ... He spends many hours looking back, at the things he regrets, the missed opportunities and it's only when an old school friend appears back in his life, that his rebellious streak shows itself and he starts to live life a little dangerously and throws caution to the wind to see if the life he had always dreamed of would bring him the joy he craved. The attention to the little details throughout really make this short novel sparkle and I found it to be so touching and enchanting.

* Books and Me *

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