Lean Fall Stand by Jon McGregor


Book Review by Fleur:

‘This is a finely crafted novel and I’ll be surprised if it doesn’t get shortlisted for many awards. There are many powerful, memorable visual images, and ideas presented about ambition, heroism, relationships, self-knowledge, and how and where we fit in life; ideas that I’ll undoubtedly recall from this novel when considering people, events at future points in my own life – which is surely the sign of great writing and the best a novel can offer.’

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ISBN: 9780008204907 Category: Tags: ,


When an Antarctic research expedition goes wrong, the consequences are far-reaching – for the men involved and for their families back home.

Robert ‘Doc’ Wright, a veteran of Antarctic field work, holds the clues to what happened, but he is no longer able to communicate them. While Anna, his wife, navigates the sharp contours of her new life as a carer, Robert is forced to learn a whole new way to be in the world.

Award-winning novelist Jon McGregor returns with a stunning novel that mesmerizingly and tenderly unpicks the notion of heroism and explores the indomitable human impulse to tell our stories – even when words fail us. A meditation on the line between sacrifice and selfishness this is a story of the undervalued, unrecognised courage it can take just to get through the day.


‘Lean Fall Stand is a beautiful piece of work and should win a roomful of prizes. Jon McGregor writes plainly and exactly, like a poet, and the precision of his writing makes every heartbeat register. The quality of his attention is a flicker of light around the fragile human condition, and it leaves the reader moved and subtly changed, as if she had become part of the story’ – Hilary Mantel

‘A spectacular book. So moving and delicate and terrifying and haunting; such a skillful evocation of our fragility and strength. It does what Jon McGregor does so well: examine the widening ripples of a single event. I read it again, as soon as I’d finished’ – Maggie O’Farrell, author of Hamnet

‘Jon McGregor has crafted a unique narrative, encompassing frozen wastes & altered interior landscapes. The most gripping piece of writing I’ve read in a long time: Sit. Read. Applaud’ – Jarvis Cocker

‘Exceptional. Starts as an Antarctic adventure, and turns into an exploration of courage, illness, marriage and compassion. So moving, and the use of language is remarkable. I absolutely loved it‘ – David Nicholls, author of Sweet Sorrow

‘A genuinely fascinating book and a troubling, riveting reading experience. A bold and masterful investigation into the weather system of the human mind’ – Max Porter, author of The Death of Francis Bacon

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