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All roads lead to Blackpool in Andrew O’Hagan’s latest novel, The Illuminations

A review of The Illuminations praises Andrew O’Hagan’s equally vivid portrayals of an old woman with dementia and a young squaddie home from Afghanistan

21 February 2015

9:00 AM

21 February 2015

9:00 AM

The Illuminations Andrew O’Hagan

Faber, pp.294, £17.99

The illuminations of Andrew O’Hagan’s fifth novel are both metaphysical and mundane. In the course of its taut plot, they encompass Blackpool’s elaborate decorations and a moment of understanding between a grandmother and grandson; epiphanies about the nature of masculinity picked out by the tracer fire and explosions in Afghanistan; and a photograph of an everyday sink linked to the aesthetic realisation that ‘colour is light on fire’.

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