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I See Buildings Fall Like Lightning

Hardcover / ISBN-13: 9781408717813

Price: £16.99

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Five friends. Five lives. Countless hopes.

Patrick, Shiv, Rian, Oli and Conor grew up together. They played together, skipped school together, and dreamt of everything they’d do with their lives.

Now they are thirty, and only Rian has made it out of the estate and moved away to another city, but his money doesn’t stop him clinging to a vision of the past that is quickly slipping away. Oli is fading by the day, drinking and snorting his way through the endless boredom, while Conor has a baby on the way and a business plan he hopes will change everything. Patrick and Shiv are as in love as ever, but even they are rocked when an old secret opens up new wounds…

Bold, ambitious and stylistically striking, I See Buildings Fall like Lightning asks what happens when all the things we expect from our lives end up … not happening. It lays bare the ways that place and circumstance shape us, explores the redeeming and transforming beauty of friendship and examines the true limits of hope and forgiveness.


An enraging, enthralling and ultimately heart-breaking novel. Written in a bold and inventive style which invokes the panoptic nature of entrenched friendships, it is a story about the ways such friendships can make you whole or can tear you in half
Aidan Cottrell-Boyce, author of The End of Nightwork
The thing about Keiran Goddard is he'll make you laugh and weep in the same paragraph. This is such a humane, beautiful novel about being from a place you can neither leave nor stay in
Heather Parry, author of Orpheus Builds a Girl
This heartfelt, gut-wrenching novel confirms Goddard as one of the best writers of our time. It's as poignant as it is artful, and once you read it, it will never leave you ... an astonishing achievement
Lucia Osborne-Crowley, author of My Body Keeps Your Secrets
A virtuosic and devastating exploration of the relationships that bind us, and the places that always call us back. Tender and fierce in turn, Goddard writes about class and friendship with the deftest of touches
Sophie Mackintosh, author of The Water Cure
I found these characters and landscapes so achingly real, relatable and deftly, compassionately drawn. Keiran Goddard's is a mind-blowing talent, his writing so beautiful. I can't wait to read everything he ever publishes.
Lauren Brown, author of Hands
This is a novel full of hard material but infused with dignity and originality. The language is swaggering, the character development deeply subtle ... genuinely beautiful
Niamh Campbell, author of We Were Young
As painful as a punch and as tender as the bruise that follows, this is a moving and deftly drawn world of friendship, hardship, grief and love. Goddard writes beautifully about dead-end jobs, wild nights out and corrosive regrets, but he's also utterly convincing on the deep joys of friendship, parenthood and holding close the ones you love. A fresh and searing novel for our times
Victoria MacKenzie, author of For Thy Great Pain Have Mercy On My Little Pain
What does it mean to claim one another, and to let one another go? Intimate with its surprises, I See Buildings Fall Like Lightning has an honesty that shows us how to love one another and hold onto what matters most
Tice Cin, author of Keeping the House
Striking, moving, subtly radical. A multivocal narrative focusing on a working-class community in Birmingham ... reminiscent of Jon McGregor's most successful novels, If Nobody Speaks of Remarkable Things and Reservoir 13
Barney Norris, Guardian
Extraordinary writing about ordinary people
Tender, violent, affecting ... this book takes real pleasure in language
One of the most beautiful novels I've read in a very long time, full of rare elegance, sorrow, wit and warmth, I See Buildings Fall Like Lightning tells the story of what's left when dreaming feels impossible
Ali Millar, author of The Last Days
A very affecting novel about working class love, friendship and grief. Bound by kinship and place, Goddard's multiple narrators create a story that is truly communal, demonstrating our interconnectedness and bravely rejecting the idea that the novel form is built to tell the stories of individuals only
Yara Rodrigues Fowler, author of There Are More Things