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The Vanishing Hours

The Vanishing Hours


'Shot through with compassion . . . this dreamlike, winding tale is a joy.' A. L. KENNEDY
'Moving and unconventionally wise.' Guardian

This was how I heard the most important story of my life, the thing that decided me, the story that determined who I was in the end.

As snow begins to fall outside, two strangers meet by chance in a bar. She is trying to make sense of a life shaken by heartbreak and ruined dreams. He is on a desperate quest to find something he lost in his youth.

From the blustery cliffs of Dover to the confines of a nuclear bunker; from the courtroom witness box to the West End stage, he flits from one life to another, never able to stand still.

Extraordinary though his story is, the secret she is keeping is even more surprising, and will take them to a place neither of them - or you - expected.

From the bestselling author of FIVE RIVERS MET ON A WOODED PLAIN comes this captivating novel about love, abandonment, and the power of stories to help us find our way in the world.


What readers are saying:

***** 'I absolutely loved this book - it's beautifully written, very emotional and full of wonderful flights of imagination.'
***** 'Unlike anything I've read before.'
***** 'A deeply moving account of fragile memory and lost love.'
***** 'A completely beautiful book . . . I adored it.'


  • The Vanishing Hours is a rare thing: a book shot through with compassion. Norris is more than a fine writer, he conveys a deep belief in humanity and its place in nature. This dreamlike, winding tale is a joy.
    A. L. Kennedy

About the author

Barney Norris

Barney Norris has been the recipient of the International Theatre Institute's Award for Excellence, the Critics' Circle Award for Most Promising Playwright, a South Bank Sky Arts Times Breakthrough Award, an Evening Standard Progress 1000 Award, a Betty Trask Award and the Northern Ireland One Book Award. His work has been translated into eight languages. He is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature, teaches Creative Writing at the University of Oxford where he is the Martin Esslin Playwright in Residence at Keble College, Oxford, and regularly reviews fiction for the Guardian.
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