If Nobody Speaks of Remarkable Things

Jon McGregor


On a street in a town in the North of England, ordinary people are going through the motions of their everyday existence – street cricket, barbecues, painting windows… A young man is in love with a neighbour who does not even know his name. An old couple make their way up to the nearby bus stop. But then a terrible event shatters the quiet of the early summer evening. That this remarkable and horrific event is only poignant to those who saw it, not even meriting a mention on the local news, means that those who witness it will be altered for ever.

Jon McGregor’s first novel brilliantly evokes the histories and lives of the people in the street to build up an unforgettable human panorama. Breathtakingly original, humane and moving, If Nobody Speaks of Remarkable Things is an astonishing debut.

Reviews of If Nobody Speaks of Remarkable Things

    • ‘My book of the year. A magical, spellbinding, profound novel’ Maggie O’Farrell, Daily Telegraph
    • ‘A sensationally accomplished debut … a convincing and moving vision of contemporary Britain’ Sunday Times
    • ‘This is a novel of wonders’ Observer
    • ‘This novel owes as much to poetry as it does to prose in its hypnotic portrait of industrialised society … An assured debut’ The Times
    • ‘This is an ordinary world, shabby and melancholy, but McGregor describes it with mesmeric power … you won’t read anything much more poignant than this’ Daily Telegraph
    • ‘This is ecstatic writing, suffused with delight both at the things evoked and at the language that can recreate them … McGregor’s conviction will carry them a long way’ TLS
    • ‘A dream of a novel … It is not every novelist who has the gift, as Jon McGregor does, of reminding his readers of that heaven in a wild flower, that infinity in a grain of sand’ The Times
    • ‘McGregor’s publishers must be openly rejoicing …If Nobody Speaks of Remarkable Things is the work of a burning new talent’ Daily Mail
    • ‘McGregor is an exemplary archivist of the humdrum … written by someone who detects so passionately the remarkable in the everyday’ Spectator
    • ‘Extraordinary … McGregor’s triumphant prose-poem of ordinariness has a very contemporary kind of spirituality about it’ Sunday Times
    • ‘Wonderful … Full of gentle wonder and blinding insight … He has annotated the miracle of life’ Glasgow Herald