The Book of Form and Emptiness

by Ruth Ozeki

£9.99

Fiction

Paperback

9781838855277

Published by Canongate Books Ltd

Published March 2022

Books > Fiction

After the tragic death of his beloved musician father, fourteen-year-old Benny Oh begins to hear voices. The voices belong to the things in his house – a sneaker, a broken Christmas ornament, a piece of wilted lettuce. Although Benny doesn’t understand what these things are saying, he can sense their emotional tone; some are pleasant, a gentle hum or coo, but others are snide, angry and full of pain. When his mother develops a hoarding problem, the voices grow more clamorous.

At first Benny tries to ignore them, but soon the voices follow him outside the house, onto the street and at school, driving him at last to seek refuge in the silence of a large public library, where objects are well-behaved and know to speak in whispers. There, he falls in love with a mesmerising street artist with a smug pet ferret, who uses the library as her performance space. He meets a homeless philosopher-poet, who encourages him to ask important questions and find his own voice amongst the many.

And he meets his very own Book – a talking thing – who narrates Benny’s life and teaches him to listen to the things that truly matter.

The Book of Form and Emptiness blends unforgettable characters, riveting plot and vibrant engagement with everything from jazz to climate change to our attachment to material possessions. This is classic Ruth Ozeki – bold, humane and heartbreaking.

A Three Dog Problem by SJ Bennett | 9781838774844

A Three Dog Problem

SJ Bennett

£8.99

The Country of Others by Leila Slimani | 9780571361632

The Country of Others

Leila Slimani

£8.99

Oh William! by Elizabeth Strout | 9780241992210

Oh William!

Elizabeth Strout

£8.99

The Man Who Died Twice by Richard Osman | 9780241988244

The Man Who Died Twice

Richard Osman

£8.99

The Opposite of a Person by Lieke Marsman | 9781914198106

The Opposite of a Person

Lieke Marsman

£9.99

People Person by Candice Carty-Williams | 9781409180104

People Person

Candice Carty-Williams

£12.99