Author(s): Thomas Legendre
When an acquaintance suggests a wild weekend in Las Vegas, Logan Smith, struggling to establish an academic career in Philadelphia, thinks it might be just the kind of bright lights and reckless fun he needs. What he doesn't expect is a personal lesson in blackjack from a beautiful, dangerous, red-headed croupier called Dallas Cole who is going to change his life forever. Uneasily transplanted to a campus in the bleak desert state of Arizona, Logan immerses himself in his research, and tentatively he begins to explore a new and revolutionary theory. Gradually, as his work takes shape, not only does Logan's personal life shift and turn hostile around him but the ideas he is pursuing turn out to have repercussions more far-reaching than he could have imagined: and if he is right in his theorising the very future of the planet is at stake. He must deal with temptation, self-doubt, betrayal and implacable opposition before he can follow his discovery through, and by the time Logan's theories are put to the test all the assumptions he has ever made are brought into question.Generous in its scope, deeply absorbing and effortlessly brilliant, this is one of those rare novels which makes you see the world afresh.
** 'Brilliantly assured first novel ... THE BURNING is terrific company ... could be the coolest novel of the year' SUNDAY TELEGRAPH ** 'An excellent, original novel with some extraordinary flourishes' THE TIMES ** 'THE BURNING provides enormous emotional and intellectual satisfaction. It seems unlikely there will be a better debut this year' INDEPENDENT ON SUNDAY 'Legendre's impressive first novel derives much of its strength from traditional matters ? adultery, divorce, betrayal, theft, academic rivalry ? but much also from a sense that what is at stake goes beyond the personal. His protagonist, Logan, is an economist in his first academic job, who has fallen out of love with his trade only to rediscover it as a way of discussing prudent human behaviour in a world of limited resources and maximum greed' INDEPENDENT 'Fast-paced and muscular, with an urgent message at its core, The Burning is a both entertaining and intellectually challenging ... the perfect antidote to the eco-sceptic loopiness of Michael Crichton's recent novel State of Fear' DAILY MAIL 'Mixes a spirited challenge to our faith in economic growth with a full-blooded tale of infidelity and romantic redemption ... the emotional pyrotechnics are handled with a deftness and confidence that are rare in a first-time novelist. Also rare is a book that can carry a social message with such gravity and conviction ... the novel's greatest accomplishment is Dallas, a woman of great passions and considerable guile' NEW STATESMAN 'Legendre's muscular prose ? unapologetically realist in the manner of one of his heroes, Cormac McCarthy ? is astonishingly confident for a first-time novelist ... thrillingly realised, electrifying' TIME OUT 'What's most impressive about The Burning is that as well as being one if the few novels of ideas which actually gives the reader something to think about beyond the standard nihilism usually found in such books, Legendre is brilliant at three-dimensional descriptions ... His narrative grip never weakens, and The Burning provides enormous emotional and intellectual satisfaction' INDEPENDENT ON SUNDAY
Thomas Legendre received degrees in English & Economics and in Literature before gaining his MFA degree in Creative Writing. He taught Creative Writing, Literature & Communication at a college in Arizona until 2001, when he emigrated with his family to Edinburgh.