Author(s): Andrew Miller
This is Andrew Miller's extraordinarily acclaimed and prizewinning debut, featuring an 18th-century surgeon who is unable to feel pain. At the dawn of the Enlightenment, James Dyer is born unable to feel pain. A source of wonder and scientific curiosity as a child, he rises through the ranks of Georgian society to become a brilliant surgeon. Yet, as a human being, he fails, for he can no more feel love and compassion than pain. Until, en route to St Petersburg to inoculate the Empress Catherine against smallpox, he meets his nemesis and saviour.
Andrew Miller's extraordinarily acclaimed and prizewinning debut, featuring an 18th-century surgeon who is unable to feel pain
Winner of International IMPAC Dublin Literary Award 1999.
'Set in the mid-18th century, at the dawn of the Enlightenment, and roving through England, Europe and Russia, it presents James Dyer, a man whose absence of compassion is physical: he can't feel pain...gripping throughout...a book that gives visceral pleasure' Independent on Sunday 'Miller's juxtaposition of the weirdly wonderful with the harsh reality and brutality of eighteenth-century life is a powerful vehicle for the themes he has chosen to explore...A dazzling debut' Observer 'Strange, unsettling, sad, beautiful, and profound' Literary Review 'Skilfully constructed, reaching imaginative heights and emotional depths, this fine first novel explores the question of what it means to be human' The Times Literary Supplement 'Brilliant and unusual...it stands head and shoulders above most of the novels which will be published this spring season' Financial Times 'Dazzling...Miller tackles notions of mortality and humanity to brilliant effect...truly wonderful' Evening Standard 'Exceptionally intelligent and elegant...remarkable for its feeling and its humane sensibility' The Sunday Times 'An extraordinary first novel' The New York Times Book Review (an) 'extraordinary first novel, as entertaining as it is original and ambitious' 'I cannot think why it has not won every fiction prize going' 'Miller conveys a lively and authentic sense of the period while creating a timeless and thought-provoking fable about human nature' 'Although the historical context is meticulously drawn, and James Dyer's incredible talents are made real by being described in matter-of-fact terms, the novel also acknowledges another world of dark spirits and magical powers.' Anne Chisholm, The Spectator 'Like Mary Shelley's Frankenstein, Ingenious Pain is grounded in a kind of gothic horror and probes looming, disconcerting questions about the nature of the human psyche and human behaviour. Weaving Dyers's story around a series of cruel, benelvolent and mysterious characters, Miller taps into both the coldly macabre and gently emotional.' Joanne Hayden, Sunday Business Post 'A brilliantly realised and researched achievement...The infusion of magic into the mundane leaves the taste of 'Ingenious Pain' lingering on the palate.' Magill 'A wild adventure through 18th-century England and Russia, medicine, madness, landscape and weather, rendered in prose of consummate beauty.' -- Independent Books of the Year 'Dazzling ... Miller tackles notions of mortality and humanity to brilliant effect ... truly wonderful' -- Evening Standard 'Astoundingly good ... it shines like a beacon among the grey dross of much contemporary fiction' -- The Times 'A really remarkable first novel, original, powerfully written ... Miller's narrative is gripping and his imagination extraordinary.' -- Sunday Telegraph 'A timeless and thought-provoking fable about human nature ... It is something very rare in modern fiction, a true work of art.' -- Spectator 'Strange, unsettling, sad, beautiful, and profound' -- Literary Review
Andrew Miller was born in Bristol in 1960. INGENIOUS PAIN, his debut novel, was first published by Sceptre in 1997 and won the James Tait Black Memorial Prize for fiction, the International IMPAC Award and the Grinzane Cavour prize in Italy. His second novel, CASANOVA, met with similar acclaim on its publication in 1998 and he has since published OXYGEN, which was shortlisted for the Booker Prize and the Whitbread Novel Award, and the highly praised THE OPTIMISTS.