The Weight of Numbers
MODERN FICTION. On 21 July 1969, two astronauts set foot on the moon; far below, in ravaged Africa, a young revolutionary, hailed as the saviour of his country, is murdered by a parcel bomb. From these two unconnected events, Simon Ings has woven a great and glittering web. "The Weight of Numbers" describes the metamorphosis of three people: Anthony Burden, a mathematical genius destroyed by the secular beauty of numbers; soap actress Stacey Chavez, whose teenage celebrity has faded, leaving her hungry for fame and starved of love; and Saul Cogan, transformed from 60s prankster to murderous people trafficker. All three are haunted by Nick Jinks, who brings horror and death wherever he goes. It is also a novel that connects disparate events, from the history of electroconvulsive therapy; the Blitz; Communist revolution in Cuba; the birth of TV wrestling; and Antarctic exploration. Simon Ings' novel is a triumph of the imagination and a literary landmark.