Ed Siegle


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Longlisted   —Waverton Good Read Award2012

Invisibles spans two cities by the sea and four decades of music, torture and romance. From the streets of Brighton to the bars of Rio, Ed Siegle weaves the rhythms of Brazil and the troubles of his characters into an absorbing story of identity, love and loss.

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Joel Burns has always believed his father is still alive. His mother Jackie has long been glad to know Gilberto is dead. When a sighting on a news report from Rio de Janeiro suggests Joel might be right, he travels to Brazil determined to find his long-lost father. Nelson, a down-and-out musician guided by the spirits of Jesus, Yemanjá and his late Aunt Zila, helps Joel retrace his childhood steps – and face up to the contrast between his rosy memories of Gilberto and his mother’s accounts of the man’s cruelty and the violent times following his arrest and imprisonment by the military authorities.

At once familiar and foreign, this sweet, sad and compulsively readable first novel throngs with visceral memory and unbreakable ordinary heroes.

Bright on a Budget

12 November 2014
One of the finest books I have ever read... On the surface it’s a tale of one man trying to find his father and lay his demons to rest. However it is far more cerebral, entertaining, visceral and quite frankly beautiful. Siegle seamlessly spans decades of Brazilian culture and history while creating meaningful and intriguing characters. He creates a plot that meticulously details Joel’s life and gets deep into the minds of his mother, his lover and his friends. It takes two very different yet very similar ‘seaside’ cities and creates a bridge between them, as Joel leaves Brighton and heads to Rio de Janeiro. This is an exciting and heartfelt modern thriller that leaves you wanting more with page... Think City of God meets João Gilberto!
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27 April 2014
A poignant account of longing, loss and hope... This novel captures the heartbeat and feel of Brazil – the author uses Portuguese words, and although the reader may not know the meaning, the Brazilian experience is superbly brought to life through the phrases and imagery – as well as the music, the bars, the scenery, the food and the reverberating pulse are all evocatively described. This truly is a way to delve into the country for the price of a book. As for the cover, what a joy. One glance and it hooks you in with the design and colour and you just know where this book going to be set and the kind of vivid storyline that awaits you... This book is a good read if you are heading to Brazil, as it will capture the essence and beat of the country.  And football even gets a bit of a look-in, so it is a perfect choice for those who hope to be engrossed in the World Cup in the Summer 2014! You heard it here first!
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28 June 2011
Invisibles begins in Brighton, but it already has one eye on events in Rio de Janeiro. These two places, linked by all the distance of the ocean, are inextricably entwined in Ed Siegle’s novel of lost people and the gaps they leave in the lives of those who seek them... It’s not simply a merry dash through lovely colourful Rio and does not present the favelas as peopled by cheerful, happy-go-lucky ragamuffins. We see the bloody consequences of corrupt leadership, from the petty gangsters who roam Rio’s streets and bars through to loathsome military leaders who think nothing of throwing people into prison without charge and torturing them for their own selfish reasons.
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The Bookbag

1 March 2011
The book is so well plotted and put together that it has almost no signs of this being a first time effort, and looks more like the work of a highly experienced writer.
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Leicester Mercury

The most surprising fact about this story of identity is that it is a debut novel. From the first chapter, the richness of Ed Siegle's plot, as well as his instantly charming characters, pull you in and don't let go. Brimming with lush descriptions of the colour, tastes and sounds of Brazil, this is a satisfying and engaging story about the reality of one man's childhood memories. A fantastic read.

Kathryn Heyman

Ed Siegle's moving and dynamic tale of loss and discovery is a meditation on being seen, and being unseen. Full of surprises, crackling with energy, and with characters bristling with life, Invisibles pulled me along from the first page and didn't set me down until the last.

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