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The Resurrectionist

resurrectionist-cover-uk1“Sometimes the worst prisons we build are not made of stone . . .”

The Resurrectionist is my third novel, and was first published in Australia in 2006, where it went on to be shortlisted for both The Age Fiction Book of the Year Award and the Christina Stead Award for Fiction at the NSW Premier’s Awards. The UK edition was published by Faber in 2007, and in May 2008 it was included as one of Richard and Judy’s Summer Reads. Since then it has gone on to sell more than 200,000 copies. In addition to its success in the UK it has been translated into a number of languages, and published as far afield as Brazil and Vietnam.

The original publisher’s blurb reads:

“London, 1826. Leaving behind his father’s failures, Gabriel Swift arrives to study with Edwin Poll, the greatest of the city’s anatomists. It is his chance to find advancement by making a name for himself. But instead he finds himself drawn to his master’s nemesis, Lucan, the most powerful of the city’s resurrectionists and ruler of its trade in stolen bodies. Dismissed by Mr Poll, Gabriel descends into the violence and corruption of London’s underworld, a place where everything and everyone is for sale, and where – as Gabriel discovers – the taking of a life is easier than it might seem.

“Ten years later, another man teaches art in the penal colony of New South Wales, his spare time spent trapping and painting birds. But as becomes clear when he falls in love with one of his pupils, no one may escape their past forever, and the worst prisons are often those we make for ourselves.”

Read an extract from The Resurrectionist

Buy The Resurrectionist at Readings (Australia), Gleebooks (Australia) or The Book Depository (UK).

More information:

There’s quite a bit of supplementary material about The Resurrectionist available on various websites. For convenience I’ve gathered together the following:

Three readings from the book:
Resurrectionist reading 1
Resurrectionist reading 2
Resurrectionist reading 3
(Audio provided courtesy of Faber)

A Q&A I did for Faber to coincide with the release of the paperback in the UK.

There’s also an excellent Faber podcast. The interview the podcast is based on was by George Miller, and was a delight to do, not least because I wasn’t being asked all the usual questions, and as a result I wasn’t giving all the usual answers.

And finally, you can watch me talking about the book in this video produced and directed by Steve Macdonald:


Included as one of Richard and Judy’s Summer Reads 2008.
Shortlisted for The Age Fiction Book of the Year Award, 2006 and the Christina Stead Prize for Fiction, NSW Premier’s Awards, 2007.












“. . . marries a gruesome and thrilling horror story to an intense, brooding meditation on the most profound metaphysical questions.”
James Ley, The Sydney Morning Herald

“Gripping … the city is brilliantly brought to life, its smooth surafce of park walks, fine ladies and progress resting on an underbelly of gin, poverty and violence … [this is] a ripe, disturbing work, full of fascination for civilisation’s thin veneer, and the appetites that snap against it.”
The Guardian

“An accomplished riff on the London Burkers – the body snatchers who terrorised 19th-century Shoreditch and Bethnal Green . . . catching the gore of the mortuary slab and the seedy high of the opium den”
The Observer

“Bradley is a consummate constructor of story”
Ingrid Wassenaar, The Weekend Australian

“Like Mr Poll exposing layer after layer in his quest for the  secret of life, Bradley pushes past the blood and gore in a search for the secret of identity.”
Barry Oakley, The Bulletin
“. . . sets a subtle balance between woundedness and the possibility of redemption.”
Robert Phiddian, Australian Book Review