Turbulence: A novel (Hardcover)

A novel

By Giles Foden

Knopf, 9780307592774, 336pp.

Publication Date: August 17, 2010



The D-day landings—the fate of 2.5 million men, three thousand landing craft and the entire future of Europe depend on the right weather conditions on the English Channel on a single day. A team of Allied scientists is charged with agreeing on an accurate forecast five days in advance. But is it even possible to predict the weather so far ahead? And what is the relationship between predictability and turbulence, one of the last great mysteries of modern physics?

Wallace Ryman has devised a system that comprehends all of this—but he is a reclusive pacifist who stubbornly refuses to divulge his secrets. Henry Meadows, a young math prodigy from the Met Office, is sent to Scotland to uncover Ryman’s system and apply it to the Normandy landings. But turbulence proves more elusive than anyone could have imagined. When Henry meets Gill, Ryman’s beautiful wife, events, like the weather, begin to spiral out of control.

From Giles Foden, prizewinning author of The Last King of Scotland, a gripping blend of fact and fiction in a novel about how human beings deal with uncertainty.

About the Author

Giles Foden was born in 1967 in England and spent his youth in Africa. Between 1990 and 2006 he worked as an editor at "The Times Literary Supplement "and "The Guardian." In 1998 he published "The Last King of Scotland, " which won the Whitbread First Novel Award and was later made into a feature film. The author of two other novels and also a work of narrative nonfiction, in 2007 he was appointed professor of creative writing at the University of East Anglia, in Norwich. He lives in Norfolk, England.

Praise For Turbulence: A novel

“Remarkable . . . a fascinating multi-layered novel.” —The Irish Times
“Compelling narrative. . . . masterfully done. . . . One of the greatest strengths of this accomplished author is evident even before the first page is turnedhis willingness to tackle highly complex moments in history. . . . In Turbulence the result is . . . one that should amply reward the patience of Foden’s reading.” —The Times (London)
“A page-turner that challenges the reader with ideas on every turn. . . . [A] gripping literary novel . . . [Foden] has written another original and remarkable book.” —Scotland on Sunday
“There is intellectual meat in addition to well-drawn characters.” —The Sunday Telegraph
“This is a fascinating, cleverly done piece of fiction.” —The Daily Telegraph
“An artfully well-orchestrated novel about the strange poetry of science.” —The Sunday Times (London)
“Giles Foden handles his material with the cool brilliance one would expect from the author of The Last King of Scotland. Some of the passages had me harrumphing as a fellow writer of Second World War fiction: 'Damn you, Foden, for getting it so horribly, convincingly right!' . . . The writing is so good that you don’t doubt for a moment that what has been described here did happen.” —The Observer
“This is Foden’s most compelling and affecting novel since his début, combining fascinating research with a high narrative tension that contains enough incidental turbulence to overcome the fact that readers know roughly what must happen on D-Day. In everything except its titular concern, Turbulence is a smooth and stable progression in an intriguing literary career.” —The Guardian