Home to an Empty House

Alun Richards
ISBN: 9781902638850

...a crackling and sizzling read, with all the verbal liveliness, the thrusting polemical athleticism of the highly articulate South Wales mind at its best ... a novel, above all, full of life ... of character and vitality.
- The Sunday Times


His people are real, rounded and running over with life ...
- Daily Telegraph



Home To An Empty House tells in Alun Richards’ incisive style the story of a marriage that has long since lost its sparkle. Walter, the wisecracking paranoiac and Connie, teacher of the ‘backward class’, are a couple who know a lot about sex but little about each other.

The industrial revolution is over and the South Wales valleys are slowly but surely losing their identity. Walter is forced through illness to reflect on his flaws while Connie attempts to sate her wanderlust.


About the author:

Alun Morgan Richards was born in Pontypridd in 1929. He wrote six novels from 1962 to 1979 and two scintillating collections of short stories, Dai Country (1973) and The Former Miss Merthyr Tydfil (1976). Plays for stage and radio were complemented by original screenplays and adaptations for television, including BBC’s Onedin Line. As an editor, he produced best-selling editions of Welsh short stories and tales of the sea for Penguin. His sensitive biography of his close friend, Carwyn James, appeared in 1984 and his own entrancing memoir Days of Absence in 1986. Alun Richards died in 2004.


Short extract:

The white spot of the ophthalmoscope moved in close, unblinking like a ferret’s eye, an unnatural button brightness moving closer, right in close so I couldn't blink away the tears, but I saw his jowl then, filmy behind the instrument, his smooth, clean-cut, pretty boy’s jaw, then smelt his lime aftershave sweet to the nostrils against the antiseptic clinical smell, wincing for a moment as he grasped my forehead with his other cold hand and turned me round to get another angle. I was sweating, icicles trickling under my armpits, my good shirt coating and bowels near emptying with fear, but just managing not to get a knee shake which would have been a giveaway because in order to get in close, his knee was between mine, jammed up close to my crutch as he kept looking down that peeper of his.



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