As a boy, Tom Bedlam grows up fatherless and poor in South London in the 1860s. But everything changes when Tom's wastrel of a father turns up; he discovers the existence of an older brother who disappeared at birth; and he is sent to boarding school. There he makes a Faustian pact that will haunt his adult life, as he strives to create the family he dreamed of in childhood and be the man his father was not.Ranging from London to South Africa, from the Boer War to the final months of the First World War, Tom Bedlam captures the spirit of the times as it portrays a beguiling hero wrestling with his loyalties, affections and conscience - until he realises that the simple bonds of family can prevail against human folly and the march of progress. Dramatic, whimsical and shot through with lively humour, this is a novel as entertaining as it is affecting.
George Hagen was born in 1958 in Harare, Southern Rhodesia (now Zimbabwe). His family later moved to Northern Rhodesia, then to England before settling in New Jersey. He studied film at New York University's Tisch School of the Arts, and spent several years in Los Angeles as a screenwriter. He lives in New York City with his wife and three children. THE LAMENTS was published by Sceptre in September 2004.