Eternity Is Temporary

Bill Broady

Published: 12 April 2007
Paperback, B Format
129x198mm, 272 pages
ISBN: 9781846270369


This is for anyone who sweated their way through the summer of '76, as well as readers of Jonathan's Coe's The Rotters' Club, Martin Amis's Success and Ian McEwan's The Cement Garden. It's the long, hot summer of 1976 and Adrea is falling in love for the first time, while nursing the decrepit residents of Heron Close, a care home in Chalk Farm. This is the summer that sees Blue Oyster Cult and Supertramp superseded by Patti Smith and the Stranglers, and as the heat rises in and out of the Roundhouse, the lives of Heron Close's residents and carers alike are about to blister and burn. And right in the midst of all this humdrum squalor, like the sun's rays beating back the darkness, are Adrea and Evan, about to let in the light and heat - with inflammatory results.

About the author

Image of Bill Broady

Bill Broady is the author of the novella Swimmer (Flamingo, 2000) and In This Block There Lives a Slag (Flamingo, 2001) which won the 2002 Macmillan Silver Pen Award for short stories. This is his first novel. More about the author


‘As intensely felt as it is intensely urban, this is the first British novel really to explore the psychological crease that seemed to accompany the opening tremors of punk in the UK’ Michael Bracewell



‘Bill Broady's first novel opens with a description of the heat, and moves on to the liberating effect of Punk. The setting is an old people's home, filled with a circus of ageing grotesques...this is social care Gormenghast-style.’

‘Bill Broady's original and uncomfortable new novel is a teen romance played out in an old people's home...this novel is refreshingly free of motive. We are rarely party to anyone deciding anything, as if the eternity Broady describes is the lull between moments of having to do so... Just when everyone seems stuck in this eternal summer, there is a series of detonations and the drama intensifies. This is not a novel about the 70s or punk rock. It is, much more interestingly, about what happens while you wait for something to happen.’ Lavinia Greenlaw

‘Broady makes the inside of your head feel a way it's never felt before’ Douglas Coupland

‘Broady writes with rude, comic dynamism, as if channelling the spirits of Jonathan Swift and Rabelais ... What a suggestive novel this is’

‘Broady's debut captures the atmosphere of the era with unerring fidelity and sharp humour.'’ Christina Koning

‘Full of drifting imagery, heady with the fever of first love, city heat and rock 'n' roll, and bursting with off-kilter characterisation ...’

‘Ingeniously comic, bitingly perceptive and endowed with a spaced-out, hyper-real atmosphere all of its own, Bill Broady's first full length work of fiction ranks as the perfect read for the dying days of a long, hot and fractious summer... Both ribald and romantic, Eternity is Temporary enjoys the vintage gear but never feels confined by it...This is a novel about dreaming and hoping and waiting for the weather of life to break; about the secret sense shared by young and old that they may stand "just one step away from something remarkable."... Through a series of glorious set pieces, Broady conjures up a summer when rules and boundaries melt like tarmac in the seething streets...Broady counts as a true original, a writer who keeps our judgements nicely suspended and our senses keenly primed... Broady excels at evoking the sort of musical moment that hovers between time and eternity...His novel, too, hits the poised, expectant note that defines these lives, in that summer, and holds it through a bittersweet spell of gently twisted time...writing that glows with uplifting, not belittling, wit on every page.’ Boyd Tonkin

‘Piquant characters are Bill Broady's strength and Eternity Is Temporary is thronged with eccentrics and grotesques ... Pin-sharp and enjoyable’

‘Wonderfully weird and funny’ Gerard Woodward

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