The Lost Time Accidents

John Wray

Every moment that passes is a Lost Time Accident. Close your eyes, Children, when you want to stop time...
The Lost Time Accidents (Paperback ISBN 9781847672322) cover artwork

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This year’s Big American Novel is a high-concept epic that races through one family’s experience of the twentieth century

The Lost Time Accidents is a bold and epic saga set against the greatest upheavals of the twentieth century.

Haunted by a failed love affair and the darkest of family secrets, Waldemar ‘Waldy’ Tolliver wakes one morning to discover that he has been exiled from the flow of time. The world continues to turn, and Waldy is desperate to find his way back.

In his ambitious and fiercely inventive new novel, John Wray takes us from turn-of-the-century Viennese salons buzzing with rumours about Einstein’s radical new theory to the death camps of the Second World War, from the golden age of post-war pulp science fiction to a startling discovery in a modern-day Manhattan apartment packed to the ceiling with artefacts of contemporary life.


“A sprawling phantasmagoria which keeps us in delicious suspense … It’s provocative, indulgent and fun … An imaginative and philosophical singularity of a novel”
daily Herald

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“This is literature as high-wire act without the net; epic in scale, even bigger in heart”
Marlon James

“A science fiction novel about time-travel, filled with unabashedly zany characters … a highly enjoyable book”
sunday Times

“Startlingly accomplished”
daily Telegraph

“John Wray gets his Calvino on, his Mitchell on, his Murakami on, and even his Joyce on in this spectacular rattlebag of a novel … Who says the novel is dead? Just smash the clocks and open this novel”
Colum Mccann


John Wray

John Wray is the author of Lowboy, Canaan’s Tongue,The Right Hand of Sleep and The Lost Time Accidents. The recipient of a Guggenheim Fellowship, a Whiting Writers’ Award, and a Mary Ellen von der Heyden Fellowship from the American Academy in Berlin, he was named one of Granta’s Best Young American Novelists in 2007. A citizen of both the United States and Austria, he lives in New York City.


The Lost Time Accidents is a bold and epic saga set against the greatest upheavals of the twentieth century. Here, John Wray reads an extract from his ambitious and fiercely inventive novel.