The Train in the Night

A story of music and loss

By Nick Coleman

Contemporary biography


Published by Vintage

Shortlist 2012
The Train in the Night

Having made a successful life in music, this memoir recounts one man's journey through life and his love of music, against the backdrop of it being lost in adulthood due to extreme tinnitus.

Nick Coleman is a man who had made music his life. A passion instilled in him from an early age, by his father’s amateur interest, Coleman went on to make a successful, 25 year career as a journalist for NME. Then, suddenly deprived of his hearing by sensorineural hearing loss, he was unable to listen to music. Indeed, sound of any kind caused him extreme pain.

‘The Train in the Night’ is his account of this illness and of the evolution of the music he grew up with.

His story begins with the onset of the affliction, and how the medical profession, the very people who should have helped to alleviate his anxiety, failed to provide any consolation. A vague diagnosis, little advice and no therapy, left Coleman in a state of hopelessness, as his life becomes virtually unbearable.

Instead of becoming angry, Coleman channels his energy into retrospection, with a mood of resigned amusement. His enthusiasm for the music which has accompanied his life, carries the reader along as he recalls the trials and tribulations of growing up. Throughout the narrative of his reminiscences, Coleman comes back to the present to provide updates on the progress of his illness

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