Bleaker House

Chasing My Novel to the End of the World

Author: Nell Stevens

Publisher: Anchor

ISBN: 0385541562

Category: Biography & Autobiography

Page: 256

View: 5480

When she was twenty-seven, Nell Stevens—a lifelong aspiring novelist—won an all-expenses-paid fellowship to go anywhere in the world to write. Would she choose a glittering metropolis, a romantic village, an exotic paradise? Not exactly. Nell picked Bleaker Island, a snowy, windswept pile of rock in the Falklands. Other than sheep, penguins, paranoia, and the weather, there aren’t many distractions, but as Nell soon discovers, total isolation and 1,085 calories a day are far from ideal conditions for literary production. With deft humor, this memoir traces her island days and slowly reveals the life and people she has left behind in pursuit of her writing. It seems that there is nowhere she can run—an island or the pages of her notebook—to escape the big questions of love, art, and, ambition.
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Bleaker House

Chasing My Novel to the End of the World

Author: Nell Stevens

Publisher: Knopf Canada

ISBN: 0345811763

Category: Biography & Autobiography

Page: 288

View: 6021

On a frozen island in the Falklands, with only penguins for company, a young would-be writer struggles to craft a debut novel...and instead writes a funny, clever, moving memoir that heralds the arrival of a fresh new literary talent. Twenty-seven-year-old Nell Stevens was determined to write a novel, but somehow life kept getting in the way. Then came an irresistible opportunity: she won a fellowship to spend three months, all expenses paid, anywhere in the world to research and write a book. Did she choose a glittering metropolis, a romantic village, an exotic paradise? Um, no. Nell chose Bleaker Island, a snowy, windswept pile of rock off the Falklands. There, in a guesthouse where she would be the only guest, she imagined she could finally rid herself of distractions and write her 2,500 words a day. In three months, surely she'd have a novel, right? It's true that there aren't many distractions on Bleaker, other than sheep, penguins, paranoia and the weather. But as Nell gets to work on her novel--a delightful Dickensian fiction she calls Bleaker House--she discovers that an excruciatingly erratic Internet connection and 1100 calories a day (as much food as she could carry in her suitcase, budgeted to the raisin) are far from ideal conditions for literary production. With deft humour, this memoir traces Nell's island days and slowly reveals details of the life and people she has left behind in pursuit of her art. They pop up in her novel, as well, as memoir and novel start to reflect one another. It seems that there is nowhere Nell can run--neither a remote island nor the pages of her notebook--to escape herself. A whimsical, entertaining, thought-provoking blend of memoir and travelogue, laced with tongue-in-cheek writing advice, Bleaker House brilliantly captures the hopes, fears, self-torture and humour of being young and yearning to make a creative life. With winning honesty and wit, Nell's race to finish her book emerges as a fascinating narrative in its own right.
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Bleaker House

Chasing My Novel to the End of the World

Author: Nell Stevens

Publisher: Picador

ISBN: 1760553786

Category: Biography & Autobiography

Page: 256

View: 2201

"My favourite debut of 2017 ... as funny as it is poignant" Lena Dunham When Nell Stevens was given the opportunity to spend three months in a location of her choice in order to write her novel, she was determined to rid herself of all distractions. So Nell decided to travel to Bleaker Island (official population: two) in the Falklands where she would write 2,500 words a day. But Bleaker House is not that novel. Instead this is a book about a young woman realising that the way to writing fiction doesn't necessarily lie in total solitude and a clear plan. Nor does it lie in a daily ration of 1085 calories, no means of contacting the outside world and a slow descent towards something that feels worryingly like madness . . . Hilariously funny, painfully honest, and beautifully observed, Bleaker House is part memoir, part travelogue, part story collection. It is an exploration of the narrow spaces between real life and fiction and, in the end, a book about failing to write a novel, but finally becoming a writer. MORE PRAISE FOR BLEAKER HOUSE "Bleaker House swirls text, subtext, and context into a single narrative, a mesmerizing literary levitation act ... lovely and thoughtful" Vogue "It's not only her fellow writers who will be captivated by Stevens's meditative, engagingly comic reflection on the three months she spent working on a novel" Harper's Bazaar "One of the most original, entertaining, and thought-provoking books I have ever read about the difficulty of writing a book" New Yorker "Fresh and spirited . . . A delightful literary debut" Kirkus "An inventive memoir about a young writer's struggle to find her literary footing" NPR
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The Victorian and the Romantic

A Memoir, a Love Story, and a Friendship Across Time

Author: Nell Stevens

Publisher: Doubleday

ISBN: 0385543514

Category: Biography & Autobiography

Page: 272

View: 1788

History meets memoir in two irresistible true-life romances--one set in 19th century Rome, one in present-day Paris and London--linked by a bond between women writers a hundred years apart In 1857, English novelist Elizabeth Gaskell completed her most famous work: the biography of her dear friend Charlotte Brontë. As publication loomed, Mrs. Gaskell was keen to escape the reviews. So, leaving her dull minister husband and dreary provincial city behind, she set off with her daughters to Rome. There she met a dazzling group of artists and writers, among them the American critic Charles Eliot Norton. Seventeen years her junior, Norton was her one true love. They could not be together--it would be an unthinkable breach of convention--but by his side and amidst that splendid circle, Mrs. Gaskell knew she had reached the "tip-top point of [her] life." In 2013, Nell Stevens is embarking on her PhD--about the community of artists and writers living in Rome in the mid-19th century--and falling head over heels for a soulful American screenwriter in another city. As her long-distance romance founders and her passion for academia never quite materializes, she is drawn to Mrs. Gaskell. Could this indomitable Victorian author rescue Nell's pursuit of love, family and a writing career? Lively, witty, and impossible to put down, The Victorian and the Romantic is a moving chronicle of two women each charting a way of life beyond the rules of her time.
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The Point of Vanishing

A Memoir of Two Years in Solitude

Author: Howard Axelrod

Publisher: Beacon Press

ISBN: 0807075477

Category: Biography & Autobiography

Page: 224

View: 9438

Named one of the best books of the year by Slate, Chicago Tribune, Entropy Magazine, and named one of the top 10 memoirs by Library Journal Into the Wild meets Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man—a lyrical memoir of a life changed in an instant and of the perilous beauty of searching for identity in solitude On a clear May afternoon at the end of his junior year at Harvard, Howard Axelrod played a pick-up game of basketball. In a skirmish for a loose ball, a boy’s finger hooked behind Axelrod’s eyeball and left him permanently blinded in his right eye. A week later, he returned to the same dorm room, but to a different world. A world where nothing looked solid, where the distance between how people saw him and how he saw had widened into a gulf. Desperate for a sense of orientation he could trust, he retreated to a jerry-rigged house in the Vermont woods, where he lived without a computer or television, and largely without human contact, for two years. He needed to find, away from society’s pressures and rush, a sense of meaning that couldn’t be changed in an instant. From the Trade Paperback edition.
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Animal

The Autobiography of a Female Body

Author: Sara Pascoe

Publisher: Faber & Faber

ISBN: 0571325238

Category: Social Science

Page: 304

View: 8769

Sara is a comedian who has talked and joked about female sexuality, psychology and the media's portrayal of women on stage and screen. While researching her most recent live show, Sara realised that she had a lot more to say. In her first book Sara combines autobiography and evolutionary history to entertain and inform about the female body. Why we have boobs and how they have become so fetishised. How the kidnap of a 13-year old-chimney sweep's daughter created our present age of consent. The discovery and subsequent forgetting of the clitoris, the many eras of misunderstanding the female orgasm. Did you know that clitorectomys were once performed on British and American women to cure masturbation and hysteria? And that we learned so much about female sexuality from the behaviour of sperm? ANIMAL: HOW A WOMAN IS MADE aims to be entertaining and informative and personal and universal and silly about lots of things and serious about some.
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The Queen of the Night

Author: Alexander Chee

Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt

ISBN: 0544106601

Category: Fiction

Page: 400

View: 3744

National Bestseller New York Times Book Review Editors’ Choice | An Indie Next Pick A Best Book of the Year from NPR, Boston Globe, Buzzfeed, Esquire, San Francisco Chronicle,Time Out, Self, Jezebel, The Portland Mercury, Electric Literature, and Entropy Magazine “It just sounds terrific. It sounds like opera.” —Joan Acocella, The New Yorker “Sprawling, soaring, bawdy, and plotted like a fine embroidery.” —Scott Simon, NPR “Dazzling.” —Wall Street Journal | “A brilliant performance.” —Washington Post “Sweeping, richly detailed.” —People | “Masterful.” —Wired | “Spellbinding.” —BuzzFeed A “wild opera of a novel,”* The Queen of the Night tells the mesmerizing story of Lilliet Berne, an orphan who left the American frontier for Europe and was swept into the glamour and terror of Second Empire France. She became a sensation of the Paris Opera, with every accolade but an original role—her chance at immortality. When one is offered to her, she finds the libretto is based on her deepest secret, something only four people have ever known. But who betrayed her? With “epic sweep, gorgeous language, and haunting details,”** Alexander Chee shares Lilliet’s cunning transformation from circus rider to courtesan to legendary soprano, retracing the path that led to the role that could secure her reputation—or destroy her with the secrets it reveals. “If Lilliet Berne were a man, she might have been what nineteenth-century novels would call a swashbuckler: the kind of destiny-courting, death-defying character who finds intrigue and peril (and somehow, always, a fantastic pair of pantaloons) around every corner.” —Entertainment Weekly
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A Wild Sheep Chase

A Novel

Author: Haruki Murakami

Publisher: Vintage

ISBN: 9780307762726

Category: Fiction

Page: 368

View: 6572

Coming this October: Killing Commendatore, the much-anticipated new novel from Haruki Murakami Quirky and utterly captivating, A Wild Sheep Chase is Murakami at his astounding best. An advertising executive receives a postcard from a friend and casually appropriates the image for an advertisement. What he doesn’t realize is that included in the scene is a mutant sheep with a star on its back, and in using this photo he has unwittingly captured the attention of a man who offers a menacing ultimatum: find the sheep or face dire consequences. Thus begins a surreal and elaborate quest that takes readers from Tokyo to the remote mountains of northern Japan, where the unnamed protagonist has a surprising confrontation with his demons.
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The Road

Author: Cormac McCarthy

Publisher: Vintage

ISBN: 0307267458

Category: Fiction

Page: 256

View: 3066

NATIONAL BESTSELLER WINNER OF THE PULITZER PRIZE The searing, post-apocalyptic novel about a father and son's fight to survive. A father and his son walk alone through burned America. Nothing moves in the ravaged landscape save the ash on the wind. It is cold enough to crack stones, and when the snow falls it is gray. The sky is dark. Their destination is the coast, although they don't know what, if anything, awaits them there. They have nothing; just a pistol to defend themselves against the lawless bands that stalk the road, the clothes they are wearing, a cart of scavenged food—and each other. The Road is the profoundly moving story of a journey. It boldly imagines a future in which no hope remains, but in which the father and his son, "each the other's world entire," are sustained by love. Awesome in the totality of its vision, it is an unflinching meditation on the worst and the best that we are capable of: ultimate destructiveness, desperate tenacity, and the tenderness that keeps two people alive in the face of total devastation. A New York Times Notable Book One of the Best Books of the Year The Boston Globe, The Christian Science Monitor, The Denver Post, The Kansas City Star, Los Angeles Times, New York, People, Rocky Mountain News, Time, The Village Voice, The Washington Post
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The House at the Edge of the World

Author: Julia Rochester

Publisher: Penguin UK

ISBN: 0241971705

Category: Fiction

Page: 272

View: 5670

LONGLISTED FOR THE BAILEYS WOMEN'S PRIZE FOR FICTION AND SHORTLISTED FOR THE DESMOND ELLIOTT PRIZE 2016 Part mystery, part psychological drama, Julia Rochester's The House at the Edge of the World is a darkly comic, unorthodox and thrilling debut When I was eighteen, my father fell off a cliff. It was a stupid way to die. John Venton's drunken fall from a Devon cliff leaves his family with an embarrassing ghost. His twin children, Morwenna and Corwin, flee in separate directions to take up their adult lives. Their mother, enraged by years of unhappy marriage, embraces merry widowhood. Only their grandfather finds solace in the crumbling family house, endlessly painting their story onto a large canvas map. His brightly coloured map, with its tiny pictures of shipwrecks, forgotten houses, saints and devils, is a work of his imagination, a collection of local myths and histories. But it holds a secret. As the twins are drawn grudgingly back to the house, they discover that their father's absence is part of the map's mysterious pull. The House at the Edge of the World is the compellingly told story of how family and home can be both a source of comfort and a wholly destructive force. Cutting to the undignified half-truths every family conceals, it asks the questions we all must confront: who are we responsible for and, ultimately, who do we belong to? 'A story that carries you along - clever plotting and a startling outcome. An impressive first novel' Penelope Lively 'Wonderfully crisp and funny and it's so full of vivid, surprising images that the reader almost doesn't notice the moment that deep secrets begin to be revealed' Emma Healey, author of Elizabeth is Missing Julia Rochester grew up on the Exe Estuary in Devon. She studied in London, Berlin and Cambridge and has worked for the BBC Portuguese Service and for Amnesty International as Researcher on Brazil. She lives in London with her husband and daughter.
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Far North

A Novel

Author: Marcel Theroux

Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux

ISBN: 1429959029

Category: Fiction

Page: 320

View: 5155

Far North is a 2009 National Book Award Finalist for Fiction. My father had an expression for a thing that turned out bad. He'd say it had gone west. But going west always sounded pretty good to me. After all, westwards is the path of the sun. And through as much history as I know of, people have moved west to settle and find freedom. But our world had gone north, truly gone north, and just how far north I was beginning to learn. Out on the frontier of a failed state, Makepeace—sheriff and perhaps last citizen—patrols a city's ruins, salvaging books but keeping the guns in good repair. Into this cold land comes shocking evidence that life might be flourishing elsewhere: a refugee emerges from the vast emptiness of forest, whose existence inspires Makepeace to reconnect with human society and take to the road, armed with rough humor and an unlikely ration of optimism. What Makepeace finds is a world unraveling: stockaded villages enforcing an uncertain justice and hidden work camps laboring to harness the little-understood technologies of a vanished civilization. But Makepeace's journey—rife with danger—also leads to an unexpected redemption. Far North takes the reader on a quest through an unforgettable arctic landscape, from humanity's origins to its possible end. Haunting, spare, yet stubbornly hopeful, the novel is suffused with an ecstatic awareness of the world's fragility and beauty, and its ability to recover from our worst trespasses.
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The Husband Hunters

American Heiresses Who Married into the British Aristocracy

Author: Anne de Courcy

Publisher: St. Martin's Press

ISBN: 1250164613

Category: Biography & Autobiography

Page: 368

View: 4822

A deliciously told group biography of the young, rich, American heiresses who married into the impoverished British aristocracy at the turn of the twentieth century – The real women who inspired Downton Abbey Towards the end of the nineteenth century and for the first few years of the twentieth, a strange invasion took place in Britain. The citadel of power, privilege and breeding in which the titled, land-owning governing class had barricaded itself for so long was breached. The incomers were a group of young women who, fifty years earlier, would have been looked on as the alien denizens of another world - the New World, to be precise. From 1874 - the year that Jennie Jerome, the first known 'Dollar Princess', married Randolph Churchill - to 1905, dozens of young American heiresses married into the British peerage, bringing with them all the fabulous wealth, glamour and sophistication of the Gilded Age. Anne de Courcy sets the stories of these young women and their families in the context of their times. Based on extensive first-hand research, drawing on diaries, memoirs and letters, this richly entertaining group biography reveals what they thought of their new lives in England - and what England thought of them.
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Harbinger

Author: Philippa Ballantine

Publisher: Penguin

ISBN: 1101624906

Category: Fiction

Page: 320

View: 4606

The Deacons of the Order are all that stand between the wicked spirits of the Otherside and the innocent citizens of the Empire. They are sworn to protect humanity, even when they cannot protect themselves… After the Razing of the Order, Sorcha Faris, one of the most powerful Deacons, is struggling to regain control of the runes she once wielded. The Deacons are needed more desperately than ever. The barrier between the world of the living and the world of the dead is weakening, and the Emperor has abandoned his throne, seeking to destroy those he feels have betrayed him. Though she is haunted by the terrible truth of her past, Sorcha must lead the charge against the gathering hordes of geists seeking to cross into the Empire. But to do so, she will need to manipulate powers beyond her understanding—powers that may prove to be her undoing…
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The Thing About Prague ...

How I gave it all up for a new life in Europe's most eccentric city

Author: Rachael Weiss

Publisher: Allen & Unwin

ISBN: 1743438788

Category: Biography & Autobiography

Page: 384

View: 3435

'I'd like to say that my decision to move to Prague permanently was based on something grand and noble - a desire to trace my roots, a sense of adventure, my literary heart yearning to burst into flower in the sweet soil of Old Europe - but I can't. The truth is that I had nothing better to do.' When Rachael Weiss left a good job, Thelma the cat and a normal life in Sydney for the romantic dream of being a writer in Prague she intended to stay forever. She lasted just three years, exasperated by the eccentricities of her ancestral city and the mind-boggling bureaucracy and customs of a country that values beer and potatoes above everything else. In this surprising and generous memoir full of warmth and unstoppable sociability, Rachael attempts to write her great novel, buy an apartment (any apartment!), dodge unscrupulous employers, and perhaps find love. She gets lost in the woods with a Kyrgyzstani software engineer who wants to eat humans, finds herself leading services at the Spanish synagogue with no real idea of what she was doing and spends long nights drinking beer with a colourful cast of crazy, warm and slightly mad locals and expats. Rich in absurdities and gentle humour, The Thing About Pragueis rife with insight, culture clashes, friendships and above all charm.
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Master of the Game

Author: Sidney Sheldon

Publisher: Harper Collins

ISBN: 0062015583

Category: Fiction

Page: 100

View: 9238

Kate Blackwell is the symbol of success—a beautiful woman who has parlayed her inheritance into an international conglomerate. Now, celebrating her 90th birthday, Kate surveys the family she has manipulated, dominated, and loved: the fair and the grotesque, the mad and the mild, the good and the evil—her winnings in life.
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Border

A Journey to the Edge of Europe

Author: Kapka Kassabova

Publisher: Graywolf Press

ISBN: 1555979785

Category: Travel

Page: 400

View: 2074

“Remarkable: a book about borders that makes the reader feel sumptuously free.” —Peter Pomerantsev In this extraordinary work of narrative reportage, Kapka Kassabova returns to Bulgaria, from where she emigrated as a girl twenty-five years previously, to explore the border it shares with Turkey and Greece. When she was a child, the border zone was rumored to be an easier crossing point into the West than the Berlin Wall, and it swarmed with soldiers and spies. On holidays in the “Red Riviera” on the Black Sea, she remembers playing on the beach only miles from a bristling electrified fence whose barbs pointed inward toward the enemy: the citizens of the totalitarian regime. Kassabova discovers a place that has been shaped by successive forces of history: the Soviet and Ottoman empires, and, older still, myth and legend. Her exquisite portraits of fire walkers, smugglers, treasure hunters, botanists, and border guards populate the book. There are also the ragged men and women who have walked across Turkey from Syria and Iraq. But there seem to be nonhuman forces at work here too: This densely forested landscape is rich with curative springs and Thracian tombs, and the tug of the ancient world, of circular time and animism, is never far off. Border is a scintillating, immersive travel narrative that is also a shadow history of the Cold War, a sideways look at the migration crisis troubling Europe, and a deep, witchy descent into interior and exterior geographies.
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Soft Apocalypse

Author: Will McIntosh

Publisher: Hachette UK

ISBN: 1405522658

Category: Fiction

Page: 368

View: 1282

We've always imagined the world coming to an end in spectacular, explosive fashion. But what if - instead - humanity is just destined to slowly crumble? For Jasper and his nomadic tribe, their former life as middle-class Americans seems like a distant memory. Their world took a turn for the worse - and then never got better. Resources are running out, jobs keep getting scarcer, and the fabric of society is slowly disintegrating . . . . But in the midst of this all, Jasper's just a guy trying to make ends meet, find a nice girl who won't screw him around, and keep his group safe on the violent streets. Soft Apocalypse follows the tribe's struggle to find a place for themselves and their children in the dangerous new place their world has become.
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The Appointment

A Novel

Author: Herta M. Ller,Michael Hulse,Philip Boehm

Publisher: Macmillan

ISBN: 9780312420543

Category: Fiction

Page: 224

View: 8410

In an intense novel set against the backdrop of Ceausescu's totalitarian regime, a young Romanian factory worker--so desperate to escape the betrayal and hardships of her life that she sews notes offering marriage into the linings of suits bound for Italy--is summoned for interrogation by members of the regime. Reprint.
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A Little Life

A Novel

Author: Hanya Yanagihara

Publisher: Anchor

ISBN: 0385539266

Category: Fiction

Page: 736

View: 2732

NATIONAL BOOK AWARD FINALIST SHORT-LISTED FOR THE MAN BOOKER PRIZE Brace yourself for the most astonishing, challenging, upsetting, and profoundly moving book in many a season. An epic about love and friendship in the twenty-first century that goes into some of the darkest places fiction has ever traveled and yet somehow improbably breaks through into the light. Truly an amazement—and a great gift for its readers. When four classmates from a small Massachusetts college move to New York to make their way, they're broke, adrift, and buoyed only by their friendship and ambition. There is kind, handsome Willem, an aspiring actor; JB, a quick-witted, sometimes cruel Brooklyn-born painter seeking entry to the art world; Malcolm, a frustrated architect at a prominent firm; and withdrawn, brilliant, enigmatic Jude, who serves as their center of gravity. Over the decades, their relationships deepen and darken, tinged by addiction, success, and pride. Yet their greatest challenge, each comes to realize, is Jude himself, by midlife a terrifyingly talented litigator yet an increasingly broken man, his mind and body scarred by an unspeakable childhood, and haunted by what he fears is a degree of trauma that he’ll not only be unable to overcome—but that will define his life forever. In rich and resplendent prose, Yanagihara has fashioned a tragic and transcendent hymn to brotherly love, a masterful depiction of heartbreak, and a dark examination of the tyranny of memory and the limits of human endurance.
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The Delivery Man

A Novel

Author: Joe McGinniss, Jr.

Publisher: Grove/Atlantic, Inc.

ISBN: 9781555848262

Category: Fiction

Page: 320

View: 6869

The Delivery Man is a thrilling and astonishing debut—a scary, fast-paced, and illuminating portrait of the MySpace generation. It is a love story set against the surreal excess of Las Vegas—and the artificial suburbs, gated communities, and freeways that surround it—where broken lives come to seek new beginnings and casinos feed the lust of tourists and residents alike. Ultrasophisticated local kids grow up fast and burn out early. After attending college in New York, Chase returns to Vegas and is drawn into the lucrative but dangerous world of a teenage call-girl service with his childhood friend Michele, a beautiful Salvadoran immigrant with whom he shares a tragic past. Over the course of one extraordinary summer they will confront the violence and emptiness at the heart of the city and their generation. At once stark and electrically atmospheric, horrifying and hopeful, The Delivery Man is an ambitious literary novel as well as a fast and absorbing page-turner—and a powerful indictment of a society in which personal responsibility has been abandoned, lust is increasingly mistaken for love, and innocence is an anachronism.
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