CURIOUS INCIDENT: Haddon’s masterpiece continues to sell steadily (net sales of 3.7 million copies in paperback!) fifteen years after it first published. The recent success of the Broadway adaptation—winner of five Tony awards, including Best Play—has kept the novel (and Haddon) very much in the public eye.
ACCLAIMED AUTHOR: Mark Haddon is one of the most beloved writers of recent years, a multiple-time bestselling author, the winner of a Commonwealth Writers Prize and the Los Angeles Times Prize for best first novel, and a Booker finalist, among other distinctions.
BACKLIST: Haddon’s previous books, The Pier Falls (“truly spectacular” —Minneapolis Star Tribune), The Red House (“particularly fresh and true” —O, the Oprah Magazine), A Spot of Bother (“totally brilliant” —The New York Times Book Review), The Talking Horse and the Sad Girl and the Village Under the Sea (“gloriously eccentric and wonderfully intelligent” —The Boston Globe) and, of course, The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time are all available in paperback.
PRAISE: Reviews for The Porpoise are fantastic on both sides of the pond: “[A] strange, exciting new novel…. With The Porpoise, [Haddon] is attempting his most daring project yet…. The Porpoise is a provocative and deeply interesting work.” —The New York Times; “The Porpoise [is] a transcendent, transporting experience…a serious contender for novel of the year…. this is a full-spectrum pleasure, mixing metafictional razzmatazz with pulse-racing action and a prose style to die for.” —The Guardian
FOREIGN EDITIONS: Rights have been sold in eight countries and counting, including Russia, Italy, Spain, Holland, and France.
Finalist for the 2019 Goldsmiths Prize
A Washington Post Notable Work of Fiction in 2019
A Guardian Best Book of 2019
A Star-Tribune Best Book of 2019
“The Porpoise is terrifically violent, with a bright, innocent ferocity…. Haddon’s book is almost more evocative of pre-stories: of the phase before the story is told, when it is still indeterminate, unbound from words…. Haddon, with his ever-shifting narrative, offers something like a stay of execution, a plane that enters the cloud and does not come down.” —The New Yorker
“Stunning…. The extraordinary force and vividness of Haddon’s prose ensure The Porpoise reads as a continually unfolding demonstration of the transporting power of stories…. Though it is undeniably, a rollicking adventure story, The Porpoise is also about humanity stripped down to its starkest elements by forces beyond its comprehension and control; about damage and survival, and the balancing act between the two.” —The Guardian
“Haddon’s glittering tapestry of a novel skillfully redeploys the structures of Pericles’ source material…. In The Porpoise, Haddon gives voice to a character who, in Shakespeare, receives no more than a passing mention, and in doing so, shows the transcendent power of stories to heal and restore.” —The Independent
“[A] terrifically exciting novel…. Haddon [has] astounding skill as a storyteller…. The way Haddon has streamlined this ramshackle tale into a sleek voyage of gripping tribulation is fantastic. But what’s especially remarkable is that the modern-day scenes interwoven with Pericles’ ancient adventures feel no less electrifying. The contemporary events have been polished to an antique patina and endowed with classical weight…. The result is a novel just as thrilling as it is thoughtful.” —The Washington Post
“Haddon writes with wrenching beauty about how the world inflicts itself on the disadvantaged…. [The Porpoise is] a testament to Haddon’s prodigious gifts as a storyteller that this strange, epic adventure is so compulsively readable.” —TIME
“Haddon…has spun fantastical yarn using fibers from the Pericles legend…[in this] time-traveling tale of dark family confidences, cataclysmic events and deep-sea symbolism…capturing the emotional gulfs between human beings.” —The Boston Globe
“Elegant and full of vivid descriptions, The Porpoise pulls…mythology into the present with intertwined narratives about fathers, daughters and the men who threaten their aberrant relationships…. The Porpoise is full of death and darkness, but Haddon uses them as vehicles to deliver keen observations on the nature of loss, depression, judgment and cowardice…. Haddon knows how to turn an event into a lesson, and his prose ensures those lessons are not lost on readers…. The Porpoise is a rich, beautiful read…. Readers will not come out of it untouched.” —NPR
”An artfully crafted story of layered lives…. Haddon’s ambitious tale captures the ethos of tragic Shakespearean vibrations and the tangle of lives that magically intersect. The prose is exquisite and elevates this story that blends reality and mythology to great effect.“ —Publishers Weekly
”A labyrinthine narrative that wends its way through classical myth, Shakespearean theater and childlike fairy tale as it twists toward a tentative contemporary conclusion…. British author Haddon has never written anything like the same book twice, but his fourth novel is in some ways even more audacious and ambitious than his breakthrough debut.“ —Kirkus Reviews
”[The Porpoise] is a beautifully rendered retelling…full of telling, cinematic detail…. What [Haddon] really seems interested in is giving the bare bones of the play a kind of emotional and psychological plausibility that is alien to Gower, and even to Shakespeare. In doing so he has written a gripping novel that, despite its rollicking plot, never feels relentless, and is often very affecting indeed.“ —The Financial Times
”Haddon’s prose is beautiful, and he is utterly in command of his slippery material…. His novel is an elegant homage to stories’ capacity for endless renewal, and to the ways even the oldest still surge through our lives.“ —Evening Standard
”The Porpoise is a sinuous, baffling, time-jumping, narrative-hopping novel.“ —Literary Review (UK)
”[A] wild adventure…a journey towards understanding and reconciliation—the great themes of late Shakespeare…. [The Porpoise] is charming…. There is much to enjoy in this novel—the liveliness of Haddon’s imagination and the virtuosity of his style.“ —The Scotsman
”The Porpoise …envelope[s] the reader in an imaginative new world…. A whirlwind of sea voyages to plague-ridden ports, royal murder plots, Greek goddesses, and the ghost of Shakespeare…. This gripping and evocative novel questions the nature of the stories we tell ourselves and others, and proves the ancient tales are far from boring.“ —The Irish Times
”A full-throttle blast of storytelling mastery. Ancient and modern overlap in exhilarating ways, it’s like romping through a literary Netflix: an episode of something historical and bloody, then something slick and contemporary, then something really weird and unnerving…. The Porpoise is a joy to read.“ —Max Porter, author of the International Dylan Thomas Prize-winning Grief is the Thing With Feathers
”Mark Haddon cuts down to the grittiness of humanity every time he writes. The Porpoise is a beautiful, unputdownable, ancient tangle with its own sweeping tides and dangerous depths.“ —Daisy Johnson, author of the Booker Prize finalist Everything Under
”Staggeringly ambitious, innovative, beautifully written…. The Porpoise has the pace of a really good thriller, combined with a subtlety and depth that few thrillers possess." —Pat Barker, author of The Silence of the Girls and the Booker Prize-winning The Ghost Road
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