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    9780385692663 Paperback / softback, Trade, , $21 CAD 9781984891419 Downloadable audio file 9780385692687 Electronic book text, EPUB
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    Distributor: Penguin Random House Availability: Available On Sale Date: Jun 18, 2019 Carton Quantity: 12
  • Catalogues

The Porpoise
By (author): Mark Haddon
9780385692670 Hardcover English General Trade FICTION / Literary Jun 18, 2019
$34.00 CAD
Active 6.49 x 9.51 x 1.19 in 320 pages Doubleday Canada Bond Street Books
From the acclaimed author of The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time comes this stunningly ambitious, fantastical novel that reworks Shakespeare’s Pericles into a parable for today.

Mark Haddon’s breathtaking novel begins with a harrowing plane crash: Maja, the pregnant wife of the unimaginably wealthy Philippe, is killed, but their daughter, Angelique, survives. Philippe’s obsession with the girl’s safety morphs into something sinister and grotesque. A young man named Darius, visiting Philippe with a business proposition, encounters Angelique and intuits their secret—he decides to rescue her, but the attempt goes awry.

This contemporary story mirrors the ancient Greek legend of Antiochus, whose love for the daughter of his dead wife was discovered by the adventurer Appolinus of Tyre. The tale appeared in many forms through the ages; Shakespeare transformed Appolinus into the swashbuckling Pericles in his play. In The Porpoise, as Angelique grapples with the wreck of her life, trapped on her father’s estate, Darius morphs into Pericles, voyaging through a mythic world. In a bravura feat of storytelling, Haddon recounts his many exploits in thrilling fashion, mining the meaning of the old legends while creating parallels with the monstrous modern world Angelique inhabits. The language is rich and gorgeous; the conjured worlds are perfectly imagined; the plot moves forward at a ferocious pace.

But Haddon’s themes are deeply urgent—the theft of female agency by rapacious men; the uses of archetypal stories to warp history and the present. As profound as it is entertaining, The Porpoise is a major literary achievement by an author whose myriad talents are on full, vivid display.

MARK HADDON is the author of the bestselling novels The Red House, A Spot of Bother and the story collection The Pier Falls. His novel The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time won the Whitbread Book of the Year Award and the Los Angeles Times Book Prize for First Fiction and is the basis for the Tony Award-winning play. He is the author of a collection of poetry, The Talking Horse and the Sad Girl and the Village Under the Sea, has written and illustrated numerous children’s books, and has won awards for both his radio dramas and his television screenplays. He teaches creative writing for the Arvon Foundation and lives in Oxford, England.

Author Residence: Oxford, UK

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Author Website: www.markhaddon.com

Author Social Media: Facebook: @MarkHaddonAuthor; Twitter: @mark_haddon; Instagram: @mjphaddon

"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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