The Porpoise

Category: Book
By (author): Haddon, Mark
Subject:  FICTION / Family Life
  FICTION / General
  FICTION / Magical Realism
Publisher: Doubleday Canada
Published: June 2019
Format: Book-hardcover
Pages: 320
Size: 9.25in x 6.12in
Our Price:
$ 34.00
Availability:
In stock

Additional Notes

From The Publisher*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.
Review Quote*Advance Praise for The Porpoise

"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

"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

"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
Biographical NoteMARK 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.