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The Porpoise

The Porpoise

A fantastical novel which reworks Shakespeare's 'Pericles' into a parable for today --

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Quick Reference

ISBN 9780385544313
Barcode 9780385544313
Published 18 June 2019 by Doubleday Books
Format Hardback
Alternate Format(s) View All (2 other possible title(s) available)
Author(s) By Haddon, Mark
Availability Internationally sourced; ships 6-12 working days

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Full details for this title

ISBN-13 9780385544313
ISBN-10 0385544316
Stock Available
Status Internationally sourced; ships 6-12 working days
Publisher Doubleday Books
Imprint Doubleday Books
Publication Date 18 June 2019
Publication Country
Format Hardback
Author(s) By Haddon, Mark
Category Modern Fiction
Fantasy Fiction
Historical Fiction
Number of Pages 320
Dimensions Width: 157mm
Height: 231mm
Spine: 33mm
Weight 590g
Interest Age General Audience
Reading Age General Audience
Library of Congress Shakespeare, William, Parables
NBS Text General & Literary Fiction
ONIX Text General/trade
Dewey Code 823.914
Catalogue Code Not specified

Description of this Book

From the acclaimed author of The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time, a stunningly ambitious, fantastical novel which 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.

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Awards, Reviews & Star Ratings

NZ Review 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, winner of the Man Booker Prize for The Ghost Road (The Regeneration Trilogy) and author of The Silence of the Girls 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, winner of the International Dylan Thomas Prize for 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 EVERYTHING UNDER, shortlisted for the 2018 Man Booker Prize

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Author's Bio

Mark Haddon is the author of the bestselling novels The Red House and A Spot of Bother. 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.

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