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The Town That Forgot How to Breatheby Kenneth J Harvey
A spectral novel that draws you in, and suffocates you with its incantation. Though a bit dishevelled in its conclusion, this book was one of the most memorable of 2005. I've handed several copies to my favorite customers.
Synopses & Reviews
Something strange is happening in the seaside town of Bareneed. Mythical creatures that formally existed only in mariner’s dreams, are being pulled from the sea. Perfectly preserved corpses of villagers long ago lost at sea are being washed upon the shore. And residents of the town are suddenly suffering from a mysterious illness that is making them forget how to breathe.
Recent divorcé Joseph Blackwood has returned to his hometown in hopes of reconnecting with his estranged daughter. But when the young girl begins having visions and conversing with the spirit of a neighbor’s deceased child, he knows that his daughter is suffering from some supernatural affliction. Now, with the help of some colorful village residents, Joseph must unravel this paranormal mystery to save his only daughter.
Called the literary love child of Stephen King and Annie Proulx, The Town That Forgot How to Breathe is a page-turning gothic tale and a profound exploration of what it really means to live in the modern world.
"An eerie and gripping story, the work of an extravagantly haunted imagination." J. M. Coetzee, Nobel Prize winner and author of the Booker Prize winning Disgrace
"A novel of dazzling ambition and strange, haunting loveliness. Grippingly entertaining and bursting with life, it is an absolute triumph of the storyteller's art." Joseph O'Connor, Whitbread finalist and bestselling author of Star of the Sea
"[A] tour de force! Harvey...is as knowledgeable as he is adventurous. A very exceptional novel, extraordinary in its power." Alistair MacLeod, author of No Great Mischief
"As if plotted by Hitchcock and graced by Márquez, The Town That Forgot How to Breathe is a beautiful nightmare." Bill Gaston, author of Giller Prize-nominated Mount Appetite
"The quality of his storytelling and his way with an eerie instant are too good to miss." The Times (London)
Described by some reviewers as a mix between Stephen King and Annie Proulx, Harvey's compulsively readable novel is a profound allegorical tale of the effects of globalization on culture and personal histories.
Something strange is happening in the seaside town of Bareneed. Mythical creatures are being pulled from the sea, perfectly preserved corpses of long-lost villagers are washing up on the shore, and residents of the town are suddenly overcome by a mysterious illness that is making them forget how to breathe.
A page-turning gothic thriller reminiscent of H. P. Lovecraft, The Town That Forgot How to Breathe is "a novel of dazzling ambition and strange, haunting loveliness. . . . An absolute triumph of the storyteller's art" (Joseph O'Connor, author of Star of the Sea).
About the Author
Kenneth J. Harvey makes his American debut with The Town That Forgot How to Breathe. In Canada, his books have won the Raddall Atlantic Fiction Prize and been shortlisted for the Commonwealth Writers Prize. He lives in Newfoundland.
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