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The Resurrectionists: A Novelby Michael Collins
2003 Pacific Northwest Booksellers Association Award
Synopses & Reviews
The Booker and IMPAC Prize-nominated author of "The Keepers of Truth" delivers a haunting novel of psychological suspense about a wayward family's search for salvation in an America that has left them behind.
The solitude of the Upper Michigan Peninsula is Michael Collins's heart of darkness in this compelling story of the unquiet dead. Almost thirty years ago, when Frank Cassidy was five, his parents burned to death in a remote Michigan town. Now Frank's uncle is dead too, shot by a mysterious stranger who lies in a coma in the local hospital. Frank, working menial jobs to support his unfaithful wife and two children, takes his family north in a series of stolen cars to dispute his cousin's claim on the family farm. Once there, however, Frank also wants answers to questions about his own past: Who really set the fire that burned the family home and killed his parents? Will the stranger, who hangs between life and death, be able to shed light on long-buried secrets?
As the television blares the aftermath of the Watergate scandal, news of Jim Jones, and endless sitcom reruns, simple answers — and the promise of the American dream — seem to recede from Frank's grasp. Brilliant and unsettling, "The Resurrectionists" is an ironic yet chilling indictment of American culture in the seventies and a compassionate novel about a man struggling to overcome the crimes and burdens of his past.
"Michael Collins, the author of The Keepers of Truth (shortlisted for the Booker Prize in 2000), returns to depressed midwestern America in his latest novel, an encyclopedia of familial despair, suffering, and cruelty loosely organized into the semblance of a plot....If Collins devoted less time to sermonizing and more attention to the mechanics of storytelling, he could produce something approaching the grandeur to which he aspires." Scott Prater, The Atlantic Monthly (read the entire Atlantic review)
"All American life is here. Michael Collins has captured its quirks, its daily rhythms, its underlying despair, and most impressively of all, its quiet optimism. In the margins of an exciting story well told, he has illuminated a whole way of life." The Sunday Telegraph
"Like Raymond Carver, Collins is interested in how lives of quiet desperation are lived." The Observer
"A highly accomplished, even a brilliant book." The Dubliner
"Collins is a chronicler of small Americana and the downbeat drifters that have been passing through ever since The Grapes of Wrath. Six decades after the photographic bleakness of Steinbeck's desolate depression landscapes, there's a cinematic precision about Collins's description of brassy diners, beat-up Chevys, windswept gas stations, and tumbleweed skittering down empty streets." The Sunday Independent (Ireland)
"The thinking man's John Grisham." New Statesman
The Booker and IMPAC Prize-nominated
About the Author
Michael Collins was born in Limerick, Ireland. His first book, The Man Who Dreamt of Lobsters, was a New York Times Notable Book of the Year in 1993. His most recent novel, The Keepers of Truth, was nominated for the Booker and IMPAC Prizes and named Irish Book of the Year. He lives in Bellingham, Washington.
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