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Winterwood: A Novelby Patrick McCabe
Synopses & Reviews
Once, Redmond Hatch was in heaven, married to the lovely Catherine and father to enchanting daughter Immy. But then he took them both to Winterwood. And it would never be the same again...
In Patrick McCabe's spellbinding new novel, nothing — and no one — are ever quite what they seem. When Hatch, devoted husband and father, revisits the secluded mountains where he grew up, he meets Auld Pappie Ned. While he claims to be just a harmless local fiddler, a teller of tall tales, Ned sets off a cataclysmic chain of events in Redmond's life. From the mysterious disappearance of Redmond's daughter to the reluctant remembrance of a troubled boyhood to secret glimpses into an unstable marriage, everything soon spirals out of control. Narrated with hypnotic precision and fractured lyricism, Winterwood is a disturbing and unforgettable tale of love, death and identity from a masterful novelist.
"Freelance writer Redmond Hatch loves his young wife, Catherine — he is 40 and she is 22 when they wed in 1981 — and adores his infant daughter, Imogen, but in Irish author McCabe's eighth novel (his prior work included Breakfast on Pluto and The Butcher Boy, both shortlisted for the Booker Prize), Redmond's happy slice of the world cruelly crumbles. A few years into wedded bliss, Redmond's wife cuckolds and then divorces him; he feigns suicide, assumes a false identity and disappears into a sad-sack life that spirals sharply downward after he reads a newspaper account of the suicide of convicted child murderer (and creepy acquaintance) Ned Strange: Redmond's suddenly haunted by nightmares and hallucinations in which Ned molests him. He stalks his former family and, in 1991, kidnaps and kills his estranged daughter, burying her in the isolated countryside — their imaginary 'winterwood' — and visiting her grave over the next decade. Redmond, however, has yet to bottom out. Despite a fractured, hard-to-follow chronology, this tale about a man's descent into madness is both artfully repellent and hypnotically compelling." Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
"Creepy....Like Stephen King's The Shining, this novel is terrifying in its exploration of what can happen to seemingly ordinary people in bizarre situations." Booklist
"[S]trangely absorbing Irish novel....
"Unremittingly bleak — provokes a reaction but ultimately feels hollow." Kirkus Reviews
"McCabe is...more intense than [Stephen] King (or just about anyone else), and his characters are so trapped inside their own skulls that his novels can feel hermetically sealed. In the past, he's balanced that with an appealing dark humor, but in Winterwood he settles for urgent, sustained apprehension." Gregory Cowles, The New York Times Book Review
"The novel is chilling yet demands to be read to its end." BookReporter.com
In this spellbinding new novel by the acclaimed author of The Butcher Boy, nothing — and no one — are ever quite what they seem. Once, Redmond Hatch was in heaven, married to the lovely Catherine and father to enchanting daughter Immy. But then he took them both to Winterwood. And it would never be the same again.
“A fever dream of a novel…At heart, Winterwood is a Gothic ghost story…like Stephen King, McCabe knows how to invest pop culture with a sinister bathos. McCabe is also more intense than King (or just about anyone else).”—New York Times Book Review
The San Francisco Chronicle declared him “one of the most brilliant writers to ever come out of Ireland,” and Neil Jordan called Winterwood “the most terrifying book Ive ever read.” In this chilling and unforgettable novel, Patrick McCabe shows us that nothing—and no one—is ever quite what they seem. Shortlisted for the Irish Book Award for Novel of the Year, Winterwood is a disturbing tale of love, death, and identity from a masterful novelist whose “books are skillful exercises in the macabre and the horrific. It is as though Stephen King had learned how to write” (New York Review of Books).
About the Author
Patrick McCabe was born in Ireland in 1955. His novels include The Butcher Boy, winner of the Irish Times/Aer Lingus Literature Prize, which was shortlisted for the 1992 Booker Prize and made into a highly acclaimed film directed by Neil Jordan, and Breakfast On Pluto, published in 1998, also on the Booker Prize shortlist. He lives in Sligo with his wife and two daughters.
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