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Winterwoodby Patrick McCabe
Synopses & Reviews
The San Francisco Chronicle declared Patrick McCabe "one of the most brilliant writers to ever come out of Ireland," and Neil Jordan called Winterwood "the most terrifying book I've 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).
"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.)
"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
"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
"The novel is chilling yet demands to be read to its end." BookReporter.com
"Patrick McCabe is a remarkably brave and original writer, and in Winterwood he has achieved a remarkably original and deeply unsettling novel." Los Angeles Times
"A hypnotic tour de force...eerie and compelling....What guides us through this uncomfortable story is the spellbinding performance of a writer in expert control of his material." Atlanta Journal-Constitution
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.
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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