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The Call: A Novel

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The Call: A Novel Cover

 

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

The warm, wry, and patient voice of a veterinarian father tells the heartfelt story of his young New England family enduring a moving trial of loyalty, hope, and faith after they are confronted with an unthinkable crisis. Acclaimed author Yannick Murphy's intimate narrative style and lovely prose will enthrall readers of Rivka Galchen, Padgett Powell, and Murphy's own Signed, Mata Hari. The Call is a "triumph of quiet humor and understated beauty" (Publishers Weekly, starred review) from an author that the New York Times Book Review calls "an extraordinarily gifted fabulist."

Review:

"A triumph of quiet humor and understated beauty, Murphy's latest (after Signed, Mata Hari) takes the form of a diary belonging to veterinarian David Appleton, who recounts a year of converging perils: the slow grind of the recession, his worrying medical test results, a strange recurring vision, and the unwanted attention of a mysterious stranger. Then, when David's 12-year-old son, Sam, is shot in a hunting accident and winds up comatose, his family has every claim to despair; instead, they battle through, even as David's search for his son's shooter goes nowhere, and the stranger reveals a shocking, potentially life-altering secret. The trials of David's family are interposed with the calls he takes in his veterinary practice, in which he tends to sick sheep and injured horses with the same gentleness he shows his young children and exasperated but loving wife. These scenes evoke the dulcet cadences of life in a rural New England town, a place of stoicism and goodwill without the embroidery of folksy clichés. Murphy's subtle, wry wit and an appealing sense for the surreal leaven moments of anger and bleakness, and elevate moments of kindness, whimsy, and grace. (Aug.)" Publishers Weekly (Starred Review) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.

Review:

"Murphy's eye for small-town detail and human/animal relations makes for a complex, delicate story line, and the novel as a whole carries a very real human velocity and gravity. The domestic focus and unexpected intrusions recall fiction by Dave Eggers and Vendela Vida." Library Journal

Review:

"This is a wonderful novel. Original, suspenseful, funny and profoundly moving. It's about family, community, the human bond with animals and — oh yeah — spaceships. I am in awe of Yannick Murphy's achievement and I plan to recommend The Call to everyone I know." Geraldine Brooks

Review:

"The Call is an enormously affecting and lovely exploration of ordinary and extraordinary love. In prose that is as grand, startling, and particular as the New England landscape that inhabits her characters...Yannick Murphy tells a story that will break and repair your heart." Chris Adrian

Review:

"Yannick Murphy's beautiful new novel is a stirring example of what a real writer can do with form and feeling. The Call is sly, funny, scary, honest, wonderstruck and, most of all, intensely generous." Sam Lipsyte

Review:

"This book delights with its discrete structuring....The pieces snap together in odd juxtaposition, surprising, making a picture more sturdy and dependable than the seamless whole. It has the power of good old Byzantine mosaic." Padgett Powell

Review:

"Incisive and imaginative....[A] hypnotically patterned, wryly funny, and warmly compassionate tale...Visceral detail and deep knowledge stoke this gorgeously realized novel...With phenomenal economy and delicious deadpan humor, Murphy dramatizes...the many forms of giving and healing." Booklist (Starred Review)

Review:

"Murphy is a subtle, psychologically perceptive writer....A marvelous book: sweet and poignant without ever succumbing to easy sentiment, formally inventive and dexterous without ever seeming showy. A triumph." Kirkus Review (Starred Review)

About the Author

Yannick Murphy is the author of the novels Signed, Mata Hari; Here They Come; and The Sea of Trees, as well as two story collections and several children's books. She is the recipient of a Whiting Writer's Award, a National Endowment for the Arts Award, and a Chesterfield Screenwriting Award.

Her work has appeared in Best American Nonrequired Reading and The O. Henry Prize Stories. She lives in Vermont with her veterinarian husband and their children.

What Our Readers Are Saying

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Average customer rating based on 3 comments:

Oleofox, August 24, 2012 (view all comments by Oleofox)
Excellent story overall. I saw a review for this book in an issue of The Bark magazine and thought that it looked like something that I would like to read. I'm so happy that I decided to check this story out as it was so refreshing to read. The story, while slightly similar to most books I have read about veterinary's on call was completely unique in it's own way. The most fun and captivating of which was how the book was written as a series of calls. It did take a bit getting used to the style at first but after a few minutes I really got into it. Overall the calls/tales depicted in the book make it seem so much longer than the 157 (ebook pages) that I actually read. It is one of those books that is so meaningful that it's story stays with you for months or even longer. An extremely satisfying read that I hope all animal lovers will check out.
Was this comment helpful? | Yes | No
atmyapple, January 4, 2012 (view all comments by atmyapple)
This book is like meeting a new neighbor. They think differently than you and express themselves in a unique style. At first it may unsettle you, this different voice and unusual cadence, but the story is all their own and it draws you in. The experience may stretch your comfort zone but you will be glad you took a chance and listened.
Was this comment helpful? | Yes | No
megan s, January 4, 2012 (view all comments by megan s)
Murphy's story is heartbreaking and heartwarming. In 200 or so short pages, she creates a family that you wish lived next door, that you won't be able to get enough of. You will be sad when it's over. You will certainly laugh, you might very well cry. You will be blown away by the story's simple wisdom, its respect for the joys of a simple life with a family you love, and its lighthearted, honest dealing with life's really hard stuff. The Call is the oddest sort of book. It's a quiet, understated story, not so very earth shattering at all, but every little bit of it leaps off the page.
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(1 of 1 readers found this comment helpful)
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Product Details

ISBN:
9780062023148
Subtitle:
A Novel
Author:
Murphy, Yannick
Publisher:
Harper Perennial
Subject:
Literary
Subject:
Literature-A to Z
Edition Description:
Trade PB
Publication Date:
20110831
Binding:
TRADE PAPER
Grade Level:
General/trade
Language:
English
Pages:
240
Dimensions:
8 x 5.3125 x 0.540541 in 6.4 oz

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Related Subjects

Fiction and Poetry » Literature » A to Z

The Call: A Novel Used Trade Paper
0 stars - 0 reviews
$10.50 In Stock
Product details 240 pages Harper Perennial - English 9780062023148 Reviews:
"Publishers Weekly Review" by , "A triumph of quiet humor and understated beauty, Murphy's latest (after Signed, Mata Hari) takes the form of a diary belonging to veterinarian David Appleton, who recounts a year of converging perils: the slow grind of the recession, his worrying medical test results, a strange recurring vision, and the unwanted attention of a mysterious stranger. Then, when David's 12-year-old son, Sam, is shot in a hunting accident and winds up comatose, his family has every claim to despair; instead, they battle through, even as David's search for his son's shooter goes nowhere, and the stranger reveals a shocking, potentially life-altering secret. The trials of David's family are interposed with the calls he takes in his veterinary practice, in which he tends to sick sheep and injured horses with the same gentleness he shows his young children and exasperated but loving wife. These scenes evoke the dulcet cadences of life in a rural New England town, a place of stoicism and goodwill without the embroidery of folksy clichés. Murphy's subtle, wry wit and an appealing sense for the surreal leaven moments of anger and bleakness, and elevate moments of kindness, whimsy, and grace. (Aug.)" Publishers Weekly (Starred Review) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
"Review" by , "Murphy's eye for small-town detail and human/animal relations makes for a complex, delicate story line, and the novel as a whole carries a very real human velocity and gravity. The domestic focus and unexpected intrusions recall fiction by Dave Eggers and Vendela Vida."
"Review" by , "This is a wonderful novel. Original, suspenseful, funny and profoundly moving. It's about family, community, the human bond with animals and — oh yeah — spaceships. I am in awe of Yannick Murphy's achievement and I plan to recommend The Call to everyone I know."
"Review" by , "The Call is an enormously affecting and lovely exploration of ordinary and extraordinary love. In prose that is as grand, startling, and particular as the New England landscape that inhabits her characters...Yannick Murphy tells a story that will break and repair your heart."
"Review" by , "Yannick Murphy's beautiful new novel is a stirring example of what a real writer can do with form and feeling. The Call is sly, funny, scary, honest, wonderstruck and, most of all, intensely generous."
"Review" by , "This book delights with its discrete structuring....The pieces snap together in odd juxtaposition, surprising, making a picture more sturdy and dependable than the seamless whole. It has the power of good old Byzantine mosaic."
"Review" by , "Incisive and imaginative....[A] hypnotically patterned, wryly funny, and warmly compassionate tale...Visceral detail and deep knowledge stoke this gorgeously realized novel...With phenomenal economy and delicious deadpan humor, Murphy dramatizes...the many forms of giving and healing."
"Review" by , "Murphy is a subtle, psychologically perceptive writer....A marvelous book: sweet and poignant without ever succumbing to easy sentiment, formally inventive and dexterous without ever seeming showy. A triumph."
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