Synopses & Reviews
Here They Come
is the lyrical, startling and poignant third novel from Yannick Murphy, a National Endowment for the Arts award winner and one of the freshest voices in American fiction today.
Splitting time between a ramshackle apartment and a lonely hot dog vendor, the observant thirteen-year-old who stands steadily at the center of Here They Come gives lyrical voice to an unforgettable instant 1970s New York, stifling, violent and full of life. Balanced between her enigmatic siblings, detached parents, and a quiet sense of the surreal, she recounts a year of startling moments with dark humor and deadpan resilience.
"Told by a precocious unnamed 13-year-old girl who bends spoons with her mind, Murphy's gorgeous third book of fiction recounts the story of a poor family's coming-of-age in 1970s New York. The young protagonist's world is populated by idiosyncratic characters, including her equally precocious sisters Jody and Louisa; her also unnamed suicidal musician brother, who keeps a shotgun in his room; her depressed but strong-willed mother; her ailing and confusedly nostalgic grandmother Ma Mere, and John, the hotdog vendor on the corner who trades Hershey bars for a chance to cop a feel. When Cal, her gambling, deadbeat dad, who lives with his new girlfriend, "the slut," goes missing, the family bands together to find him and tries to survive in a world where they can't catch a break. The brother and the girlfriend travel to Spain on a tip that Cal might be there. The others stay home, struggling through the trials of adolescence, single parenthood and deprivation. In thick, poetic prose that edges toward stream of consciousness and is peppered with slightly surreal details, Murphy (The Sea of Trees, 1997) creates a world as magical and harrowing as the struggle to come to grips with maturity." Publishers Weekly (Starred Review) (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
"Most impressive of all is Murphy's remarkable use of language, the expressive way she puts together ordinary words and images to create surprisingly lovely and moving metaphors." Los Angeles Times
"Yannick Murphy's long-awaited Here They Come is a unique combination of rare linguistic lyricism with brutal and brilliant prose. It is an unrelenting portrait of family, terrifying for its honesty, its willingness to be ugly and elegant. Haunting." A.M. Homes, author of The Safety of Objects and The End of Alice
"This is a hell of a book. You might not be able to finish Here They Come in one sitting, but it will haunt you till you do. What detail! What characters! I can imagine both Jane Austen and Raymond Carver pouring over this masterly novel." Frank McCourt, author of Angela's Ashes
"Not intended as a realistic portrait of troubled family life, this readable work is successful on its own terms, at once funny and sad." Library Journal
"This bizarre mixture of naturalism and surrealism is intriguing and well written enough to hold the reader's attention, but its meaning will remain a mystery for most." Booklist
Splitting time between a garbage-strewn apartment and an overly affectionate hot dog vendor, the observant 13-year-old who stands steadily at the center of HERE THEY COME gives lyrical voice to an unforgettable instant - 1970s New York, stifling, violent, and full of life. Balanced between her enigmatic siblings, borderline parents, and a quiet sense of the surreal, she recounts a year of vivid, mundane moments with dark humour and deadpan resilience.
About the Author
Yannick Murphy is the author of Stories in Another Language and The Sea of Trees. She lives in Pasadena, California, with her husband and three children.