Michael Farris Smith
‘NICK is an exemplary novel. Smith delivers a moving, full-bodied depiction of a man who has been knocked loose from his moorings and is trying to claw back into his own life’ – New York Times
Critically acclaimed novelist Michael Farris Smith pulls Nick Carraway out of the shadows and into the spotlight in this exhilarating imagination of his life before The Great Gatsby
Before Nick Carraway moved to West Egg and into Gatsby’s world, he was at the centre of a very different story – one taking place along the trenches and deep within the tunnels of World War I.
Floundering in the wake of the destruction he witnessed first-hand, Nick delays his return home, hoping to escape the questions he cannot answer about the horrors of war. Instead, he embarks on a transcontinental redemptive journey that takes him from a whirlwind Paris romance – doomed from the very beginning – to the dizzying frenzy of New Orleans, rife with its own flavour of debauchery and violence.
An epic portrait of a truly singular era and a sweeping, romantic story of self-discovery, this rich and imaginative novel breathes new life into a character that many know only from the periphery. Charged with enough alcohol, heartbreak, and profound yearning to transfix even the heartiest of golden age scribes, NICK reveals the man behind the narrator who has captivated readers for decades.
‘NICK is so pitch-perfect, so rich in character and action, so remarkable a combination of elegance and passion, so striking in felt originality that I am almost tempted to say – book gods forgive me – that The Great Gatsby will forever feel like NICK’s splendid but somewhat paler sequel’ – Robert Olen Butler, Pulitzer Prize-winning author of A Good Scent from a Strange Mountain
‘Stylish, evocative, haunting and wholly original’ – Chris Whitaker, author of We Begin at the End
‘Anybody who believes that the war is over when the enemy surrenders and the troops come home needs to read Michael Farris Smith’s masterful new novel NICK. Its stark, unvarnished truth will haunt you’ – Richard Russo, Pulitzer Prize-winning author of Empire Falls
‘A dark and often gripping story that imagines the narrator of The Great Gatsby in the years before that book began… The new Nick is a man fully realized, with a mind tormented by the war and by a first love that waned too fast to a fingernail moon of bitter memory. A compelling character study and a thoroughly unconventional prequel’ – Kirkus Reviews
‘Smith is emerging as one of the great chroniclers of America’s dispossessed. A haunting and utterly compelling read’ – Mail on Sunday on Blackwood
‘Though Farris Smith has five novels under his belt, he is little known in Britain. That ought to change: let some Mississippian mayhem, murder and misery into your lives’ – The Times on Blackwood
'Eminently readable' - Times; 'No shortage of excitement' - Mail on Sunday; 'Smith is a well-respected writer with a gift for creating atmosphere' - Telegraph; 'An accomplished writer of Southern gothic fiction' - Sunday Times; 'Vividly imagined and suffused with pulsing narrative energy and an assured, atmospheric sense of period setting and speech' - Irish Times; 'Vivid, visual, strong, poetic' - Herald Scotland; 'Evocative, rich in detail and memorable. You cannot help but think of Gatsby when reading Smith's sensitively written tale... A book to read and reread' - Belfast Telegraph; 'A remarkable achievement' - Independent; 'Exceptionally well written... Nick chimes with Gatsby but even if it didn't this would be a beautiful read in its own right' - NB Magazine; 'Pleasurably escapist and full of colourful characters' - i-news; 'Good and enjoyable... it's a novel that works even if you have never read Gatsby' - Scotsman; 'NICK is an exemplary novel. Smith delivers a moving, full-bodied depiction of a man who has been knocked loose from his moorings and is trying to claw back into his own life' - New York Times; 'NICK is so pitch-perfect, so rich in character and action, so remarkable a combination of elegance and passion, so striking in felt originality that I am almost tempted to say - book gods forgive me - that The Great Gatsby will forever feel like NICK's splendid but somewhat paler sequel' - Robert Olen Butler, Pulitzer Prize-winning author of A Good Scent from a Strange Mountain; 'Stylish, evocative, haunting and wholly original' - Chris Whitaker, author of We Begin at the End
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