The Bee Sting
SHORTLISTED FOR THE BOOKER PRIZE 2023, THE NERO BOOK AWARDS 2023 AND WINNER OF THE IRISH BOOK AWARDS NOVEL OF THE YEAR 2023, THE BEE STING IS THE MUST-HAVE CHRISTMAS GIFT FOR THE BOOKWORM IN YOUR LIFE!
From one of our greatest comic novelists and the author of Skippy Dies comes a funny, thought-provoking story of one family desperately clinging on as their world falls apart . . .
‘A tragicomic triumph. You won’t read a sadder, truer, funnier novel this year’ Guardian
The Barnes family is in trouble. Dickie’s once-lucrative car business is going under – but rather than face the music, he’s spending his days in the woods, building an apocalypse-proof bunker with a renegade handyman.
His wife Imelda is selling off her jewellery on eBay while their teenage daughter Cass, formerly top of her class, seems determined to binge-drink her way to her final exams. And twelve-year-old PJ is putting the final touches to his grand plan to run away from home.
Where did it all go wrong? A patch of ice on the tarmac, a casual favour to a charming stranger, a bee caught beneath a bridal veil?
Can a single moment of bad luck change the direction of a life? And if the story has already been written – is there still time to find a happy ending?
‘The finest novel that Murray has yet written . . . will surely be one of the books of 2023’ Sunday Independent
‘Murray is a natural storyteller . . . Ambitious, expansive, hugely entertaining tragicomic fiction’ Irish Times
‘It’s a thing of beauty, a novel that will fill your heart’ Observer
‘Generous, immersive, sharp-witted and devastating . . . a triumph’ Financial Times
‘It’s been compared to Jonathan Franzen’s The Corrections; I’d argue it’s better’ Daily Mail
I experienced just about every possible human emotion while reading The Bee Sting, and at an intensity I have not felt with a work of fiction for a long time. Its ambition and scale are astonishing, and as a sheer technical feat of storytelling it is remarkable. Reading it, I was constantly reminded of what the novel as an artform is capable of, and what it is for. It might be a bold claim to make, of the author of Skippy Dies, that this new book is the best thing Paul Murray has ever done - but I'm making it anyway, because it's true -- Mark O'Connell, author of 'To Be A Machine' This novel is as generous, expansive, and glorious as a cathedral, as intimate as pillow-talk, and as funny and heartbreaking as nothing you've read before. Paul Murray may just be the most spellbinding storyteller writing today. A magisterial piece of work -- Neel Mukherjee, author of 'The Lives of Others' The tale of a dysfunctional family trying to hold things together. It's a thing of beauty, a novel that will fill your heart * Observer, 'Fiction to look out for in 2023' * Paul Murray is my favourite young Irish novelist and The Bee Sting confirms all of his talents. Settle in for a hilarious whirlwind of a familial socioeconomic misadventure as only Murray would write it -- Gary Shteyngart, author of 'Super Sad True Love Story' Murray is his own writer, capable of keeping a multi-faceted and compulsive plot moving along with alacrity and confidence, while seamlessly blending drama, comedy and heartbreak * Sunday Independent * Murray's conversations have an expansive tendency. A single thread can lead him outwards in a web of connections, metaphors, jokes, before he lands smoothly back on the point * The Irish Times * Darkly hilarious * Guardian * Generous, expansive and glorious as a cathedral -- Neel Murkhejee A brilliantly funny, deeply sad portrait of an Irish family in crisis * Guardian *
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