‘Just downright brilliant… a transcendent, transporting experience’ Observer
A motherless girl grows up in isolated luxury, hidden from the world by her wealthy father. She believes their life together is normal – but as time passes, she has a growing sense that something between them is very wrong.
She cannot escape, so she seeks solace in her books. Her favourite tales are those that conjure ancient worlds – of angry gods and heroic mortals, one of whom will some day come to her rescue.
Soon, she will forget where the page ends and her mind begins.
‘A full-throttle blast of storytelling mastery’ Max Porter
The Porpoise is terrifically violent, with a bright, innocent ferocity ... Haddon wants to restore agency to the female characters sidelined by the Antiochus legend. This could feel like a condescending attempt to end up on the right of history, but doesn't -- Katy Waldman * The New Yorker * Compelling, satisfying and moving... Haddon's writing is exquisite, balancing simple storytelling with searing insight -- Paul Connolly * Metro * The extraordinary force and vividness of Haddon's prose ensure that The Porpoise reads [...] as a continually unfolding demonstration of the transporting power of stories... This is language that knows how to do things: sail a ship, make a gold buckle, negotiate the tides of the Thames. It's a stunningly effective combination of the quotidian and the mythic that pins impossibility to the page -- Justine Jordan * Guardian * A beautifully rendered retelling...[and] a gripping novel that, despite its rollicking plot, never feels relentless, and is often very affecting indeed -- Jon Day * Financial Times * Wondrous... a violent, all-action thrill ride shuttling between antiquity and the present... just downright brilliant... a transcendant, transporting experience... A helix, a mirror ball, a literary box of tricks... take your pick: this is a full-spectrum pleasure, mixing metafictional razzmatazz with pulse-racing action and a prose style to die for. I'll be staggered if it's not spoken of whenever prizes are mentioned this year -- Anthony Cummins * Observer *
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