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Himself by Jess Kidd
  

Himself

Literary Fiction   All Shortlists and Winners   Crime / Mystery   Debuts of the Month   Family Drama   Relationship Stories   2017 CWA Daggers   eBook Favourites   
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June 2017 Debut of the Month.

Longlisted for the CWA John Creasey (New Blood) Dagger 2017.

Dublin-wise, orphaned young man goes in search of his birth mother. He has a photograph with a note on the back and the name of a village. This is very Irish and completely charming. The village characters are beautifully drawn. Our young protagonist has a gift; he can see (and converse with) the dead. This is neither ghost story nor detective novel although both elements are present, more it is a human story of an odd community of slightly over-the-top country people who might all have something to hide. Certainly finding out what happened to his young, teenage mother proves to be tricky with most folk seeming to conceal a secret. The dead are not sinister, they are just there, being themselves. I loved the pictures the author paints, the dog lying by its master’s feet, the man trying to hang up his hat. Lovely images in a lovely debut. Highly recommended. ~ Sarah Broadhurst

Shortlisted for The Authors' Club Best First Novel Award 2017.

If you like Jess Kidd you might also like to read books by Flann O’Brien, Donal Ryan and Daniel Clay.

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Synopsis

Himself by Jess Kidd

A BBC Radio 2 Book Club Choice Shortlisted for the Irish Book Awards 2016 Shortlisted for the Authors' Club Best First Novel Award 2017 1950. A teenage girl is brutally murdered in a forest. But, somehow, her baby survives. 1976. A mysterious and charming young man returns to the remote coastal village of Mulderrig, seeking answers about the mother who, it was said, had abandoned him on the steps of a Dublin orphanage. With the help of its oldest and most eccentric inhabitant, he will force the village to give up its ghosts. Nothing, not even the dead, can stay buried forever.

Reviews

'Kidd's brilliantly bold debut mixes up murder and mayhem with the eerily supernatural. It's a tender, violent and funny story told in prose that is lyrical, lush and hugely imaginative. Utterly unputdownable' Sunday Express

'Diabolical deeds, ferociously kept secrets, black humour and magical realism abound in Jess Kidd's richly textured, thronging debut ... Kidd has imagination to die for and a real command of plot and character' Guardian

'A genuinely intriguing mystery, with moments of real tenderness ... otherworldly and wonderfully original' Stylist

'Very funny, very profound, very moving ... One of the finest books of the year' -- Simon Mayo BBC Radio 2 Book Club

'An intriguing story of family secrets and haunting' -- Andrew Michael Hurley, author of The Loney

'Wonderfully entertaining ... the ghosts are not the main attraction in this delightful first novel; it is also a detective story, in which Mahony and Mrs C make an unlikely Holmes and Watson' The Times

'This striking literary debut is a darkly comic tale of murder, intrigue, haunting and illegitimacy ... wickedly funny' Daily Express

'I love this book. It's a magic realist murder mystery set in rural Ireland, in which the dead play as important a part as the living. It's one of those books that has you smiling as you read, and that you plan to read again very soon.' -- Louis de Bernieres, author of Captain Corelli's Mandolin

'In lyrical prose that is by turns touchingly tender and violent, Kidd's brilliantly bold debut mixes murder and mayhem with the eerily supernatural, and throws in a dash of laugh-out-loud humour for good measure' Psychologies

'Himself is a sort of Under Milk Wood meets The Third Policeman meets Agatha Christie. It's a highly unusual tale set in a highly unusual Irish village full of dark secrets and engaging characters (not all of them still alive). Lushly imagined, delightfully original and very, very funny, it hurtles along from the very first page. A hugely enjoyable read. I can't wait for more from Jess Kidd' -- ML STEDMAN, author of The Light Between Oceans

About the Author

Jess Kidd

Jess Kidd completed her first degree in Literature with The Open University, and has since taught creative writing and gained a PhD in Creative Writing Studies. She has also worked as a support worker specialising in acquired brain injury. Jess was brought up in London as part of a large family from Mayo, and plans to settle somewhere along the west coast of Ireland in the next few years. Until then, she lives in London with her daughter.

author photo © Travis McBride

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Book Info

Publication date

1st June 2017

Author

Jess Kidd

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Author 'Like for Like'
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Author's Website

jesskidd.com/
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Publisher

Canongate Books Ltd

Format

Paperback
368 pages

Categories

Literary Fiction
All Shortlists and Winners
Crime / Mystery
Debuts of the Month
Family Drama
Relationship Stories
2017 CWA Daggers
eBook Favourites

Modern & contemporary fiction (post c 1945)

ISBN

9781782118480

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