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Port Mungo by Patrick McGrath


Port Mungo by Patrick McGrath

Throughout their privileged but highly eccentric childhood Jack Rathbone has enjoyed the constant adoration of his sister Gin. When both attend art school in London, Jack plunges into a passionate affair with Vera Savage, a painter some years his senior, and they soon run away to New York. From a bruised and bereft distance Gin follows their southward progress to Miami, then Havana, and so to Port Mungo, a wilting swamp town on the steamy Gulf of Honduras. There Jack devotes himself to his art, and works with a fervour as intense as the restless, boozy waywardness to which Vera succumbs, which even the birth of two daughters cannot subdue. As the tension builds, a tragedy occurs that will tear apart not only their world but that of Jack's watchful sister, Gin.


'Gothic elements have been woven into a story of delicacy and not a little humour. The result is that literary rarity: a page-turner of real intelligence

A master story-teller has done it again'
Sunday Telegraph

'As a master of modern Gothic, McGrath is unparalleled

Everything McGrath produces is an expression of the anguish of being in that room alone. Whether you go into a room alone to read him depends upon how much your nerves will stand'

'Perhaps novels this disturbing should carry a health warning. When I had finished reading Port Mungo, I felt queasy, haunted, polluted, disoriented and defiled by a work of utter brilliance'
Liz Jensen, Independent

'McGrath can write a love story like no other man alive - dark, a little twisted, very passionate, and so loaded with exact and unexpected sensuous detail that, although you may never wish to actually live in this sleazy little city of Port Mungo, you could happily spend a whole vacation within its pages'
Peter Carey, author of Oscar and Lucinda

About the Author

Patrick McGrath

Patrick McGrath is the author of a short story collection, Blood and Water and Other Tales, and six previous novels including Spider, Asylum, Martha Peake and Port Mungo. His most recent book was Ghost Town, a volume of novellas about New York. Spider was made into a film in 2002 by acclaimed director David Cronenberg.

Patrick McGrath lives in London and New York.

Photgraph © Marion Ettlinger

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Book Info

Publication date

2nd May 2005


Patrick McGrath

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Bloomsbury Publishing PLC


256 pages


Modern & contemporary fiction (post c 1945)



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