The Earlie King and the Kid in Yellow

EKKY

Danny Denton

First Sentence:     Are you recording now?

Back of the book:

Ireland is flooded, derelict. It never stops raining. The Kid in Yellow has stolen the babba from the Earlie King. Why? Something to do with the King’s daughter, and a talking statue, something godawful. And from every wall the King’s Eye watches. And yet the city is full of hearts-defiant-sprayed in yellow, the mark of the Kid. It cannot end well. Can it? Follow the Kid, hear the tale. Roll up! Roll up!

Quotes from the book:

[…]and in those moments—after he closed the door behind him and placed his hat upon his head and pulled the trenchcoat around him—he would think that really none of it mattered a single bit, that these were all just passing beads of water, lost in the rain, and that his whole life could be reduced to a moment’s downpour, noticed by no one, and reduced entirely then, disappeared into nothing in one maddening view of the sea[…]

“Gossip was like that: a puff of smoke to the story’s fire.”

 

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Undermajordomo Minor

Undermajordomominor

Patrick DeWitt

First Sentence:     Lucien Minor’s mother had not wept, had not come close to weeping at their parting.

Back of the book:

Lucien (Lucy) Minor is the resident odd duck in the bucolic hamlet of Bury. Friendless and loveless, young and aimless, he is a compulsive liar and a melancholy weakling. When Lucy accepts employment assisting the majordomo of the remote, forbidding castle of the Baron Von Aux he meets thieves, madmen, aristocrats, and a puppy. He also meets Klara, a delicate beauty who is, unfortunately, already involved with an exceptionally handsome partisan soldier. Thus begins a tale of polite theft, bitter heartbreak, domestic mystery and cold-blooded murder in which every aspect of human behaviour is laid bare for our hero to observe. Lucy must stay safe, and protect his puppy, because someone or something is roaming the corridors of the castle late at night.

Undermajordomo Minor is a triumphant ink-black comedy of manners by the Man Booker shortlisted author of The Sisters Brothers. It is an adventure story, and a mystery, and a searing portrayal of rural Alpine bad behaviour with a brandy tart, but above all it is a love story. And Lucy must be careful, for love is a violent thing.

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Young God

Morris

 

Katherine Faw Morris

First Sentence:     Nikki is all to hell.

Back of the book:

Nikki has been thirteen forever. Nikki drives a stolen truck up the hill to her father’s trailer with a backpack full of pills, determined to make her way into his life: drug deals, pimp wars, chicken shit, ecstasy. But soon Nikki begins to learn what is required of her to survive — to prevail — in this world.

Quotes from the book:

“In her mouth is name is shiny and bitter like a licked coin.”

Heroin is the most secret of them all and needles are the mot secret part and she has always loved secrets ever since she was a little girl.

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The Luminaries

luminariesEleanor Catton

First Sentence:     The twelve men congregated in the smoking room of the Crown Hotel gave the impression of a party accidentally met.

Back of the book:

It is 1866, and Walter Moody has come to make his fortune upon the New Zealand goldfields. On arrival, he stumbles across a tense gathering of twelve local men, who have met in secret to discuss a series of unsolved crimes. A wealthy man has vanished, a whore has tried to end her life, and an enormous fortune has been discovered in the home of a luckless drunk. Moody is soon drawn into the mystery: a network of fates and fortunes that is as complex and exquisitely patterned as the night sky.

Quotes from the book:

One could know a thousand women, Gascoigne thought; one could take a different girl every night for years and years – but sooner or later, the new lovers would do little more than call to mind the old, and one would be forced to wander, lost, in that reflective maze of endless comparison, forever disappointed, forever turning back.

“How strange, Ah Sook thought later, that one’s gestures remain the same, even as the body changes weathers and gives itself over to age – as though the gestures were the real vessel, the vase to the body’s flower.”

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Dept. Of Speculation

DeptJenny Offill

First Sentence:     Antelopes have 10x vision, you said.

Back of the book:

They used to send each other letters. The return address was always the same: Dept. of Speculation. They used to be young, brave, and giddy with hopes for their future. They got married, had a child, and skated through all the small calamities of family life. But then, slowly, quietly something changes. As the years rush by, fears creep in and doubts accumulate until finally their life as they know it cracks apart and they find themselves forced to reassess what they have lost, what is left, and what they want now. Written with the dazzling lucidity of poetry, Dept. of Speculation navigates the jagged edges of a modern marriage to tell a story that is darkly funny, surprising and wise.

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