Let Go My Hand (Hardback)Edward Docx (author)
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I should never have agreed to any of this. But I only start to feel the reality when we arrive in Dover and pull into the ferry terminal. I wind down the window for border control and the cold air blusters in – all sea salt, diesel, and ship rust – and I can hear gulls screaming like there’s been a murder.
Louis Lasker loves his family dearly - apart from when he doesn't. There's a lot of history.
His father's marriages, his mother's death; one brother in exile, another in denial; everything said, everything unsaid. And now his father (the best of men, the worst of men) has taken a decision which will affect them all and has asked his three sons to join him on one final journey across Europe.
But Louis is far from sure that this trip is a good idea. His older half-brothers are wonderful, terrible, troublesome people. And they're as suspicious as they are supportive... because the truth is that they've never forgiven their father for the damaging secrets and corrosive lies of his past.
So how much does Louis love his dad - to death? Or can this flawed family's bond prove powerful enough to keep a dying man alive? Let Go My Hand is a darkly comic and deeply moving twenty-first-century love story between a son, his brothers and their father.
Through these vividly realized characters, it asks elemental questions about how we love, how we live, and what really matters in the end. Frequently funny, sometimes profound, always beautifully written, this intimate and life-affirming novel shows the Booker-longlisted author of Self Help at his brilliant best, and confirms his reputation as one of Britain's most intelligent and powerful writers.
‘Intelligent and accessible, it's Docx's finest achievement thus far’ - The Observer (Book Club Choice)
Publisher: Pan Macmillan
Number of pages: 432
Weight: 691 g
Dimensions: 241 x 162 x 36 mm
Essential reading for everyone who's ever been involved in a stepfamily - or any family. Not only is Docx frighteningly acute about human nature, he'll make you laugh and cry too. Just brilliant * Mail on Sunday *
A humane, humorous and ultimately extremely moving novel * Guardian *
Bursts into life . . . Docx's mastery of emotional verisimilitude had my eyes filmed with tears as I read the last few pages. I succumbed to the Laskers, to their unabashed seriousness and dirty jokes . . . a serious, big-hearted book * Literary Review *
Laugh-out-loud humour in novels about terminal illness is more common than you'd expect, but the necessary blend with genuine pathos has rarely been better handled than in Edward Docx's wonderfully readable new book . . . Apart from its finely judged tone, the book has a fierce momentum driven by the wavering determination of the three sons to carry things to the conclusion their father so devoutly wishes for * Daily Mail *
Poignancy and truthfulness of family life set against some scabrously funny one-liners and quippy conversation. Intelligent and accessible, it's Docx's finest achievement thus far * Observer *
An incredibly touching story of the tender and indestructible bond that exists between a father and his three sons . . . It's a curious thing when a book about death can prove so life-affirming. It's something to be admired -- John Boyne * Irish Times *
There are books that change your life and there are books that seem to be your life, Let Go My Hand manages to be both and more. Full of shining truths, this is a stylish and properly laugh-out-loud funny book that also had me choking back tears in public - a book that breathes pathos and joy into every page, a book that rubs wit and wisdom into the most tender wounds of love. I had to read many passages out loud to those that I care about the most in the world. If art is the holding in balance of the powers of love, sex and death, then this is a truly supreme work of art -- Ian Kelly, author of Mr Foote's Other Leg
A darkly comic, deeply moving and thoroughly modern father-son love story. * Mail on Sunday, Event Magazine *
This is fiction with heft and moral nuance; a novel that gets its hands dirty in the soiled laundry basket of family secrets and resentments. As such, it's [Docx's] most universal, moving and resonant work to date . . . Startlingly short on sentimentality, given its subject matter, and fluent and insightful . . . he deserves to win wider acclaim for this wise account of the throttled emotions of manhood, and of a family in terminal meltdown * Spectator *
A truly dazzling writer -- Hanif Kureishi
Good at evoking the foetid atmosphere of resentment and overfamiliarity between these four men . . . consequences of past events are revealed in their combative clash of wits, the bitter humour, the conversations like interrogations . . . confronts a messy, fraught and painful subject and pins it out for our examination . . . there's something deeply cathartic in that * Times *
Edward Docx's philosophical novel follows a father and sons on their last journey . . . the novel asks what it is that can keep a family together . . . the quartet's bickering assumes the quality of a big, discursive Russian novel - Fathers and Sons, Oblomov, The Brothers Karamazov - reeling through religion, romance, happiness and history . . . There's a great deal of this sort of stuff: brain pickings from physics, philosophy, psychology, literature . . . Docx is certainly capable of painting things afresh . . . [but] it's in the creation of a squabbling, breathing family unit that this novel succeeds most. * New Statesman *
A slick tear-jerker played for laughs . . . bristles with manic energy * Sunday Telegraph *
Docx treats this difficult scenario of a family attempting to repair the past and face of a future already marked out by loss with an abrasive tenderness that allows for bad behaviour, dark humour and inveitable sadness * Sunday Express *
Powerful -- Anita Sethi * Guardian *
Compelling * Sunday Times *
This darkly funny yet poignant novel is about a dysfunctional family. Intelligently written with vivid characters, this uplifting story says something about acceptance, making amends and the strength of familial bonds * Wales Arts Review *
Rendered with humour and emotional insight . . . Let Go My Hand succeeds on its own terms as a poignant affirmation of love and togetherness * Prospect *