May We Be Forgiven (Paperback)
  • May We Be Forgiven (Paperback)

May We Be Forgiven (Paperback)

Paperback 496 Pages
Published: 04/04/2013
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Waterstones Says

A razor-sharp critique of American family life from one of the country’s foremost comic writers, May We Be Forgiven scooped the Women’s Prize for Fiction, and deservedly so. A glorious satirical opus of one man’s struggle through the vicissitudes of life, it is arguable Homes’ finest book to date.

Winner of the Women's Prize for Fiction

Harry is a Richard Nixon scholar who leads a quiet, regular life; his brother George is a high-flying TV producer, with a murderous temper.They have been uneasy rivals since childhood. Then one day George loses control so extravagantly that he precipitates Harry into an entirely new life.

In May We Be Forgiven, Homes gives us a darkly comic look at 21st century domestic life - at individual lives spiraling out of control, bound together by family and history.The cast of characters experience adultery, accidents, divorce, and death.

But this is also a savage and dizzyingly inventive vision of contemporary America, whose dark heart Homes penetrates like no other writer - the strange jargons of its language, its passive aggressive institutions, its inhabitants' desperate craving for intimacy and their pushing it away with litigation, technology, paranoia. At the novel's heart are the spaces in between, where the modern family comes together to re-form itself.

May We Be Forgiven explores contemporary orphans losing and finding themselves anew; and it speaks above all to the power of personal transformation - simultaneously terrifying and inspiring.

Publisher: Granta Books
ISBN: 9781847083234
Number of pages: 496
Weight: 339 g
Dimensions: 198 x 129 x 31 mm


This novel starts at maximum force - and then it really gets going. I can't remember when I last read a novel of such narrative intensity; an unflinching account of a catastrophic, violent, black-comic, transformative year in the history of one broken American family. Flat-out amazing - Salman Rushdie

I started reading A.M. Homes twenty years ago. Wild and funny, questioning and true, she is a writer to go travelling with on the journey called life - Jeanette Winterson

Reads like a brilliant miniseries. I gorged on it like a DVD boxset... Homes is dark and funny and elegant all at the same time. [This] has the narrative intensity of Jonathan Franzen's The Corrections and the emotional punch of Siri Hustvedt's What I Loved, all told through the eyes of Larry David. It's the best thing I've read this year... Masterful - Viv Groskop, Observer

Wonderful, wild, heartbreaking, hilarious and astonishing... This is a piercing, perceptive and deeply funny novel about the nature of life, family and love - Doug Johnstone, Independent on Sunday

A.M. Homes has long been one of our most important and original writers. May We Be Forgiven is her most ambitious as well as her most accessible novel to date; sex and violence invade the routines of suburban domestic life in a way that reminded me of The World According to Garp, although in the end it's a thoroughly original work of imagination - Jay McInerney

Exhilarating - Lucy Lethbridge, Books of the Year, Observer

The most thrilling, ambitious, thought-provoking American novel to have emerged in a long while - David Evans, Books of the Year, Independent on Sunday

Every page crackles with wit and intelligence - Marcus Berkmann, Books of the Year, Spectator

One of the most acclaimed American writers of her generation - Richard Grant, Telegraph Magazine

Laugh out loud funny... Completely wonderful. Extraordinary - BBC Radio 4, Saturday Review

Being a clever American novel, this is also an examination of the American dream... but, wherever you live, Homes's sharp, detailed prose will teem with gloriously free, un-airbrushed life - Tim Auld, Sunday Telegraph

A brilliantly funny tale of a fractured family... [An] unmissable novel - Eithne Farry, Marie Claire

Homes returns with another stylish read... Those who wish Jonathan Franzen wrote more frequently will devour Homes's work, and rightly so - Elle Magazine

Funny, nerve-touching, intelligent and even heartbreakingly sweet. You won't read many like this one, that's for sure - Psychologies

Her language is precise, her observations astute, her style punchy, her view of the world dark, but somehow accurate - disturbingly so - Lucy Atkin, Sunday Times

To call [this] "compelling" would be an understatement; it is a novel as compulsive as its characters - Emily Stokes, Financial Times

Homes manages a high-wire act in [this]. There are moments of outright satire... but these are always held in tandem to moments of real emotional engagement and insight... Sparkling - Stuart Kelly, Scotsman

A vitriolic satire of contemporary American society, often very funny and at times completely savage... Homes crafts a bold and genuinely disturbing attack on vanity, money-lust and our Faustian pact with materialism - Joanna Kavenna, Literary Review

[A] humane, comic story of a good man trying to do the right thing - Vogue

A novel of great scope, taking some truly hideous events and spiking them with humour and realism - Emerald Street

A tour-de-force of pitch-black comedy... Excellent - Theo Tait, Guardian

Horribly funny and unexpectedly uplifting - Amber Pearson, Daily Mail

Bleakly funny - Claire Allfree, Metro

Immensely likeable and sustained throughout by a vividly described plot heaving with believable grotesques... Homes has a feel for the comedic that is as well developed as her chillingly direct grasp of horror... A funny, fast-moving, picaresque, baggy satire - Eileen Battersby, Irish Times

Blackly humorous - Independent

Capable, likeable, readable - Sarah Churchill, New Statesman

Brilliant... Homes draw[s] fascinatingly complex, flawed characters whose domestic situations run scarily outside their own control. Do yourself a favour and read this book - Bella

Humane [and] comic - Vogue

A bonkers yet quite brilliant book ... It deserves to be called a work of art - Sarah Vine, The Times

Homes plays with the substance of the American dream, and gives us a horrific, internet-age deconstruction... only connect, Homes tells us, and we can escape the nightmare of the 21st century - Philip Womack, Telegraph

Complex, nuanced and so engrossing that it makes you wish the real world would go away and leave you to read... A huge-hearted expansive book, simultaneously nightmare-black and extremely funny - Lisa Gee, Independent

She has a deadpan understated humour that builds line by line into comic intent - Jeanette Winterson, Guardian

[A] comic epic of modern America - Sarah Churchwell, New Statesman

[Homes'] dialogue is extremely funny, worthy of a stand-up comic-rapid and raw... Unrelenting and endlessly inventive - Edmund White, New York Book Review

Her biggest, broadest, most spacious novel yet, a dark carnival of American life in the 21st century... Cool, controlled... extraordinarily lucid - Christopher Bollen, Interview Magazine

One of the strangest, most gripping and satisfyingly ugly books I've read in a long time - Thomas Quinn, Big Issue

Laced with her trademark dark humour and emotional intensity, it's also a savage meditation on sex, violence, success, fulfilment and modern life... Epic - Diva

This is the great American novel for our time - Jeanette Winterson, Books of the Year, Guardian

Wonderful, strange... at once dystopian and utopian, hovering somewhere between satire and sentiment - Hannah Forbes Black, National

One of the best new American novels - Edmund White, Books of the Year, Times Literary Supplement

The incendiary A.M. Homes exposes the black-comic mayhem behind the American front door - Boyd Tonkin, Books of the Year, Independent

Sit back and enjoy Homes's delicious black humour, her sharp characterisation, and thrilling narrative intensity - David Evans, Independent on Sunday

[A] compelling dysfunctional family saga... Homes doesn't chronicle US life as much as take a cleaver to it and relish in the blood-splattered aftermath - Darragh Reddin, Metro

I would not lose a word of her whip-sharp wit or unerring dialogue... Truly to die for - Madeleine Kingsley, Jewish Chronicle

A white-knuckle black comedy about the vagaries of 21st-century living - Doug Johnstone, Books of the Year, Scotsman

[It] is a savage and dizzyingly inventive satire on contemporary America, whose dark heart Homes penetrates like no other writer... Inspiring - Stylist

Truly original, highly topical and yet, I suspect, utterly timeless - Laissez Faire

You'd have to have no sense of the absurd, and no sense of humour, not to be pretty impressed - Theo Tait, Guardian

Compulsive and authentic - Lesley McDowell, Sunday Herald

Touching and uplifting - Daily Telegraph

Dazzling - Sunday Telegraph

A bristly, bumpy ride of a novel - Katya Johnson, Daily Express

At once affecting and uproarious, the characters that Homes so deftly conjures will stay with readers well beyond when the final pages are turned - Sonia Nair, Kill Your Darlings

Searing - Kate Mosse, Mail on Sunday

It's strong stuff, and all the better for it - Guardian

Horribly funny and unexpectedly uplifting... Sensational - Daily Mail

Acutely observed - Women and Home

A novel that has everything: laughs; sibling hatred; horrifying turns of events; online misadventures... and the general meaning of life - Simon Schama, Mail on Sunday

Darkly funny and compelling... [It] is the latest in a series of novels that display Homes' talent as one of the most consistently talented, funny and challenging storytellers of her generation - Huffington Post

Hilariously clever - Viv Groskop, Books of the Year, Observer

This has all her mordant wit and close observation of flawed humanity - Raffaella Barker, Daily Mail

[A] deeply enjoyable tale of festering sibling rivalry gone horribly wrong - Pride

A big American novel about family... funny and edging towards surreal in places. The book has a huge heart and an easy brilliance. A novel with everything - Alex Hourston, Metro

One of those rare delights: a weird, scary, comic novel that actually makes you laugh out loud - Simon Schama, Mail on Sunday

The wicked humour draws you in, but the cracking energy keeps you reading; there's a fierceness here that makes this tale of violence and family life quite unforgettable - Natasha Walter, Stylist

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“May We be Forgiven”

i bought this book because it won the "orange" prize, winners of which i have enjoyed in the past. It reminded me at first of A Spot of Bother by Mark Haddon, a book i hated, and i thought i was going to be... More

Paperback edition
Helpful? Upvote 98

“Wish I'd waited until the hype died down.”

Harry is the older brother of the bullying, violent, egotistical TV executive George and the book opens as he and his Asian wife (the first of the sickening borderline racist stereotypes) are visiting his house for... More

Paperback edition
Helpful? Upvote 69

“May We be Forgiven”

This is wonderful. The story of a modern day Job facing all the trials that fate, family and horny middle-aged women can throw at him and coming out the otherside a nicer, kinder and better human being. Everything... More

Paperback edition
Helpful? Upvote 67

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