Ponti (Paperback)
  • Ponti (Paperback)
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Ponti (Paperback)

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£9.99
Paperback 304 Pages
Published: 18/04/2019
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Waterstones Says

Witches, séances and vampiric lore intermingle in Teo’s brilliantly chilly story of three women living through a changing Singapore. Unashamedly revelling in supernatural tropes and knowing B-movie pastiche, Ponti is an atmospheric, sensory treat for lovers of all things dark and creepy.

Set in 2003 in the sweltering heat of Singapore, Sharlene Teo's Ponti begins as sixteen-year-olds Szu and Circe develop an intense friendship. For Szu it offers an escape from Amisa, her beautiful, cruel mother - once an actress, and now the silent occupant of a rusty house. But for Circe, their friendship does the opposite, bringing her one step closer to the fascinating, unknowable Amisa.

Seventeen years later, Circe finds herself adrift and alone. And then a project comes up at work, a remake of the cult seventies horror film series 'Ponti', the same series that defined Amisa's short-lived film career. Suddenly Circe is knocked off balance: by memories of the two women she once knew, by guilt, and by a lost friendship that threatens her conscience.

Publisher: Pan Macmillan
ISBN: 9781509855339
Number of pages: 304
Weight: 206 g
Dimensions: 197 x 129 x 20 mm


MEDIA REVIEWS

Remarkable . . . her characters glow with life and humour and minutely observed desperation - Ian McEwan

A radiant, achingly beautiful novel about relationships between women - Megan Hunter, author of The End We Start From

A triumph: a nuanced examination of betrayal and grief, memory and the corrupting effects of beauty - Sunday Times

Ponti is one of the more assured debuts I’ve read recently . . . it’s the rare, real deal and Teo’s a writer we’ll be reading for many years to come - Financial Times

An unforgettable story of female friendship - Elle Magazine

A vivid coming-of-age debut . . . seamless . . . Teo is brilliant in her portrayal of teenage anxiety - Guardian

One of the most exciting books I have read in ages . . . as funny as it is strange, it is complex as it is light . . . it deserves prizes - Nikesh Shukla

A startlingly poetic and impressive debut - Independent

Witty, moving and richly evocative . . . Sharlene Teo has produced not just a singular debut, but a milestone in South East Asian literature - Tash Aw, author of Five Star Billionaire

Haunting . . . Sharlene Teo is a daring and genuinely original novelist - Garth Greenwell, author of What Belongs to You

Vivid, disquieting - Daily Mail

Teo's debut stands out from the crowd . . . the offbeat charm of this lush tale proves a stealthy delivery mechanism for a quiet tragedy of intergenerational misunderstanding - Metro

Strange and compelling . . . a breath of fictional fresh air - Shena Mackay, Kate Summerscale, and Owen Sheers, judges of the Deborah Rogers Writers Award

Spanning 17 years and told from the perspectives of all three women, Ponti is a stunning first novel with a wry, rebellious heart - AnOther

The loneliness of adolescence is a monstrosity manifesting in equally ugly and poetic ways. Ponti is a weird and beautiful bildungsroman and Teo's writing shines as totally radical - The Skinny

Ponti is darkly hilarious. It offers up all the anxiety, snark, sadness, and wonder of being a teenager. Teo guides us through the grunge of growing up. She asks what it means to be a monster and what it means to be beautiful. Is it possible to be both? - Rowan Hisayo Buchanan, author of Harmless Like You

A sticky, atmospheric tale of resentment and loneliness - Tatler

Teo’s portrait of Singapore is so good it would not be a surprise if Ponti were a contender for the next Ondaatje Prize, awarded to a work that best evokes “spirit of a place”. People talk about “the great American novel”, or, in Britain, “the state of the nation novel”. Ponti is a great Singaporean novel, and a marvelous investigation of the state of the tiny island nation - South China Morning Post

You know those books you can read again? And again? And again? Well, prepare for Sharlene Teo’s incredible Ponti . . . a densely layered story of a fading horror actress, Amisa; her unhappy teenage daughter, Szu and her acid-tongued best friend, Circe, which jumps from generations, decades and viewpoints, weaving in unsettling myths to boot . . . entrancing . . . A modern gem - Emerald Street

Ponti's cultural commentary and multi-generational chorus of voices do indeed recall White Teeth [by Zadie Smith], while its unflinching depiction of young female friendship echoes Smith's most recent, Swing Time . . . by the time the novel has finished, there is no denying Amisa's dream has been realised. These three women and their stories will live on; they have been made immortal. - Independent Ireland

Exquisite, lush and menacing . . . the Singapore in Sharlene Teo's Ponti is vivid and immediate, its people complex, beautifully sketched and captivating . . . colourful and bewitching - TLS

Funny, achingly dark and drawn with scalpel-like precision, Ponti is one of the wittiest debut novels of 2018 - The Pool

Ponti by Sharlene Teo is a sultry, hilarious dissection of mother-daughter relationships, and the effect of time and teenagehood on friendships, against the backdrop of Singapore B-movies. It oozes confidence. - Nikesh Shukla, Guardian, Best summer books 2018

On their own, Teo's sharp characterizations and setting—so alive that the book seems to create its own, humid microclimate—would set this book apart. Add to that her imaginative plot, prose that turns from humor to devastation on a dime, and original storytelling, and Ponti is a beyond-promising debut. - Booklist (starred review)

The story, told with dark humor by an exciting new voice, navigates the intricacies and weirdness of human connections, and the impressions they leave behind - Huffington Post

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“Just brilliant.”

I could not put Ponti down. Sharlene Teo has a way with words which is up there with the greats. I felt like I was reading a prize-winner, the descriptions of sweltering Singapore left me heady and drained.

Hardback edition
3 similar books recommended
Helpful? Upvote 51

“About Monsters and the Monstrous ”

NetGalley

Member Review

Ponti
by Sharlene Teo
Pub Date: 19 Apr 2018
Review by

Sam W, Reviewer
Last updated on 20 Mar 2018
I Recommend This Book

Maybe
Ponti
Ponti is a book about monsters, and people being... More

Hardback edition
Helpful? Upvote 44

“Lush and Multi-layered”

This is a deceptively simple story about the relationship between three woman, moving from a sleepy mangrove backwater to the dizzying modern city of Singapore. Teo builds layers upon layers to this coming-of-age tale... More

Hardback edition
Helpful? Upvote 41

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