Both a vivid reimagining of Shakespeare’s Pericles and a strikingly immediate story of loss, broken family and lives at sea in an unforgiving world, Mark Haddon’s new novel is kaleidoscopic storytelling at its most inventive. Fast-paced, playful, and utterly thrilling, The Porpoise blends the mythic and the modern for something breathtakingly original.
'I really am so very, very sorry about this,' he says, in an oddly formal voice...They strike the side of a grain silo. They are travelling at seventy miles per hour.
A newborn baby is the sole survivor of a terrifying plane crash. She is raised in wealthy isolation by an overprotective father. She knows nothing of the rumours about a beautiful young woman, hidden from the world.
When a suitor visits, he understands far more than he should. Forced to run for his life, he escapes aboard The Porpoise, an assassin on his tail... So begins a wild adventure of a novel, damp with salt spray, blood and tears.
A novel that leaps from the modern era to ancient times; a novel that soars, and sails, and burns long and bright; a novel that almost drowns in grief yet swims ashore; in which pirates rampage, a princess wins a wrestler's hand, and ghost women with lampreys' teeth drag a man to hell - and in which the members of a shattered family, adrift in a violent world, journey towards a place called home.
Publisher: Vintage Publishing
Number of pages: 336
Weight: 555 g
Dimensions: 240 x 162 x 32 mm
'Mark Haddon's beautifully rendered modern-day retelling of 'pericles' is gripping and full of cinematic detail.' - The Financial Times
'Staggeringly ambitious, innovative, beautifully written... The Porpoise has the pace of a really good thriller, but combined with a subtlety and depth that few thrillers possess' - Pat Barker
'A full-throttle blast of storytelling mastery. I read it on the plane in a single sitting at 30,000 feet and enjoyed every second. Gorgeously written and very clever, but also such fun! Ancient and modern overlap and tangle in exhilarating ways, it's like romping through a Literary Netflix: an episode of something historical and bloody, then something slick and contemporary, then something really weird and unnerving. So many pleasures in one book. The Porpoise is a joy to read' - Max Porter
'Mark Haddon cuts right down to the grittiness of humanity every time he writes. The Porpoise is a beautiful, unputdownable, ancient tangle with its own sweeping tides and dangerous depths' - Daisy Johnson
'It's hard to describe just how much tremendous joy and pleasure there is on every page' - Charlotte Higgins
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“Inventive and imaginative...”
Multi layered with multiple time periods from modern times to the Shakespearean era to ancient times, Mark Haddon has created a vortex for readers to fall into.
We get to read about revenge, family drama and tragedy.... More
“Multi-strand novel about Pericles amongst others – not great”
This novel is about various inter-linked characters in different timelines. Philippe, in our era, has a daughter, Angelica, born in tragic circumstances. Meanwhile, in ancient times, Pericles discovers love, marriage,... More
“Compelling, but disturbing.”
Haddon really knows how to hook a reader, from the first page I realised the book is really not what I expected- but intrigued I read on. However, the crux of the story- which you will have to read to know- is so... More
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