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The Porpoise Hardcover – 9 May 2019

3.9 out of 5 stars 59 ratings

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 336 pages
  • Publisher: CHATTO & WINDUS - TRADE (9 May 2019)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1784742821
  • ISBN-13: 978-1784742829
  • Product Dimensions: 16.2 x 3.2 x 24 cm
  • Boxed-product Weight: 549 g
  • Customer Reviews: 3.9 out of 5 stars59 customer ratings
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 139,443 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product description

Review

Wondrous... a violent, all-action thrill ride shuttling between antiquity and the present... just downright brilliant... a transcendant, transporting experience... A helix, a mirror ball, a literary box of tricks… take your pick: this is a full-spectrum pleasure, mixing metafictional razzmatazz with pulse-racing action and a prose style to die for. I’ll be staggered if it’s not spoken of whenever prizes are mentioned this year -- Anthony Cummins, Observer

A beautifully rendered retelling…[and] a gripping novel that, despite its rollicking plot, never feels relentless, and is often very affecting indeed -- Jon Day, Financial Times

The extraordinary force and vividness of Haddon's prose ensure that The Porpoise reads [...] as a continually unfolding demonstration of the transporting power of stories... This is language that knows how to do things: sail a ship, make a gold buckle, negotiate the tides of the Thames. It's a stunningly effective combination of the quotidian and the mythic that pins impossibility to the page -- Justine Jordan, Guardian

Compelling, satisfying and moving... Haddon's writing is exquisite, balancing simple storytelling with searing insight -- Paul Connolly, Metro

The Porpoise is terrifically violent, with a bright, innocent ferocity … Haddon wants to restore agency to the female characters sidelined by the Antiochus legend. This could feel like a condescending attempt to end up on the right of history, but doesn’t -- Katy Waldman, The New Yorker

Told in Haddon’s generously telegraphic prose – onparticularly good form here – [...] The Porpoise is a defiantly odd novel, dependent on the fine caul of Haddon’s prose to keep together the heavily spiced romantic mixture within… Haunted not just by its direct source but by Ovid and others, the novel exists in a world of old magic, of stories within stories, and webs of allusion that would crumble swiftly if mishandled, but which, here, weave their spell marvellously well -- Tim Smith-Laing, Daily Telegraph

[The Porpoise] races across the oceans: it is a book of thrilling, salt-caked adventures that scintillate like sunlight on the surface of the sea. There are plagues and famines and sword fights with not-quite human adversaries. There are desperate escapes and terrible family separations and dramatic recognitions. It is a breathless, delightful, utterly absorbing read, The Guardian

The Porpoise by Mark Haddon is the book I’ve recommended the most this year because it’s the one I had the most fun with. It kept shifting as I read it, changing from action to romance to science-fiction. It’s dizzying -- Stuart Turton, Observer, *Books of the Year*

Beguiling...ambitious...bold... Haddon's prose is beautiful, and he is utterly in command of his slippery material... An elegant homage to stories' capacity for endless renewal -- Claire Allfree, Evening Standard

Beautifully written -- Johanna Thomas-Corr, The Times

Book Description

Old myths are broken, and a new voyage begins -- the major new novel from one of our most imaginative storytellers is about to set sail...

From the Publisher

Customer reviews

3.9 out of 5 stars
3.9 out of 5
59 customer ratings
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Reviewed in Australia on 26 December 2019
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Reviewed in Australia on 3 July 2019
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Top international reviews

ljdaintyho
3.0 out of 5 stars Too much effort to read, too little entertainment and a bit pretentious.
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on 28 December 2019
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Geoff Crocker
5.0 out of 5 stars Transforming dire human outcomes
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on 13 May 2019
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Sharon
5.0 out of 5 stars Exillerating , confusing read
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on 10 August 2019
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Ceolchick
5.0 out of 5 stars Intriguing and well written
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on 27 June 2019
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Alistair Baillie
4.0 out of 5 stars Almost brilliant
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on 30 September 2019
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Heather
3.0 out of 5 stars Weird
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on 21 August 2019
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Unknown
1.0 out of 5 stars A mistake
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on 14 May 2019
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Mike H
5.0 out of 5 stars Weird but masterful
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on 20 September 2019
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2.0 out of 5 stars Incomprehensible
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on 16 February 2020
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Rufus
4.0 out of 5 stars An unexpected layering of themes over place and time
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on 4 May 2020
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Blonde Babe
3.0 out of 5 stars An Interesting Read
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on 6 December 2019
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hoonridge
4.0 out of 5 stars Read it
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on 27 January 2020
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5.0 out of 5 stars Dark but beautifully written
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on 6 May 2020
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a.khare
4.0 out of 5 stars Fascinating.
Reviewed in India on 25 October 2019
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settecasi roberto
3.0 out of 5 stars Soddo
Reviewed in Italy on 6 January 2020
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