The Porpoise

The Porpoise

3.44 (2,404 ratings by Goodreads)
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Description

'Just downright brilliant... a transcendent, transporting experience' Observer

A motherless girl grows up in isolated luxury, hidden from the world by her wealthy father. She believes their life together is normal - but as time passes, she has a growing sense that something between them is very wrong.

She cannot escape, so she seeks solace in her books. Her favourite tales are those that conjure ancient worlds - of angry gods and heroic mortals, one of whom will some day come to her rescue.

Soon, she will forget where the page ends and her mind begins.

'A full-throttle blast of storytelling mastery' Max Porter
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Product details

  • Paperback | 336 pages
  • 129 x 198 x 20mm | 237g
  • VINTAGE
  • London, United Kingdom
  • English
  • 152911070X
  • 9781529110708
  • 4,041

Review Text

"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"
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Review quote

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

Mark Haddon is one of our most imaginative storytellers, whose work has been read and enjoyed by millions. In his most recent book, The Pier Falls ('Superbly gripping', Sunday Times), he reworked two mythical legends - Ariadne on Naxos and Gawain and the Green Knight - and turned them into startling contemporary stories. In The Porpoise he takes on the epic tale of Pericles, Prince of Tyre, to stunning dramatic effect.
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Rating details

2,404 ratings
3.44 out of 5 stars
5 19% (445)
4 33% (782)
3 30% (721)
2 13% (314)
1 6% (142)
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