The Twelve Lives of Samuel Hawley

The Twelve Lives of Samuel Hawley

3.89 (14,478 ratings by Goodreads)
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"A gripping American-on-the-run thriller . . . a brilliant coming-of-age tale and a touching exploration of father-daughter relationships."--Newsweek "One part Quentin Tarantino, one part Scheherazade, and twelve parts wild innovation."--Ann Patchett, #1 New York Times bestselling author of Commonwealth NATIONAL BESTSELLER - NAMED ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY NPR - The Washington Post - Paste Samuel Hawley isn't like the other fathers in Olympus, Massachusetts. A loner who spent years living on the run, he raised his beloved daughter, Loo, on the road, moving from motel to motel, always watching his back. Now that Loo's a teenager, Hawley wants only to give her a normal life. In his late wife's hometown, he finds work as a fisherman, while Loo struggles to fit in at the local high school. Growing more and more curious about the mother she never knew, Loo begins to investigate. Soon, everywhere she turns, she encounters the mysteries of her parents' lives before she was born. This hidden past is made all the more real by the twelve scars her father carries on his body. Each scar is from a bullet Hawley took over the course of his criminal career. Each is a memory: of another place on the map, another thrilling close call, another moment of love lost and found. As Loo uncovers a history that's darker than she could have known, the demons of her father's past spill over into the present--and together both Hawley and Loo must face a reckoning yet to come. Praise for The Twelve Lives of Samuel Hawley "A master class in literary suspense."--The Washington Post "Tinti depicts brutality and compassion with exquisite sensitivity, creating a powerful overlay of love and pain."--The New Yorker "Hannah Tinti's beautifully constructed second novel . . . uses the scars on Hawley's body--all twelve bullet wounds, one by one--to show who he is, what he's done, and why the past chases and clings to him with such tenacity."--The Boston Globe "The Twelve Lives of Samuel Hawley is an adventure epic with the deeper resonance of myth. . . . Tinti exhibits an aptitude for shining a piercing light into the corners of her characters' hearts and minds."--O: The Oprah Magazine
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Product details

  • Hardback | 400 pages
  • 163 x 239 x 30mm | 590g
  • English
  • 0812989880
  • 9780812989885
  • 726,400

Review quote

"Can a man be both a violent criminal and a good father? Imagine a Quentin Tarantino movie crossed with a John Green novel, and you'll have a sense of what this coming-of-age novel is like."--Entertainment Weekly "Tinti depicts brutality and compassion with exquisite sensitivity, creating a powerful overlay of love and pain." --The New Yorker "The book [has] an irresistible velocity that Ms. Tinti sustains to the end."--The Wall Street Journal "Tinti has established herself as one of our great storytellers. She draws you in with this book, and it's really difficult to get away."--Rolling Stone "A shoot-em-up, a love story and a mystery, this is one heartwarming feast of a book."--People "The term 'literary thriller' is almost an oxymoron. It's the writerly equivalent of threading a needle while riding on a rollercoaster, requiring attention to character and fine prose while hurtling from one near-disaster to another. Only a few writers can pull it off, and Hannah Tinti is one of them. . . . The Twelve Lives of Samuel Hawley is a gripping father-daughter road trip where the bad guys are never far behind. . . . Tarantino-like in its plot twists, action, and violence, the novel sweeps across the country and back and forth in time. Its structure feels as meticulously crafted as a matchstick Taj Mahal."--Interview "Tinti makes each of her crime scenes wildly different yet equally suspenseful. As skillful as she is, she never romanticizes her bad actors. What most deeply interests her is the stumbling, fumbling humanity that results in bad actions. . . . She fuses urgent, vibrant storytelling with a keen understanding of broken people desperate to be whole."--Newsday "Hannah Tinti's beautifully constructed second novel . . . uses the scars on Hawley's body--all twelve bullet wounds, one by one--to show who he is, what he's done, and why the past chases and clings to him with such tenacity. Nearly nine years after The Good Thief, Tinti has fused a cowboy-noir action adventure and a coming-of-age tale into a father-daughter love story."--The Boston Globe "Even before the official release of The Twelve Lives of Samuel Hawley in March, early readers deemed it worthy of excitement. . . . At once a coming-of-age adventure, a love story and a literary thriller."--Time "The Twelve Lives of Samuel Hawley is a miraculous accomplishment in genre-bending: Not only a gripping American-on-the-run thriller, it's also a brilliant coming-of-age tale and a touching exploration of father-daughter relationships. Regardless of what your reading tastes are, there's something here for absolutely everyone."--Newsweek "What accounts for this novel's explosive momentum? . . . [Hannah Tinti] knows how to cast the old campfire spell. I was so desperate to find out what happened to these characters that I had to keep bargaining with myself to stop from jumping ahead to the end. . . . Each [chapter] is a heart-in-your-throat revelation, a thrilling mix of blood and love. . . . Some of these well-drawn characters exist only for a few pages; others rear up again when you least expect them. . . . A master class in literary suspense."--Ron Charles, The Washington Post "An achingly beautiful story about a single father raising a daughter whom he's trying to keep from repeating his own mistakes. . . . Tinti's language is precise and beautiful. She writes rich and nuanced characters. In spite of his past, there's never any doubt about Hawley's good intentions and the love he has for his daughter. Their story is a poignant one that readers won't want to see end."--The Dallas Morning News "The Twelve Lives of Samuel Hawley is an impeccably crafted novel that will thrill new readers and those who have followed Tinti's work over the years. . . . Set aside a weekend for this captivating novel, because once you start it you won't want to put it down until you reach the last page. And even then, you'll want to start again from the very beginning." --Minneapolis StarTribune "Tinti's second novel skillfully channels suspense, longing and loss [and] has all the elements of an Academy Award-winning film: enthralling action, unexpected love and a close examination of the human condition. . . . The bottom line: Tinti is an excellent storyteller. . . . Twelve Lives is a moving, human drama of lives inextricably bound to one another, linked by past and present. It raises essential questions of heroism, family and identity--letting readers seek the answers--and embeds them in a truly magnetic story." --Kansas City Star "The Twelve Lives of Samuel Hawley is an adventure epic with the deeper resonance of myth. . . . Tinti exhibits an aptitude for shining a piercing light into the corners of her characters' hearts and minds. Her ability to lay bare their passions, portraying their vulnerabilities and violent urges with equal insight, leaves the reader at once shaken and moved."--O: The Oprah Magazine "The Twelves Lives of Samuel Hawley is a thrillingly told tale that touches on the mythological and the mundane with equally compelling results."--BuzzFeed "This is a surprising and celebratory father-daughter story told with astonishing language and scope."--BBC "Tinti's second novel was years in the making, and well worth the wait. . . . This contemporary interpretation of the Greek myth of Hercules, whose twelve labors are represented by Hawley's twelve bullet wounds, is at once an American epic, a hardboiled crime story, and an exploration of familial love."--Otto Penzler, LitHub "[A]n unforgettable novel that is one part coming-of-age, one part mystery, and all parts utter delight."--PopSugar "Many love stories, all wrapped up into one gripping narrative that traverses time and space to mediate on life's most profound questions: those surrounding death, love, and the fleeting nature of everything we hold dear. Tinti's storytelling is masterful--she weaves together dozens of beautifully drawn characters."--NYLON "Tinti knows how to blend emotional connections with engrossing plots."--The Huffington Post "[An] atmospheric, complexly suspenseful saga . . . with life or death struggles in dramatic settings . . . and starring a fiercely loving, reluctant criminal and a girl of grit and wonder . . . a breathtaking novel of violence and tenderness."--Booklist (starred review) "Seamlessly transposing classical myth into a quintessentially American landscape and marrying taut suspense with dreamy lyricism, [Hannah] Tinti's beautifully intricate second novel is well worth the wait. . . . Tinti's imagery evokes time, space, the sea, and the myth of Heracles without losing the narrative's sure grounding in American communities and culture. This is a convincingly redemptive and celebratory novel: an affirmation of the way that heroism and human fallibility coexist, of how good parenting comes in unexpected packages, and of the way that we are marked by our encounters with each other and the luminous universe in which we dwell."--Publishers Weekly (starred review) "A riveting character-driven thriller, a father-daughter road trip you won't soon forget . . . Fans of The Good Thief who have been waiting for whatever comes next from this gifted writer will find their patience richly rewarded."--Richard Russo, author of Everybody's Fool "The Twelve Lives of Samuel Hawley is one part Quentin Tarantino, one part Scheherazade, and twelve parts wild innovation. Hannah Tinti proves herself to be an old-fashioned storyteller of the highest order."--Ann Patchett, author of Commonwealth "What Hannah Tinti knows about fathers, daughters, and time could, as they say, fill a book--and truly does. The Twelve Lives of Samuel Hawley is bold, exciting, and original."--Meg Wolitzer, author of The Interestings "The Twelve Lives of Samuel Hawley is utterly magnificent--gripping, suspenseful, funny, and so full of heart. Young Loo and her father are contemporary characters with the stature and magnetism of the great heroes of literature. The reader in me was racing through to find out what would befall them, while the writer, awestruck by Hannah Tinti's powerful storytelling, was desperately trying to slow down. This is a book I will return to again and again, for sheer pleasure and to learn how it is done."--Ruth Ozeki, author of A Tale for the Time Being
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About Hannah Tinti

Hannah Tinti grew up in Salem, Massachusetts. Her short story collection Animal Crackers was a runner-up for the PEN/Hemingway Award. Her bestselling novel The Good Thief won the Center for Fiction First Novel Prize and an American Library Association Alex Award, and was a New York Times Notable Book of the Year. Tinti is the co-founder and executive editor of the award-winning literary magazine One Story.
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Rating details

14,478 ratings
3.89 out of 5 stars
5 25% (3,649)
4 46% (6,695)
3 23% (3,320)
2 5% (658)
1 1% (156)
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