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The Big Door Prize

Best Seller
The Big Door Prize by M. O. Walsh
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Sep 08, 2020 | ISBN 9780593211946 | 728 Minutes

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  • Aug 31, 2021 | ISBN 9780735218505

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  • Sep 08, 2020 | ISBN 9780735218499

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One of PopSugar’s 25 New Books Everyone Will Be Talking About in September
One of New York Post‘s Required Reading Picks 

“One of the most big-hearted books you’ll ever read.” –Daniel Wallace, author of Big Fish

“The ability to take what is primarily a funny, engaging, leisurely paced look at Small Town, USA, a la Fannie Flagg, and turn it into a breathless, high-stakes page-turner in the last 60 pages speaks to the mastery of Walsh’s storytelling skills. But what makes The Big Door Prize most appealing is its deeply humane characters who are primarily sweet and kind-hearted, but who get drunk and fight and act a fool just enough to give them a bit of an edge. Weaving it all together is a gentle sense of humor conveyed through comic events and clever observations that make us laugh not so much at the characters but at the sight of ourselves within them.” Atlanta Journal-Constitution

The Big Door Prize is M. O. Walsh’s long-awaited second novel and a captivating analysis of human nature, ambition, and how we chase our dreams while honoring our relationships and commitments.” –Deep South Magazine

“[Walsh] eloquently explores the idea of second changes and makes the surreal seem achingly and poignantly authentic.” Augusta Chronicle

“Walsh’s brand of comic tenderness is the perfect soother for these troubled times….Like Thornton Wilder or Edgar Lee Masters, those other masters of the small town collective portrait, Walsh probes the secrets at the heart of individual lives and reminds us to look long, listen hard, and offer compassion.” –The Times-Picayune | The New Orleans Advocate

“The premise [of The Big Door Prize] is fantastic and at the same time, simple….M. O. Walsh is a gift. He is imaginative and productive….Definitely one to watch.” Tuscaloosa News

“All of [the] characters are fully realized and artfully drawn….From the opening line, the reader has the sense of a wise, omniscient narrator peeking into various bars, cars, and bedroom windows, a twinkle in his eye as he brings some mischief to the lives within….These connections lie at the heart of The Big Door Prize, and what an enormous heart it is.” Chapter 16

“[A] surprising and heartwarming contemporary drama about looking back and looking forward…Readers of this singular, nuanced story will, quite possibly and without a machine as prompt, undertake their own personal reflection.” –Shelf Awareness

“[A] big-hearted and magical novel about fate, identity and the loyalties of a small town…Combining the humor and heart of small-town cozy fiction with the poignancy of literary fiction and the drama of domestic suspense, M. O. Walsh proves once again that he is a writer who needs to live on your bookshelves.” –BookReporter

“Walsh skirts the edge of fantasy in this playful and touching tale….The novel transcends its quirky premise, offering many insights on the mysteries of the human heart.” Publishers Weekly (starred review)

“It’s hard to believe that Walsh wrote this moving novel long before the COVID-19 pandemic, for there is eerie prescience in its soulful message that gratitude and grace are not to be taken for granted and that life can be upended in an instant.” Booklist (starred review)

“An eccentric, well-written small-town novel jam-packed with appealing characters and their dreams.” Kirkus Reviews

The Big Door Prize calls attention to the ordinary, hard-won joys of real people. M. O. Walsh’s second novel is a feel-good read in a down-home setting, with serious undertones.” BookPage

“Think of The Big Door Prize as a beautiful box full of all the things that compose our lives: love, fate, chance, jealousy, sadness, jokes, desire, and music. M.O. Walsh gives us all this and more, page after page, until we feel as if we know a little bit more about everything there is worth knowing. One of the most big-hearted books you’ll ever read, about so much, but, in the end, really about the secret of life: the specifics of caring.” —Daniel Wallace, author of Extraordinary Adventures and Big Fish

“The lives of a couple facing their mid-life crisis and a young man coming of age intersect in this humorous and hopeful novel. M.O. Walsh has never been afraid to go down into the darkest places of the human heart, but his truthfulness is balanced by a beautiful optimism, just as his sharp humor is leavened by his genuine affection for the layered, vital characters he creates. A wise, wry, twisty, and entertaining tale. I loved it.” —Joshilyn Jackson, author of Never Have I Ever

“The characters in The Big Door Prize are familiar yet curious—so much like my own neighbors that I began to weave myself into the story, considering other lives I might live if I were braver, pluckier. Walsh’s novel is the ideal summer read, an immersive escape as well as a brilliant examination of free will vs. determinism.” —Mary Miller, author of Biloxi and Always Happy Hour

“Part mystery, all charm. The big prize here is for readers: a heartwarming and eccentric page-turner in the grand tradition of Southern literature that will keep you wondering until the very end. Walsh writes his characters with great respect to prove we’re never too old to discover new things about ourselves.” —Steven Rowley, author of The Editor and Lily and the Octopus

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