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The Abstainer

Best Seller
The Abstainer by Ian McGuire
Hardcover $27.00
Sep 15, 2020 | ISBN 9780593133873

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  • Sep 15, 2020 | ISBN 9780593133873

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Praise

“This is Dickens in the present tense, Dickens for the twenty-first century.”—Roddy Doyle, The New York Times Book Review
 
“Ian McGuire returns with the page-turning tale of two Irishmen in 1860s Manchester, England, set on different paths of justice and vengeance. The Abstainer succeeds in keeping the reader tense and uneasy, much like the polluted, portentous air hanging over Manchester. The brooding and lyrically written cat-and-mouse narrative of Doyle and O’Connor is excellent. If the reader is looking for a taut tale exploring the brutal vagaries of men’s hearts, The Abstainer is a provocative novel that invites further discovery of a troubled time.”Historical Novels Review 

The Abstainer tells a story of people trapped by class, a simmering revolution, and their own frailty, but it’s ultimately a very human and compelling novel that gives us a clear glimpse into the hearts and souls of its characters. McGuire is a writer who isn’t afraid to take risks and change course from his previous books.”—Philipp Meyer, author of The Son
 
“McGuire has crafted a riveting tale of violence and retribution against the backdrop of the 1860s Fenian rebellion—precursor to the Troubles and one of those rich historical incidents you learn about and wonder, Why didn’t I know about this before? He has a keen sense of how to mix precise local details with transcendent global themes.”—Michael Punke, author of The Revenant
 
The Abstainer is truly terrific—a can’t-put-down book. It’s nothing less than a tight and spare and suspense-filled noir novel, masterfully set in 1860s Britain and America. And like all superb historical novels, it seems as modern and as contemporary as this morning.”—Richard Ford

“This well-told, suspenseful tale will appeal to fans of Deadwood  and Cormac McCarthy.”—Kirkus Reviews
 
“O’Connor’s showdown with Stephen Doyle delivers a gut-wrenching finale that will leave readers hoping desperately that McGuire (The North Water, 2016) has an O’Connor prequel in the works. O’Connor’s palpable alienation and the subtly drawn comparisons between the Irish insurgency and America’s then-recent civil war create layers of depth in this exceptional period thriller.”—Booklist, starred review 

“[A] taut, atmospheric tale . . . McGuire demonstrates a mastery of classic realism. [This] crackling work is one to savor.”—Publishers Weekly, starred review

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