The first novel by Matthew McIntosh
(Max Liu, The Thought Fox (UK), 2013)
In a dazzling sequence of voices, fragments, and set pieces, the novel takes the reader on a journey into the damaged heart and soul of America, as it tells the stories of everyday people, and makes the case for an underlying unity behind the fabric of our seemingly disconnected lives.
A troubled teenager obsessed with a beautiful classmate, an aging amateur boxer who's losing his memory, a boy with a headache that never goes away—grandmothers, fishermen, veterans, pharmacists, gunmen, exotic dancers, would-be kings and queens of the punk rock scene—the cast is vast and all-inclusive. The setting is the American suburbs at the turn of a new millennium.
Compact, finely wrought, and powerfully charged, Well ultimately rises toward the light in a moving finale that echoes with the exhilarating human capacity for hope. The result is a mesmerizing tour de force that has established Matthew McIntosh ◹ as a bold and innovative voice of twenty-first-century American fiction, and Well as a modern classic.
[ “Matthew McIntosh… is the real thing—a tremendously gifted and supple prose hand, recounting all manner of human distress and extremity in an assured and generous voice, balancing, as all honest practitioners of the fictional art must, the delicately pitched forces of fate, remorse and grace.”Washington Post
[ “Intensely original.”Men’s Journal
[ “ pitch perfect ”Globe and Mail (Canada)
[ “A first book of daring and accomplishment.”Times Literary Supplement (UK)
[ “An astonishing novel brilliant.”Het Parool (Netherlands)
[ “…a beautifully elliptical, fragmented portrait of Federal Way, a suburb of Seattle. He presents a long cycle of chapters, some two pages long, some a dozen, scores of narrators cutting in and out, speaking as little as a few lines and then vanishing forever. Reading this book is like walking through a crowd, catching snippets of conversation, glimpses into other lives…
[ “Brilliant dazzling examining important questions about life, death and meaning.”Seattle Post-Intelligencer
[ “It is exhilarating to read. This really is fiction of the highest order.
★★★★★”BIG ISSUE IN THE NORTH (UK)
[ “This book is a real joy to experience … and it is an experience, a wonderfully human experience. A book that still resonates in my heart.”Hubert Selby, Jr