Carry Me Down

M. J. Hyland,

Carry Me Down
This Man Booker Prize finalist is “a fast-paced psychological drama . . . of the pain of lost innocence and the price of pursuing the truth” (People).

John Egan is a misfit—“a twelve year old in the body of a grown man with the voice of a giant”—who diligently keeps a “log of lies.” John’s been able to detect lies for as long as he can remember, it’s a source of power but also great consternation for a boy so young. With an obsession for the Guinness Book of Records, a keenly inquisitive mind, and a kind of faith, John remains hopeful despite the unfavorable cards life deals him.

This is one year in a boy’s life. On the cusp of adolescence—from his changing voice and body, through to his parents’ difficult travails and the near collapse of his sanity—John is like a tuning fork sensitive to the vibrations within himself and the trouble that this creates for him and his family.

Carry Me Down is “a spare, piercing testimony to the bewilderment and resiliency of youth” (Publishers Weekly, starred review).

“Writing of the highest order.”—J.M. Coetzee

“Surreal, heartbreaking . . . John Egan [is] a character the reader is privileged to meet. Hyland’s skill is commendable. Carry Me Down, in all its grossness and granular beauty, is a remarkable book.”—San Francisco Chronicle

“In taut, simple prose, Hyland meticulously captures the specific pains of growing up poor and lonely in Ireland and deftly anatomizes her judgmental protagonist’s odd mixture of . . . little boy and grown lad.”—Entertainment Weekly

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