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This Is How M.J. Hyland

This Is How By M.J. Hyland

This Is How by M.J. Hyland

Condition - Very Good
6 in stock


The brilliant new novel from the author of the Man-Booker-shortlisted Carry Me Down

This Is How Summary

This Is How by M.J. Hyland

When his fiance breaks off their engagement, Patrick Oxtoby leaves home and moves into a boarding house in a remote seaside town. But in spite of his hopes and determination to build a better life, nothing goes to plan and Patrick is soon driven to take a desperate and chilling course of action. This is How is a mesmerising and meticulously drawn portrait of a man whose unease in the world leads to his tragic undoing. With breathtaking wisdom and an astute insight into the human mind, award-winning M.J. Hyland's new book is a masterpiece that inspires horror and sympathy in equal measure.

This Is How Reviews

M.J. Hyland has a ferocious imagination, and an eerie way of squeezing the distance between author, character and reader, so that the atmosphere of the book soaks and penetrates the reader's mind. When you've been reading Hyland, other writers seem to lack integrity; they seem wedded to weak confabulations, whereas she aims straight for the truth and the heart. * * Hilary Mantel * *
A tour de force. Hyland illuminates this man's damaged soul with such a steely, brilliant clarity that your heart breaks for him. -- HELEN GARNER
Praise for Carry Me Down: This is fiction writing of the highest order...John Egan is a brave, resourceful boy, intelligent and self-aware, yet skating on the edge of madness. The story of John's twelfth year is both sympathetic and disturbing. It is also rich in understated humour. * * J.M. Coetzee * *
Praise for Carry Me Down: [Hyland's] touch is expertly light, and her creation is instantly likeable and convincing...In beautifully detailed and understated prose, this meditation on the nature of falsehood uncovers precious truths at every turn. -- Tom Gatti * * The Times * *
Praise for Carry Me Down: A remarkable achievement of imaginative sympathy, done without structural gimmicks or stylisitic fireworks, but wih language which quietly demands that as John speaks, we speak along with him. -- Sam Thompson * * Times Literary Supplement * *
Praise for Carry Me Down: How beautiful Carry Me Down is - how rare and precise. I wasn't sure I could ever leave John Egan's world, so absorbing is his yearning for truth and so unmanufactured his heart...The book is a great success, and I can't be friends with anyone who would think otherwise. * * Andrew O' Hagan * *
Hyland creates a suffocating bubble of inevitability through the meticulous psychological make-up of Patrick . . . The writing feels devoid of both action and emotion, and is painstakingly pedestrian in its present-tense observations, but as with Kafka and Camus, that in itself creates the effect of how grindingly bleak life can be . . . It's a chilling study of society, the disaffected and the concept of justice. * * Irish Independent * *
Hyland's first two novels displayed a talent to delve into darkness. Her riveting follow-up, This Is How, its title as cryptic as the murderer Patrick Oxtoby who possesses its haunted pages, is her finest novel yet. -- Tom Adair * * Scotsman * *
A vividly imagined novel . . . Every word of Hyland's narrative - observed with the bright, deranged precision of a Richard Dadd painting - resonates with Patrick's tragic awareness of what he lacks. -- Jane Shilling * * Daily Telegraph * *
Darkly, sparsely, and with sustained intensity, Hyland constructs the montage of a killer . . . a dash of Camus's Meursault is added to the pathology . . . She writes intelligently about her subject's growing institutionalization, his bafflement growing into boredom then safety as Patrick gradually finds a kind of happiness inside . . . From within these shady borderlands Hyland has produced a memorable study. -- Toby Lichtig * * Times Literary Supplement * *
Effective and compelling. -- Lesley McDowell * * Sunday Herald * *
Patrick's discomfort is reflected in Hyland's terse, unadorned prose, choppy with one-sentence paragraphs that isolate each event from the next, just as Patrick is cut off from his own response to them. -- Rachel Aspden * * Observer * *
From the first pages the laconic first-person narrative is full of tension . . . Hyland's focus is steady, her detail relentless. The novel becomes deeply moving, not because there is any special pleading for Oxtoby but because it stays with a devastated man in all his weakness . . . This is an expertly paced, gripping novel that doesn't falter and never compromises its emotional truth -- Helen Dunmore * * The Times * *
Hyland's exquisitely crafted prose makes readers care for this emotionally disjointed protagonist. -- Angel Gurria-Quintana * * Financial Times * *
In This Is How Hyland has stripped away the relationships that Carry Me Down explores and put her unstable protagonist in a world without anyone he knows. It's a frightening idea, and with no one biased in his favour and no one to notice signs of distress, Oxtoby's deterioration is rapid . . . Every conversation he has is strained and Hyland's well pitched dialogue cranks up the tension mercilessly. -- Molly Guinness * * Spectator * *
MJ Hyland is a uniquely talented writer . . . Patrick Oxtoby is young, complex, gauche, mystifying and unlikeable, and yet you find yourself half-hoping he'll get away with murder. -- Justine McCarthy * * Irish Tribune * *
Impeccable and chilling . . . White-hot prose. -- Julie Meyerson * * Financial Times * *
A novel of extraordinary power. Bleak yet moving, mercilessly dispassionate yet shot through with kindness and wit, it is a profound achievement. -- Justine Jordan * * Guardian * *
Rigorous realism. * * Guardian * *
An extraordinary study of a skewed, complex character . . . This is How confirms [Hyland] as a true virtuoso of such immersive writing. -- Holly Kyte * * Sunday Telegraph * *
A visceral, deeply affecting tale . . . Hyland beautifully and devastatingly depicts her sympathetic anti-hero's painful cravings for closeness. This is a compassionate, disturbing novel, tragically showing a human learning to appreciate life only when his own has been incarcerated. -- Anita Sethi * * Independent * *
The description of life on the inside is as remarkable for its authenticity as it is for the development of Patrick's character. Alongside the relentless hopelessness, the struggle for existence itself and the constant undertow of mindless violence, there are some moments of extreme tenderness which bring tears to your eyes. -- Carla McKay * * Daily Mail * *
Subtle and richly exploratory. -- John O'Connell * * New Statesman * *
An eerie, commanding book. -- Eric Wagner * * Sunday Times * *
Hyland's knack for description locks you in there with Oxtoby, and through every sleepless night and inedible meal you join his quest to find the inner pace that comes with human affection. -- Amy Adams * * TNT magazine * *
A brilliant portrayal of a lost and confused adolescent unable to make sense of his world. * * Good Book Guide * *
Hyland is a writer of great sophistication . . . [This is How] is a moving, spare, powerful piece of work. -- Philip Womack * * New Humanist * *
Striking and brilliant. * * Times Higher Education * *
Hyland's talent in itself is mysterious. How does she, while fixing our attention on external events, make us so complicit in her characters' internal worlds: so stickily enthralled, so nervously guilty? . . . Maria Hyland is like no one else writing today; her work is spare, ungiving, a challenge. At the same time, it is deeply humane. -- Hilary Mantel * * Guardian * *
Hyland's exquisitely crafted prose makes readers care for this emotionally stunted protoganist.. * * Financial Times * *
Another act of authorial ventriloquism... this is a pin sharp examination of a young man's troubled soul. -- Erica Wagner * * The Times * *

About M.J. Hyland

MJ Hyland was born in London to Irish parents in 1968. She studied law and English at the University of Melbourne, and is the author of two previous novels, HOW THE LIGHT GETS IN, and CARRY ME DOWN, shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize in 2006 and winner of the Hawthornden Prize. Hyland now lives in Manchester.

Additional information

This Is How by M.J. Hyland
Used - Very Good
Canongate Books Ltd
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Book picture is for illustrative purposes only, actual binding, cover or edition may vary.
This is a used book - there is no escaping the fact it has been read by someone else and it will show signs of wear and previous use. Overall we expect it to be in very good condition, but if you are not entirely satisfied please get in touch with us

Customer Reviews - This Is How