Steve Toltz - Quicksand - Hodder & Stoughton

Time remaining

  • -- days
  • -- hours
  • -- minutes
  • -- seconds
Other Formats
  • E-Book £P.O.R.
    More information
    • ISBN:9781473606043
    • Publication date:21 May 2015
  • Downloadable audio file £P.O.R.
    More information
    • ISBN:9781473623774
    • Publication date:21 May 2015

Quicksand

By Steve Toltz

  • Paperback
  • £8.99

Dazzling, hilarious, disturbing and utterly unforgettable new novel from the author of the Man Booker-shortlisted A Fraction of the Whole.

'A tour de force of sustained brilliance' Mail on Sunday

Wildly funny and unceasingly surprising, Quicksand is both a satirical masterpiece and an unforgettable story of fate, family and friendship.

Aldo Benjamin may be the unluckiest soul in human history, but that isn't going to stop his friend Liam writing about him. For what more could an aspiring novelist want from his muse than a thousand get-rich-quick schemes, a life-long love affair, an eloquently named brothel, the most sexually confusing evening imaginable and a brief conversation with God?

'What a joy to surrender oneself to a writer of such prodigious talent.'
Peter Carey

'Tremendous' Sunday Times

Biographical Notes

Steve Toltz was born in Sydney, Australia. A Fraction of the Whole, his first novel, was released in 2008 to widespread critical acclaim. It was shortlisted for the 2008 Man Booker Prize and the 2008 Guardian First Book Award. He currently lives in New York..

  • Other details

  • ISBN: 9781473606074
  • Publication date: 10 Mar 2016
  • Page count: 448
  • Imprint: Sceptre
The energy, the hairpin turns, the narrative crashes, the stomach churning ascents and trashed taboos: what a joy to surrender oneself to a writer of such prodigious talent. — Peter Carey, twice Man Booker Prize-winner
The funniest novel I've read in the last 12 months . . . Genuinely moving. — The Times
Quicksand is, if anything, even more hysterically funny [than A Fraction of the Whole] and quite, quite horrific . . . Linguistically, Toltz manages to find the perfect if unlikely word or phrase faultlessly. It is very rare for me to laugh on almost every page of a book; it is even rarer for that to be accompanied by exquisite melancholy. Toltz is writing like very few other authors: he seems like an Antipodean Thomas Bernhard in his unsparing, agonising comedies. I hope it is not seven years until his next novel. — Stuart Kelly, Scotland on Sunday
Toltz is clearly talented, with a vivid satirical intelligence... tremendous. — The Sunday Times
Leaves you almost breathless. There is more heart, and joy and compassion and hard-earned wisdom in Quicksand than seems possible for a single novel; it is life, literature at its fullest. — Dinaw Mengestu, winner of the Guardian First Book Award
A book shot through with mordant humour and sizzling inventiveness.... In Aldo, Toltz has created a magnificent character. — Financial Times
A relentlessly garrulous tragicomic saga about friendship, failure, creativity and endurance that is both brilliant and exhausting... Even in a book overflowing with solipsists and monomaniacs, would-be artists and theories about art, it remains a creative force to be reckoned with. — Guardian
Highly original, entertaining and almost impossible to summarize, this is a high-octane, adrenaline-fuelled, frenetic tour de force of sustained brilliance. There is with, laugh-out-loud humour and linguistic dexterity on almost every page. — Mail on Sunday
Toltz is incapable of writing a dull sentence. — Daily Mail
If anything can go wrong, it will - and it inevitably does so in the vicinity of Aldo Benjamin, Quicksand's luckless protagonist. Toltz's first novel, A Fraction of the Whole, was shortlisted for the Booker in 2008; his funny, dark, formidable follow-up is a garrulous meditation on fate, religion and male misbehaviour. — Financial Times
Energetic and crackling with a fevered inventiveness — Daily Telegraph
Trust me, it's very funny... every page has zingers that you'll want to read to other people. Steve Toltz is touched by comic genius. — Robbie Millen, The Sunday Times Summer Reading Choices
For risque humour and razor-sharp wit, look no further . . . Think John Kennedy Toole's A Confederacy of Dunces.The Times Summer Reads
Toltz throws in Raymond Chandler-style descriptions on every page of his densely wrought tale. Aldo, with his jumpy speech and unexpected thought patterns, offers the perfect vessel for Toltz's most hyperactive passages, a scatter-gun of observations and aphorisms, like a demented form of stand-up comedy. It takes a very good writer to pull off this style but Toltz is superbly capable. Quicksand may be a cry for help, but it's also a scream of triumph. — Literary Review
Steve Toltz is a verbal magician and lunatic storyteller. Quicksand is the work of a writer in full command of his many outsized gifts, not least of which is his humanity. — Teddy Wayne, Whiting Award-winning author of The Love Song of Jonny Valentine
Steve Toltz's Quicksand - narrated by Aldo and Liam, two epic Aussie screw-ups and lifelong best friends - is one of the smartest, funniest, angriest novels I have ever read. But it's also a surprisingly touching meditation on friendship and family, on art and God, on law-breaking and law enforcement.. A brilliant piece of fiction, from a novelist who so clearly sees the outsized pleasures and terrors of our troubled time. — Brock Clarke, author of An Arsonist's Guide to Writer's Homes in New England and (most recently), The Happiest People in the World
Quicksand crackles with such intensity it made me turn the pages with a harder snap, lean closer, want to gnaw the words. This is a novel of sneak-attack seriousness, so funny it fools you into letting down your guard-then knocks you upside the head with intense intelligence, probing thought, raw pain. For all the wit and wisdom in this book, all the pleasures contained in its raucous, furious, fearless pursuit of truths, the greatest thrill comes when it strikes you that you've never read anything quite like it before, that you just might have stumbled-startlingly, unsettlingly-on something close to genius in the writing of Steve Toltz. — Josh Weil, author of The Great Glass Sea
There are more lines of genius on one page of Quicksand than in the entirety of many very respectable novels. — Elif Batuman, author of The Possessed
Brilliant, so fizzing with lucidity and comedy and horror and hard-nosed empathy... There is a superfluity of smarts on display. Characters back talk each other like Chinese table tennis champions; aperçus fly like sparks from the angle-grinder of the authorial imagination. Still, there is a feeling edge to all this dazzle, a sense that the torrential flow of wit is a cover for fear of the void....The real parent of 2008's A Fraction of the Whole and this new work is Saul Bellow...[Like] Philip Roth at his angriest and funniest[,] Quicksand is a similarly high-octane read; it recalls and updates the tradition of Jewish-American fiction in the same spirit as Gary Shteyngart or Jonathan Safran Foer....[Aldo Benjamin] is one of those rare characters who will live on in our collective literary imagination. — The Saturday Paper (Australia)
Steve Toltz's Quicksand proves to be the cherry on the cake - a beguiling novel that confounds and astonishes in equal measure, often on the same page...Part Chuck Palahniuk, part David Foster Wallace,...Quicksand has a thousand dazzling throwaway moments of brilliance.... A tour de force. — Australian Book Review
What would happen if some genius were able to unite the high-wattage storytelling exuberance of Kurt Vonnegut, the combustive glee of Walt Whitman, and the reality-smashing despair of Franz Kafka? Impossibly, Steve Toltz has done just that, turning out a new masterpiece that is at once an old-fashioned page-turner, a tragicomic lament for the digital age, and an aching howl at the intractable existential dilemmas of our poor species. Quicksand is the sort of book that refuses to sleep between its covers on your nightstand; it is its own blazing, intricate, hysterically surreal universe, big and brilliant enough to swallow your own. — Stefan Merrill Block, bestselling author of The Story of Forgetting and The Storm at the Door
A new masterpiece that is at once an old-fashioned page-turner, a tragicomic lament for the digital age, and an aching howl at the intractable existential dilemmas of our poor species. Quicksand is the sort of book that refuses to sleep between its covers on your nightstand. — Stefan Merrill Block
Sceptre

Memories of the Future

Siri Hustvedt
Authors:
Siri Hustvedt

Coronet

On The Up

Alice O'Keeffe
Authors:
Alice O'Keeffe

Hodder & Stoughton

The Vanished Bride

Bella Ellis
Authors:
Bella Ellis

The year is 1845, and Emily, Charlotte and Anne Bronte are sat around the dining room table, laughing merrily as the rain of their Yorkshire summer falls outside. When their brother, Branwell, returns from The Bull Inn, he brings with him the most shocking revelation: that Elizabeth Chester, wife of Robert Chester and mistress of Chester Grange has gone missing - but the bloody scene found in her bedroom suggests she may have been murdered.The governess at Chester Grange is Matilda French, a close friend of Charlotte's, who resolves to pay her a visit the following day. At Chester Grange, the sisters make the acquaintance of Robert, a rumoured cruel man, who is suspected of having driven his first wife to suicide. Determined that he should be brought to justice, the sisters throw themselves into solving the case. As everyone knows, solving a murder requires sense, morals and a very good imagination - qualities which these sisters have more than enough of...

Hodder Paperbacks

Christmas at Silver Dale

Lucy Daniels
Authors:
Lucy Daniels

The perfect Christmas romance for 2019 - featuring the original characters in the much loved Animal Ark series!**Summer Days at Sunrise Farm, the new book in the Animal Ark revisited series, is currently available for pre-order!**Although Christmas should be the happiest time of year, Mandy Hope is struggling. Her relationship with Jimmy Marsh is on the rocks, possibly beyond repair, while her best friend James has a gorgeous new son which only confirms how much Mandy wants children of her own. Desperately in need of a friend, Mandy strikes up a close relationship with new Welford resident Geraldine Craven. Geraldine looks to be a lifeline for Mandy in these troubled times, until she reveals a devastating secret about Mandy's past. Will the magic of the season be enough to save Christmas?

Hodder & Stoughton

What Happens in Paradise

Elin Hilderbrand
Authors:
Elin Hilderbrand
Hodder & Stoughton

The Last Voyage of Mrs Henry Parker

Joanna Nell
Authors:
Joanna Nell
Hodder & Stoughton

Witchfinder

Andrew Williams
Authors:
Andrew Williams
Hodder & Stoughton

A Gift in December

Jenny Gladwell
Authors:
Jenny Gladwell
Two Roads

How It Was

Janet Ellis
Authors:
Janet Ellis

A new, darkly compelling novel from Janet Ellis, author of the highly-acclaimed The Butcher's Hook.'Janet Ellis writes with tenderness and wisdom . . . I veered between laughter and a lump in the throat, often on the same page. This book will sneak up behind you and break your heart.' Erin Kelly, author of He Said/She SaidIn a 1970s village in rural Kent, lives go on in an unremarkable way. But Marion Deacon, struggling with being a wife and mother, is about to set events in motion that she cannot control in a story of love, motherhood, betrayal, and long-hidden secrets . . . because everyone has at least one secret.Marion Deacon sits by the hospital bed of her dying husband, Michael. Outwardly she is, as she says, an unremarkable old woman. She has long concealed her history - and her feelings - from the casual observer. And she's learned to ignore her own past, too. But as she sits by Michael's bed, she's haunted by memories of events from almost forty years ago. She and Michael were recently married; their children, Eddie and Sarah, still young. Theirs was an uneventful life in a small village. But, stiflingly bored in role as mother and wife, Marion fell for a married man, an affair that sparked a chain of events which re-sets all their lives.Moving between the voices of Marion, her teenage daughter Sarah and her youngest son, Eddie, How It Was is a story of love, loss and betrayal. Through Marion and Sarah, Janet Ellis explores the tensions at the heart of mother-daughter relationships, the pressure women face to be the perfect wife and mother, and how life rarely turns out the way we imagine it will when we are young.(p) 2019 Hodder & Stoughton Ltd

Hodder & Stoughton

Miracle Creek

Angie Kim
Authors:
Angie Kim

A thrilling debut novel for fans of Liane Moriarty and Celeste Ng about how far we'll go to protect our families?and our deepest secretsMy husband asked me to lie. Not a big lie. He probably didn't even consider it a lie, and neither did I, at first . . .In rural Virginia, Young and Pak Yoo run an experimental medical treatment device known as the Miracle Submarine?a pressurized oxygen chamber that patients enter for therapeutic "dives" with the hopes of curing issues like autism or infertility. But when the Miracle Submarine mysteriously explodes, killing two people, a dramatic murder trial upends the Yoos' small community.Who or what caused the explosion? Was it the mother of one of the patients, who claimed to be sick that day but was smoking down by the creek? Or was it Young and Pak themselves, hoping to cash in on a big insurance payment and send their daughter to college? The ensuing trial uncovers unimaginable secrets from that night?trysts in the woods, mysterious notes, child-abuse charges?as well as tense rivalries and alliances among a group of people driven to extraordinary degrees of desperation and sacrifice.Angie Kim's Miracle Creek is a thoroughly contemporary take on the courtroom drama, drawing on the author's own life as a Korean immigrant, former trial lawyer, and mother of a real-life "submarine" patient. Both a compelling page-turner and an excavation of identity and the desire for connection, Miracle Creek is a brilliant, empathetic debut from an exciting new voice.

Hodder & Stoughton

The End of Time

Gavin Extence
Authors:
Gavin Extence

Beneath the stars, on a stony beach, stand two teenage brothers.They are wearing lifejackets that are too big for them and their most precious belongings are sealed in waterproof bags tucked inside the rucksacks on their backs.Turkey is behind them and Europe lies ahead, a dark, desperate swim away.They don't know what will come next, but they're about to meet a man who does. He calls himself Jesus, the Messiah. He is barefoot, dishevelled and smells strongly of alcohol.And he doesn't believe in chance meetings. He believes he has information about the future - information that will change three lives forever . . .Praise for Gavin Extence:'Extence has such a dry, witty style of writing' Marie Claire'Rich, insightful, darkly serious yet also upliftingly funny' Review of THE MIRROR WORLD OF MELODY BLACK, Jasper Fforde'Delightful, written in a warm, engaging voice . . . It's so good it 'll leave you wanting to change your own life' Review of THE EMPATHY PROBLEM, Independent

Hodder & Stoughton

Three Days in Florence

Chrissie Manby
Authors:
Chrissie Manby
John Murray

The Aunt Who Wouldn't Die

Shirshendu Mukhopadhyay
Authors:
Shirshendu Mukhopadhyay

At eighteen, Somlata married into the Mitras: a once noble Bengali household whose descendants have taken to pawning off the family gold to keep up appearances. When Pishima, the embittered matriarch, dies, Somlata is the first to discover her aunt-in-law's body - and her sharp-tongued ghost. First demanding that Somlata hide her gold from the family's prying hands, Pishima's ghost continues to wreak havoc on the Mitras. Secrets spilt, cooking spoilt, Somlata finds herself at the centre of the chaos. And as the family teeter on the brink of bankruptcy, it looks like it's up to her to fix it. The Aunt Who Wouldn't Die is a frenetic, funny and fresh novel about three generations of Mitra women, a jewellery box, and the rickety family they hold together.

Sceptre

Starling Days

Rowan Hisayo Buchanan
Authors:
Rowan Hisayo Buchanan
Hodder & Stoughton

Sweet Sorrow

David Nicholls
Authors:
David Nicholls

One life-changing summerSixteen-year-old Charlie meets Fran...8 million copies since STARTER FOR TEN first introduced us to hisincomparable talent for making us laugh, cry and wince with recognition in the space of a single sentence; ten years after ONE DAY became the iconic love story for a generation; five years since the journey of US took him to the Man Booker Prize long-list;DAVID NICHOLLS has written a major new novel, SWEET SORROW:a hymn to the tragicomedy of ordinary lives, a celebration of the reviving power of friendship and that brief, blinding explosion of first love that perhaps can only be looked at directly once it has burned out.'Nicholls writes with such tender precision about love'The Times'There is a sharp empathetic intelligence to his writing that makes his characters real . . . the clear writing often dazzles with truth . . . sad funny, soulful' Observer'A sublime talent for illuminating the murky causeway that most of us have to navigate between darkness and light' Donal Ryan'Nicholls' ability to create and then subvert the traditional plot for comedy is the secret of his success. It makes us confront the gap between what we expect from storytelling and what happens in real life'Spectator

Two Roads

M for Mammy

Eleanor O’Reilly
Authors:
Eleanor O’Reilly
Hodder & Stoughton

Disturbance

Marianne Kavanagh
Authors:
Marianne Kavanagh
Two Roads

Queenie Malone's Paradise Hotel

Ruth Hogan
Authors:
Ruth Hogan
Coronet

A Keeper

Graham Norton
Authors:
Graham Norton

*** SHORTLISTED FOR THE NATIONAL BOOK AWARDS ***THE SUNDAY TIMES BESTSELLER'A compelling and moving story, expertly told, that will draw you in and keep you in its grip until the last page.' DAILY EXPRESS'Magnificent ... his writing is evocative and perfect. His grasp of human loneliness and longing is beautiful and comforting.' MARIAN KEYES'Atmospheric, creepy and impossible to put down.' the TIMES'I raved about Holding two years ago ... A Keeper is even better. A powerful, very sad story, beautiful writing, two time frames that are perfectly balanced. Outstanding. Will easily be one of my books of 2018.' JOHN BOYNE'A gripping, thoughtful tale about the search for identity, belonging and self-possession.' OBSERVER'Moving and darkly funny.' GOOD HOUSEKEEPING'Smart, well-written and thoroughly entertaining.' IRISH INDEPENDENT'It's a sad and lovely book, brimful of tenderness and compassion, where the revelations of the past upturn the perceptions of the present.' SUNDAY EXPRESS'Charming and tender, a complete joy.' SUNDAY MIRROR'Perfectly crafted, a beautiful, gripping account of Irish memory and deceit. A terrific achievement.' ANDREW O'HAGANFrom the bestselling author of Holding comes a masterly tale of secrets and ill-fated loves set on the coast of Ireland.Dear Lonely Leinster Lady, I'm not really sure how to begin . . .The truth drifts out to sea, riding the waves out of sight. And then the tide turns.Elizabeth Keane returns to Ireland after her mother's death, intent only on wrapping up that dismal part of her life. There is nothing here for her; she wonders if there ever was. The house of her childhood is stuffed full of useless things, her mother's presence already fading. And perhaps, had she not found the small stash of letters, the truth would never have come to light. 40 years earlier, a young woman stumbles from a remote stone house, the night quiet but for the tireless wind that circles her as she hurries further into the darkness away from the cliffs and the sea. She has no sense of where she is going, only that she must keep on.This compelling new novel confirms Graham Norton's status as a fresh, literary voice, bringing his clear-eyed understanding of human nature and its darkest flaws.* * *Praise for Holding, winner of the Irish Book Awards' Book of the Year 2016'Poised and perceptive' Sunday Times'... a deftly plotted story as moving as it is compelling' Sunday Mirror'Deeply accomplished ... brilliantly observed' Good Housekeeping'... one of the more authentic debuts I've read in recent years ... in such an understated manner, eschewing linguistic eccentricity ... in favour of genuine characters and tender feeling ... this is a fine novel' John Boyne, Irish Times'It is beautiful and yet devastatingly sad' Daily Express'Strenuously charming ... surprisingly tender' Metro 'Heartwarming and observant' Stylist

Two Roads

Two Steps Forward

Graeme Simsion, Anne Buist
Authors:
Graeme Simsion, Anne Buist