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book cover of The Night Ocean

The Night Ocean

(2017)
A novel by

 
From the award-winning author and New Yorker contributor, a riveting novel about secrets and scandals, psychiatry and pulp fiction, inspired by the lives of H. P. Lovecraft and his circle.

Marina Willett, MD, has a problem. Her husband, Charlie, has become obsessed with H. P. Lovecraft, in particular with one episode in the legendary horror writer's life: In the summer of 1934, the "old gent" lived for two months with a gay teenage fan named Robert Barlow, at Barlow's family home in central Florida. What were the two of them up to? Were they friends - or something more? Just when Charlie thinks he's solved the puzzle, a new scandal erupts, and he disappears. The police say it's suicide. Marina is a psychiatrist, and she doesn't believe them.

A tour-de-force of storytelling, The Night Ocean follows the lives of some extraordinary people: Lovecraft, the most influential American horror writer of the 20th century, whose stories continue to win new acolytes, even as his racist views provoke new critics; Barlow, a seminal scholar of Mexican culture who killed himself after being blackmailed for his homosexuality (and who collaborated with Lovecraft on the beautiful story "The Night Ocean"); his student, future Beat writer William S. Burroughs; and L. C. Spinks, a kindly Canadian appliance salesman and science-fiction fan - the only person who knows the origins of The Erotonomicon, purported to be the intimate diary of Lovecraft himself.

As a heartbroken Marina follows her missing husband's trail in an attempt to learn the truth, the novel moves across the decades and along the length of the continent, from a remote Ontario town, through New York and Florida to Mexico City. The Night Ocean is about love and deception - about the way that stories earn our trust, and betray it.

Genre: Historical    

"An electric exploration of horror, obsession, madness, and mystery." - Laura van den Berg

"It has been years since I read a novel with so much joy, impatience and awe." - Rivka Galchen

"Magnificent. The Night Ocean is an impossible, irresistible novel, a love letter to the unloveable that speaks the unspeakable." - Lev Grossman

"A sly, witty, but still loving send-up of H.P. Lovecraft and some of the grand anxieties of the American 20th century." - Victor LaValle

"The Night Ocean had me from the first sentence. This immensely original, elegantly written and continually surprising novel casts a spell that keeps us enthralled until the book's brilliant conclusion." - Francine Prose

"The best novel of the year, almost any year." - Gary Shteyngart

"A whole damned hustling heart-broken double-talking meaning-haunted world it is a privilege to enter." - Peter Straub


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Hardback Editions

March 2017 : USA Hardback
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Title: The Night Ocean
Author(s): Paul La Farge
ISBN: 1-101-98108-3 / 978-1-101-98108-5 (USA edition)
Publisher: Penguin Press
Availability: Amazon   Amazon UK   Amazon CA   


Paperback Editions

April 2018 : USA Paperback
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Title: The Night Ocean: A Novel
Author(s): Paul La Farge
ISBN: 1-101-98109-1 / 978-1-101-98109-2 (USA edition)
Publisher: Penguin Books
Availability: Amazon   Amazon UK   Amazon CA   


Audio Editions

March 2017 : USA Audio edition
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Title: The Night Ocean
Author(s): Paul La Farge
Publisher: Recorded Books
Availability: Amazon   


Kindle Editions

March 2017 : USA, Canada, UK Kindle edition
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Title: The Night Ocean
Author(s): Paul La Farge
Publisher: Penguin Press
Availability: Amazon   Amazon UK   Amazon CA   



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