book cover of The Porpoise
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The Porpoise

(2019)
A novel by

 
 
From the Whitbread and Los Angeles Times Prize-winning author of The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time, a stunningly ambitious, fantastical novel about the theft of female agency by rapacious men and the ways in which archetypal stories can warp history and the present

Mark Haddon's breathtaking novel begins with a harrowing plane crash: Maja, the pregnant wife of the unimaginably wealthy Philippe, is killed, but their daughter Angelica survives. Philippe's obsession with the girl's safety morphs into something sinister and grotesque as she grows into a beautiful teen. A young man named Darius, visiting Philippe with a business proposition, encounters Angelica and intuits their secret -- he decides to rescue her, but the attempt goes awry and he flees England by sea.

This contemporary story mirrors the ancient legend of Antiochus, whose love for the daughter of his dead wife was discovered by the adventurer Appolinus of Tyre. The tale appeared in many forms through the ages; Apollinus becoming the swashbuckling Pericles in Shakespeare's eponymous play. In The Porpoise, as Angelique comes to terms with a life imprisoned on her father's estate, Darius morphs into Pericles, voyaging through a mythic world. In a bravura feat of storytelling, Haddon recounts his many exploits in thrilling fashion, mining the meaning of the old legends while creating parallels with the monstrous modern world Angelica inhabits. The language is rich and gorgeous; the conjured worlds are perfectly imagined; the plot moves forward at a ferocious pace.

But as much as Haddon plays with myth and meaning, his themes speak deeply to the current moment. As profound as it is entertaining, The Porpoise is a major literary achievement by an author whose myriad talents are on full, vivid display.

Genre: Literary Fiction

Praise for this book

"Staggeringly ambitious, innovative, beautifully written... The Porpoise has the pace of a really good thriller, but combined with a subtlety and depth that few thrillers possess." - Pat Barker

"Mark Haddon cuts right down to the grittiness of humanity every time he writes. The Porpoise is a beautiful, unputdownable, ancient tangle with its own sweeping tides and dangerous depths." - Daisy Johnson

"A full-throttle blast of storytelling mastery. I read it on the plane in a single sitting at 30,000 feet and enjoyed every second. Gorgeously written and very clever, but also such fun! Ancient and modern overlap and tangle in exhilarating ways, it’s like romping through a Literary Netflix: an episode of something historical and bloody, then something slick and contemporary, then something really weird and unnerving. So many pleasures in one book. The Porpoise is a joy to read." - Max Porter


Used availability for Mark Haddon's The Porpoise

Hardback Editions

November 2019 : USA Library Binding
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Title: The Porpoise (Thorndike Press Large Print Bill's Bookshelf)
Author(s): Mark Haddon
ISBN: 1-4328-7140-4 / 978-1-4328-7140-6 (USA edition)
Publisher: Thorndike Press Large Print
Availability: Amazon   Amazon UK   Amazon CA   Amazon AU   


June 2019 : USA Hardback
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Title: The Porpoise
Author(s): Mark Haddon
ISBN: 0-385-69267-6 / 978-0-385-69267-0 (USA edition)
Publisher: Bond Street Books
Availability: Amazon CA   


June 2019 : USA Hardback
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Title: The Porpoise: A Novel
Author(s): Mark Haddon
ISBN: 0-385-54431-6 / 978-0-385-54431-3 (USA edition)
Publisher: Doubleday
Availability: Amazon   Amazon UK   Amazon AU   


May 2019 : UK Hardback

Title: PORPOISE SIGNED EDITION
Author(s): MARK HADDON
ISBN: 1-4726-2625-7 / 978-1-4726-2625-7 (UK edition)
Publisher: RANDOM HOUSE
Availability: Amazon UK   Amazon AU   


May 2019 : UK Hardback
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Title: The Porpoise
Author(s): Mark Haddon
ISBN: 1-78474-282-1 / 978-1-78474-282-9 (UK edition)
Publisher: Chatto & Windus
Availability: Amazon   Amazon UK   Amazon AU   


Paperback Editions

April 2020 : UK Paperback
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Title: The Porpoise
Author(s): Mark Haddon
ISBN: 1-5291-1070-X / 978-1-5291-1070-8 (UK edition)
Publisher: Vintage
Availability: Amazon   Amazon UK   Amazon AU   


May 2020 : USA Paperback

Title: The Porpoise
Author(s): Mark Haddon
ISBN: 0-385-69266-8 / 978-0-385-69266-3 (USA edition)
Publisher: Anchor Canada
Availability: Amazon CA   


May 2020 : USA Paperback
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Title: The Porpoise (Vintage Contemporaries)
Author(s): Mark Haddon
ISBN: 0-525-56440-3 / 978-0-525-56440-9 (USA edition)
Publisher: Vintage
Availability: Amazon   Amazon UK   Amazon AU   


1900 : UK Paperback
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Title: The Porpoise
Author(s): Mark Haddon
ISBN: 1-78474-283-X / 978-1-78474-283-6 (UK edition)
Publisher: Chatto & Windus
Availability: Amazon UK   Amazon CA   Amazon AU   


Audio Editions

June 2019 : USA Audio edition
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Title: The Porpoise: A Novel
Author(s): Mark Haddon
Publisher: Random House Audio
Availability: Amazon   


June 2019 : Canada Audio edition
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Title: The Porpoise: A Novel
Author(s): Mark Haddon
Publisher: Random House Audio
Availability: Amazon CA   


May 2019 : USA Audio edition
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Title: The Porpoise
Author(s): Mark Haddon
Publisher: Random House Audiobooks Digital
Availability: Amazon   


May 2019 : Australia Audio edition
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Title: The Porpoise
Author(s): Mark Haddon
Publisher: Random House Audiobooks Digital
Availability: Amazon AU   


May 2019 : UK Audio edition
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Title: The Porpoise
Author(s): Mark Haddon
Publisher: Random House Audiobooks Digital
Availability: Amazon UK   


Kindle Editions

June 2019 : USA Kindle edition
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Title: The Porpoise
Author(s): Mark Haddon
Publisher: Doubleday
Availability: Amazon   


June 2019 : Canada Kindle edition
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Title: The Porpoise
Author(s): Mark Haddon
Publisher: Bond Street Books
Availability: Amazon CA   


May 2019 : Australia, UK Kindle edition
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Title: The Porpoise
Author(s): Mark Haddon
Publisher: Vintage Digital
Availability: Amazon UK   Amazon AU