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The Quick

July 24, 2014 by Reader's Connection

The QuickI finished reading Lauren Owen’s novel The Quick last night, and am scanning the first 100 pages, seeking clues about the events that come later. James Norbury, raised in the English countryside in the 19th century, moves to London, makes a friend named Christopher Paige, tries to write poetry, then a play.

And that’s all I can tell you about the story, right now. The notes on the dust jacket (and in our catalog) give some details about what goes on, but are in some ways secretive. And Lucy Lockley, a librarian in Missouri, was discreet when recommending the book on LibraryReads.

I think that’s great. I hate it when too much is revealed.

Why do you suppose blood is spelled the way it is? Shouldn’t it be spelled blud? Or, spelled the way it is, shouldn’t it be pronounced blued?

Don’t know why I brought that up. Sorry.

Siblings, and the forms that their love can take, are central to the novel. James has a sister Charlotte, who comes to London searching for him after they’ve lost contact. Christopher has a brother Eustace, who doesn’t want James around Christopher, and even threatens James. Two other important brothers, Edmund and Michael Bier, are members of the mysterious Aegolius Club. Their relationship is strained. I’ll leave it at that.

The Quick on downloadable audiobookThe Quick is also available as a downloadable audiobook, and I imagine that listening to this thing would be . . . excuse me, there’s blood coming out of my ear.

Ms. Lockley in Missouri persuaded me to request the book, but it was the cover blurbs that made me sure I wanted to read it. Novelist Hilary Mantel, for example, thinks that The Quick is “a sly and glittering addition to the literature of the macabre . . . As soon as you have breathed with relief, much worse horrors begin.”

I need some brandy. Enjoy the book.

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