Little Hands Clapping


The cult storyteller's most original, outrageous, and heart-rending work yet?a wicked novel perfect for (grown-up) fans of Tim Burton, Neil Gaiman, Scarlett Thomas, The Mighty Boosh, and Roald Dahl

In a room above a bizarre German museum, far from the prying eyes of strangers, lives the Old Man. Caretaker of the museum by day, by night he enjoys the sound of silence, broken by the occasional crunch of a spider between his ...

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Little Hands Clapping

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The cult storyteller's most original, outrageous, and heart-rending work yet—a wicked novel perfect for (grown-up) fans of Tim Burton, Neil Gaiman, Scarlett Thomas, The Mighty Boosh, and Roald Dahl

In a room above a bizarre German museum, far from the prying eyes of strangers, lives the Old Man. Caretaker of the museum by day, by night he enjoys the sound of silence, broken by the occasional crunch of a spider between his blackened teeth. The Old Man, the respectable Doctor Ernst Frohlicher, his greedy dog Hans, and a cast of grotesque and hilarious townsfolk all find their lives thrown together as they uncover a crime so outrageous that it will shock the world. From its sinister opening to its explosive denouement, this dark tale blends lavishly entertaining storytelling with Rhodes's macabre imagination, entrancing originality, and magical touch.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Rhodes's latest goofy, grim caper (after Anthropology) concerns the dark after-hours shenanigans of a German suicide museum. The curator and an emotionally troubled doctor have a convenient system of disposing of the dead bodies they find after closing hours. The sour elderly curator, a former government linguistics expert who reads foreign dictionaries to fall asleep, cleans up the death scene before the cheerful, insufferably garrulous maid can find the body. Doctor Fröhlicher, summoned at dawn, then bundles the corpse and takes it back to his house, where he will freeze it and eat it piece by piece with his loyal dog Hans. Eating human flesh assuages the Doctor's longing for his dead wife, Ute, a beautiful, seductive harridan. Meanwhile, speeding to the suicide museum is a lovelorn maiden from a small Portuguese village, Madalena, who is heartbroken because her incomparably beautiful childhood sweetheart, Mauro, has been lured away to become a model in the big city. Adding to this tangled plot are the museum's well-intentioned proprietress, keen to increase visitor numbers, and her husband, who looks remarkably like the tenor Pavarotti. Nimble, wry, mischievous Rhodes takes great pains to flesh out these understated, hapless characters, which renders the chasm of their grisly acts rather mild and unremarkable. (Sept.)
From the Publisher

"Packs a gleefully nasty punch. . . . in Dan Rhodes's skilful hands, this tale becomes more Brothers Grimm than just plain grim. . . . After reading Rhodes's book, many little hands should be clapping very loudly indeed."  —Guardian

"Ought to be the book that brings Rhodes out of the 'cult favourite' bracket. . . . reading it is like taking a deep breath into the lungs of your imagination."  —Scotland on Sunday

"A whimsical, menacing exploration of thwarted love."  —New York Times on Timoleon Vieta Come Home

"An immaculately crafted story of minor perturbations and their unpredictable outcomes."  —Publishers Weekly on Gold

"You hungrily absorb this book the way you do Nietzsche's aphorisms: You look for truths; you look for yourself; you look for explanations. Of course this is more fun than Nietzsche because there are more laughs."  —Jonathan Ames, author, Wake Up, Sir! on Anthropology: 101 True Love Stories

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781847675309
  • Publisher: Canongate UK
  • Publication date: 8/1/2012
  • Pages: 320
  • Sales rank: 963,667
  • Product dimensions: 5.00 (w) x 8.00 (h) x 1.90 (d)

Meet the Author

Dan Rhodes

Dan Rhodes is the author of Anthropology, Don’t Tell Me the Truth About Love, Gold, and Timoleon Vieta Come Home, which was included in Barnes and Noble's Discover New Writers program. He was the winner of the 2010 E. M. Forster Awards, an annual award given to an Irish or British writer by the American Academy of Arts and Sciences to fund a period of travel in the U.S., and in 2003 he was named by Granta magazine as one of their 20 Best of Young British Novelists.

Good To Know

In our interview, Rhodes shared some fun facts about himself with us:

"When I was 22, I was fired from a sensible office job after nine days for my failure to adapt to an adult environment. I still have difficulty acting in a grown-up manner, and this gets me into all kinds of trouble."

"The pinnacle of my showbiz career came when a copy of my first book, Anthropology, was seen on Carrie's desk in an episode of Sex and the City. It's been downhill ever since."

"I was in the audience at the final concerts of both the Smiths and the Spice Girls."

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    1. Hometown:
      Tunbridge Wells, Kent, England
    1. Date of Birth:
      February 26, 1972
    2. Place of Birth:
      Croydon, Surrey, England
    1. Education:
      B.A., University of Glamorgan, 1994; M.A., University of Glamorgan, 1998

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