The Washington Post
The Town That Forgot How to Breatheby Kenneth J. Harvey
Called the literary love child of Stephen King and Annie Proulx, The Town That Forgot to Breathe is a page-turning gothic tale and a profound exploration of what it really means to live in this modern world.See more details below
Called the literary love child of Stephen King and Annie Proulx, The Town That Forgot to Breathe is a page-turning gothic tale and a profound exploration of what it really means to live in this modern world.
The Washington Post
“An eerie and gripping story, the work of an extravagantly haunted imagination.” J. M. Coetzee, Nobel Prize winning author of Disgrace
“[A] thoughtful, grounded piece of literary horror.” San Francisco Chronicle
“Haunting, poetic, funny, moving, The Town That Forgot How to Breathe takes on the big themes--the meaning of life, our relationship to the dead, man's place in the rapidly changing modern world--and carries everything off with a surging confidence that leaves the reader, well, breathless.” John Harding, Daily Mail (U.K.)
“Harvey brings uniquely imaginative storytelling skill to this wickedly allegorical tale. . . . It will frighten readers so much they may never turn out the lights.” BookPage
“Harvey's characters and their world--both the mystical and the real--are meticulously created. He moves between them in a way that creates dread and confusion, leaving readers on edge. . . . A fascinating, mystical story that will make readers hold their breath.” Detroit Free Press
“Both a contemporary and a historical novel, The Town That Forgot How to Breathe is a tour de force! It speaks of the sea: of those who are upon it, beside it, beneath it. Kenneth J. Harvey, a writer like no other, is as knowledgeable as he is adventurous. A very exceptional novel, extraordinary in its power.” Alistair MacLeod, author of No Great Mischief
“The quality of [Harvey's] storytelling and his way with an eerie instant are too good to miss.” The Times (London)
“Harvey has managed to come up with something fresh and original. . . . His voice and vision are unique and strong through his writing, and it's just the breath of fresh air needed in horror fiction today.” HorrorChannel.com
“A heartwarming romance . . . a creepy horror story . . . a subtly didactic political allegory . . . [and] a fascinating regional novel . . . Harvey is an author whose storytelling prowess can speak for itself.” Publishers Weekly (starred review)
“Chilly as the touch of Corpse-Weed, and haunting as the trouble in Stephen King's 'Salem's Lot or H. P. Lovecraft's The Dunwich Horror. Harvey delivers the horror goods.” The Believer
“Harvey's American debut is big in every way. . . . Mystical, complicated, and always compelling, this is a standout among fall fiction. . . . Highly recommended.” Library Journal
“A compelling tale that works on several levels--as a horror story, a warm father-daughter bonding story, and as a social commentary.” The Sacramento Bee
“A very creepy read; thoughtful and eerie at the same time.” The Arizona Republic
“Harvey's own tall tale is a richly ambiguous parable, not of the need to abandon technology in favor of 'the simple life,' but of the need to restore myth and poetry to our lives.” The Philadelphia Inquirer
“Impressive . . . A truly strange and thoroughly entertaining page-turner, part fairy tale, part fable, part gothic thriller.” Irish Independent
- Raincoast Book Distribution
- Publication date:
- Product dimensions:
- 6.06(w) x 9.04(h) x 1.06(d)
Meet the Author
Kenneth J. Harvey's books are published in twelve countries. In Canada, The Town That Forgot How to Breathe won the Thomas Raddall Atlantic Fiction Award. Harvey's works have also been nominated for the Books in Canada First Novel Award and the Commonwealth Writers' Prize. He lives with his family in an outport of Newfoundland, Canada.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
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Reading the back cover and first chapter of this book in the store, I was immediately drawn in and excited to continue reading. However, the more I read, the more disappointed I became. This book has moments of genius, but in the end, I was left dissatisfied. Harvey wonderfully creates the aged seaside community of Bareneed and sets up imaginative plots. The problem is that there are too many plots and they don¿t fit together quite right. While surveying a number of themes, he doesn¿t do justice to any. The back of the book promised an eerie, haunting, poetic, and funny story that keeps you on the edge of your seat. Unfortunately, the only thing I was kept on the edge of was consciousness, as I often found myself falling asleep while forcing myself through the middle three hundred pages. Good try but, wow, what a letdown.
Thumbs up! Good mystery, bizarre and creepy, but not too scary. What I liked: The opening character, Miss Laracy, grabbed me. Her colorful dialect pulled me in and I had to read on to get to know her better. Story line was very interesting. It had mystery, with a touch of bizarre and creepy (supernatural), but not too scary. Perfect combination. Pace was great. One part was so heart-pounding that I feared for what Joseph might do and inside I was yelling, “No, don’t do it!” The characters were colorful and really brought life to the fishing village of Bareneed. From the whispy and tragic Claudia to the straight-laced Lieutenant-Commander French, to the plump Dr. Thompson – I really enjoyed the characters. What I didn’t like: Nothing really --it was a satisfying read, but....if you forced me to “find” something, I might have two little things. 1. The dog – not sure what the dog meant to the story unless it was just for bizarre effect. 2. The ending outcome of the bizarre events/sickness (can’t spoil it for you). Not sure it completely works out in my head. Overall: Really enjoyed the book and I’ll be looking to read his other books.