By Jim Crace
Vintage Books USA, Paperback, 9780307278951, 255pp.
Publication Date: May 6, 2008
Once the safest, most prosperous place on earth, the United States has become sparsely populated and chaotically unstable. Across the country, families have traveled toward the one hope left: passage on a ship to Europe. As Franklin Lopez makes his way towards the ocean, he finds Margaret, a sick woman shunned to die in isolation. Tentatively, the two join forces, heading towards their future. With striking prose and a deep understanding of the American ethos, Jim Crace, one of our most consistently ambitious writers, creates in The Pesthouse a masterful tale of the human drive to endure.
“A suspenseful road novel. . . . Crace's mordant humor shines darkly. . . .a meditation on some of the deepest questions about America.” —Los Angeles Times Book Review“A cracking adventure story. . . . Crace pulls off a transcendent ending that offers a biting commentary on the ongoing American experiment.” —Entertainment Weekly“Throughout [The Pesthouse], a delicate, touching shy romance blossoms….Crace is a writer about plain things, but he writes about them in a way that's both startling and subtle, a shimmering surface over still depths.” —Washington Post Book World“Graceful and haunting. . . . Crace is the coldest of writers, and the tenderest.” —New York Times“A writer of hallucinatory skill.” —John Updike