The Town That Forgot How to Breathe
By Kenneth J. Harvey
(St. Martin's Press, Hardcover, 9780312342227, 480pp.)
Publication Date: September 22, 2005
Other Editions of This Title: Paperback
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Something strange is happening in the seaside town of Bareneed. Mythical creatures that formally existed only in mariner's dreams, are being pulled from the sea. Perfectly preserved corpses of villagers long ago lost at sea are being washed upon the shore. And residents of the town are suddenly suffering from a mysterious illness that is making them forget how to breathe.
Recent divorcé Joseph Blackwood has returned to his hometown in hopes of reconnecting with his estranged daughter. But when the young girl begins having visions and conversing with the spirit of a neighbor's deceased child, he knows that his daughter is suffering from some supernatural affliction. Now, with the help of some colorful village residents, Joseph must unravel this paranormal mystery to save his only daughter.
Called the literary love child of Stephen King and Annie Proulx, The Town That Forgot How to Breathe is a page-turning gothic tale and a profound exploration of what it really means to live in the modern world.
Kenneth J. Harvey makes his American debut with The Town That Forgot How to Breathe. In Canada, his books have won the Raddall Atlantic Fiction Prize and been shortlisted for the Commonwealth Writers Prize. He lives in Newfoundland.
“An eerie and gripping story, the work of an extravagantly haunted imagination.”
---J. M. Coetzee, Nobel Prize winner and author of the Booker Prize winning Disgrace
“A novel of dazzling ambition and strange, haunting loveliness. Grippingly entertaining and bursting with life, it is an absolute triumph of the storyteller’s art. Many books are hyped as ‘unputdownable.’ This one really is.”
---Joseph O’Connor, Whitbread finalist and bestselling author of Star of the Sea
“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
“As if plotted by Hitchcock and graced by Márquez, The Town That Forgot How to Breathe is a beautiful nightmare.”
---Bill Gaston, author of Giller Prize-nominated Mount Appetite
“The quality of his storytelling and his way with an eerie instant are too good to miss.”
---The Times (London)