Strange but True (Hardcover)

By John Searles

William Morrow, 9780688175719, 320pp.

Publication Date: July 20, 2004

Other Editions of This Title:
Paperback (6/14/2005)

List Price: 24.95*
* Individual store prices may vary.


Now a Major Motion Picture starring Amy Ryan, Greg Kinnear, and Blythe Danner.

“Sinister and complex.... You’ll race right through it.”—New York Times

After a mysterious fall from his New York City apartment, Philip Chase has moved back home with his mother, Charlene, a bitter woman who has never fully accepted the death of her younger son, Ronnie, five years earlier. Surrounded by memories of the family he no longer has, and trying to forget the reasons he left New York, Philip is in stasis.

But everything changes late one windy February night when Ronnie's high school girlfriend shows up on their doorstep. A sad young woman who still bears the scars of the accident that took Ronnie's life, Melissa is nine months pregnant. The father, she claims, is Ronnie.

Now Philip and his mother must confront not only Melissa's past but also their own: the secrets each has buried and the lies each has told. But not everyone wants the past exposed…. At once a moving story of redemption and a heart-stopping work of suspense, Strange but True “will hold you transfixed” (


About the Author

John Searles is the author of the bestsellers Boy Still Missing and Strange but True. He appears as a book critic on NBC's Today Show, and his essays have been published in the New York Times and Washington Post. He has a master's degree in creative writing from New York University and lives in New York City.

Praise For Strange but True

“A fine, unsettling novel with richly etched characters and a delicious sense of menace.”
— Dennis Lehane

“Wonderfully entertaining.”

“Exceptionally good.”
Cleveland Plain Dealer

“Imaginative and compelling....John Searles has created a novel that is sometimes eerie, sometimes thrilling, and always completely engaging.”
— Carolyn Parkhusrt, author of The Dogs of Babel

“John Searles’ novel illuminates the intricate dynamics of families with humor, heart, and truth.”
— Augusten Burroughs, bestselling author of Running With Scissors and Dry

“Funny, mysterious and poignant....John Searles has created a novel to reread and treasure.”
— Adriana Trigiani, bestselling author of Lucia, Lucia

“This is a page-turner with characters you can never forget.”
— Lisa Scottoline, bestselling author of Killer Smile

“This tale has a light, eccentric aspect....You’ll race right through it.”
— New York Times

“’You know what’s coming next, but you don’t know all of it.’ This is the reason we keep reading.”
— San Francisco Chronicle

“Energetic and witty...the plot rocks.”
— New York Newsday

“Pitch-perfect...this novel plays out as vividly as a movie....Who wouldn’t be sucked into this story?”
— Hartford Courant

“Searles’ portrayal of a family in collective emotional agony is spellbinding.”
— BookPage