Holds Alert: Getting to Know POXL

Screen Shot 2015-03-09 at 7.53.21 AMThe Last Flight by Poxl West by Daniel Torday (Macmillan/St. Martin’s, 3/17/15) a debut novel about war, self-creation, and memory is getting rave attention from a variety of sources well in advance of publication date, one sign that a book is likely to take off.

Michiko Kakutani, the difficult-to-impress daily New York Times critic jumped the pub. date by eleven days in her Friday review. Saying Torday has “a keen sense of verisimilitude” and “a painterly eye for detail,” she sums up his skill as a writer with this high praise:

“It’s Mr. Torday’s ability to shift gears between sweeping historical vistas and more intimate family dramas, and between old-school theatrics and more contemporary meditations on the nature of storytelling that announces his emergence as a writer deserving of attention.”

Kirkus, in a starred review, calls it “a richly layered, beautifully told and somehow lovable story about war, revenge and loss” and offers an unexpected comparison:

“While Torday (The Sensualist: A Novella, 2012) is more likely to be compared to Philip Roth or Michael Chabon than Gillian Flynn, his debut novel has two big things in common with Gone Girl—it’s a story told in two voices, and it’s almost impossible to discuss without revealing spoilers.”

Ecstatic blurbs from a string of authors give the literary cred; Phil Klay, Karen Russell, Edan Lepucki, Gary Shteyngart, Rivka Galchen and George Saunders, who says the novel is “A wonderful accomplishment of storytelling verve: tender, lyrical, surprising, full of beautifully rendered details.” Shteyngart offers a more pithy “OMFG! What a book!”

Perhaps most influential of all, John Green took to Twitter on the 6th to talk it up:

“POXL a lovely novel sentence-to-sentence, and it gets at something deep about how we’re all frauds, and all worthy of love.”

At least one librarian is convinced. Wendy Bartlett of Cuyahoga Public Library sensing a “literary page turner,” increased her order.

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