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The Outcast Hardcover – Mar 11 2008

4.4 out of 5 stars 10 customer reviews

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Hardcover, Mar 11 2008
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Product details

  • Hardcover: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Knopf Canada; First Edition edition (March 11 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0307396665
  • ISBN-13: 978-0307396662
  • Product Dimensions: 15 x 2.6 x 22.3 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 717 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars 10 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #1,301,511 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Review

“Set in post-WWII suburban London, this superb debut novel charts the downward spiral and tortured redemption of a young man shattered by loss. . . . Jones’s prose is fluid, and Lewis’s suffering comes across as achingly real.” Publishers Weekly

“A confident, suspenseful and affecting first novel, delivered in cool, precise, distinctive prose.” Kirkus

“[Sadie Jones] writes with shimmering intensity about Lewis’s struggle for redemption. She is particularly strong on atmosphere. . . . Jones uses small, startling phrases to convey depths of passion and information and she can make seemingly innocuous passages radiate beauty.” Sunday Telegraph

“Reads like a thriller, the tension and menace built expertly. . . . The two main characters, Lewis and Kit, are skillfully delineated and this is a powerful, promising first novel.” Financial Times (UK)

“The prose is elegant and spare but the story it reveals is raw and explosive. . . . Devastatingly good.” Daily Mail (UK)

“A wonderfully assured first novel.” The Guardian

“Jones’s elegantly written debut novel brings to vivid life both her alienated and damaged protagonist and the small-minded community that condemns him.” The Times (UK)

“In the tradition of Atonement and Remains Of The Day but in her own singularly arresting voice, Sadie Jones conjures up the straight-laced, church-going, secretly abusive middle class of 1950’s England. The Outcast is a passionate and deeply suspenseful novel about what happens to those who break the rules, and what happens to those who keep them. I loved reading this wonderful debut.” —Margot Livesey

“An assured voice, a riveting story, and an odd, wrenchingly sympathetic protagonist. I would never have imagined this was a first novel.” —Lionel Shriver
"Sadie Jones displays rare skills in her debut novel. The story of a troubled young man in post-WWII suburban London is heartbreaking and wonderful. The book evokes both the best emotions of Catcher in the Rye and the spirit of quiet rebellion of The Razor's Edge, with characters who are well written and real. I love this book." --Brooke Raby, Joseph-Beth Booksellers, Lexington

“Sadie Jones’s deliberate pacing and sometimes menacing tone–even if nothing much seems to be happening–provides her tale with its addictive mood. . . . Jones creates such a sense of impending doom that it’s nearly unbearable. . . . Fireworks are inevitable. When at last they come, they relieve the pent-up narrative tension quite gloriously, leaving us cheering our bruised outcast.” –Toronto Star

“Sadie Jones is in total control of the material. . . . With immense compassion, she expertly conveys the flood of relief that comes when a blade cuts through numbness to draw blood and pain. . . . The story is powerful, and the author has big talent.” –NOW (Toronto)

“An amazingly accomplished first novel . . . Jones has produced a taut coming-of-age novel with fresh flair.” –The Edmonton Journal

“An elegant, subtle, haunting novel that stayed with me long after I finished it. Sadie Jones has a long literary future ahead of her.” –Tracy Chevalier, author of Girl with a Pearl Earring

“It’s not often that a debut novel lands with such poise, grace and artistry, yet laced with a simmering, haunting malevolence. . . . The Outcast is a dark, menacing tale of the hidden, abusive nature of the Brit mercantile elite of a half-century ago. It is a taut tale of transgression and hard-won redemption, making Lewis Aldridge an unlikely but strangely likable hero, and by a writer making a muscular debut.” –The Hamilton Spectator

“Mesmerizing. . . . [the] prose is reminiscent of D.H. Lawrence and full of marvellous touches.” –The Vancouver Sun

“Jones recognizes the power of the plain fact of things, and, as do the best practitioners of this style, excels at description when her precision allows implication to flourish in the silences.” –The Globe and Mail

“[W]hat sets this novel apart is the author’s technical skill. Trained as a screenwriter, Jones brings a dramatic arc to every scene, while her restrained prose renders the repression and sublimation at this novel’s core into something combustible.” –Georgia Straight

“With her lush writing and tantalizing sense of setting and detail, Jones has written a novel that stands apart from rote imitation, and The Outcast offers the welcome promise of a literary career of originality and distinction.” –The Boston Globe

“[The Outcast is] consistently interesting. Jones’s portrait of the claustrophobia and conformity of 1950s England is sharp and assured, a convincing illustration of the dangerous consequences of a muzzled society.” The New York Times

About the Author

Sadie Jones was born in London, England, to a Jamaican-born writer and a London-born actress. Jones spent years traveling, working as a waitress and teaching English as a foreign language, before returning to London to work in various filmmaking roles. She then became a screenwriter, a vocation she practised for 15 years, writing for BBC television and feature films. The Outcast, published in 2008, is her first novel. For it she won the Costa First Novel Award and was a finalist for the Orange Prize. Jones is married to the architect Tim Boyd and they have two children.

About her drive to write The Outcast, Jones says, “It is often said that everybody has a novel in them. Until I wrote The Outcast — compelled to write, as I was — I thought I was an exception this rule. Perhaps I needed a book with enough life to it, that demanded to be written, or perhaps I was simply learning the hard way how to tell stories, I don’t know; in many ways it’s a mystery to me.”

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