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The Mark and the Void

"Impossibly ingenious, unabashedly intelligent, read-the-whole-page-again funny and engaged with the great questions of our times... [This] is the answer to the question of what a seriously talented contemporary novelist should be writing." Observer A comic masterpiece about love, art, greed and the banking crisis, from the author of Skippy Dies What links the Investment Bank of Torabundo, (yes, hots with an s, don't ask), an art heist, a novel called For the Love of a Clown, a four-year-old boy named after TV detective Remington Steele, a lonely French banker, a tiny Pacific island, and a pest control business run by an ex-KGB man? You guessed it . . . The Mark and the Void is Paul Murray's madcap new novel of institutional folly, following the success of his wildly original breakout hit, Skippy Dies. While marooned at his banking job in the bewilderingly damp and insular realm known as Ireland, Claude Martingale is approached by a down-on-his-luck author, Paul, looking for his next great subject. Claude finds that his life gets steadily more exciting under Paul's fictionalizing influence; he even falls in love with a beautiful waitress. But Paul's plan is not what it seems-and neither is Claude's employer, the Bank of Torabundo, which inflates through dodgy takeovers and derivatives-trading until-well, you can probably guess how that shakes out. The Mark and the Void is a stirring examination of the deceptions carried out in the names of art, love and commerce - and is also probably the funniest novel ever written about a financial crisis.
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About the Author

Paul Murray is the author of An Evening of Long Goodbyes, which was shortlisted for the Whitbread First Novel Award in 2003, and Skippy Dies, which was shortlisted for the Costa Novel Award in 2010 and (in the United States) the National Book Critics Circle Award. The Mark and the Void is his third novel. He lives in Dublin.


Publisher's description. The Mark and the Void is a whip-smart tragicomic novel for our times, a darkly hilarious journey through the upside-down world of investment banking. In the midst of the global financial crisis, friendship blossoms between a lonely French banker and an incompetent Irish novelist, and chaos ensues... * Penguin * [This] is the answer to the question of what a seriously talented contemporary novelist should be writing... Impossibly ingenious, unabashedly intelligent, read-the-whole-page-again funny and engaged with the great questions of our times... The Mark and the Void is the best novel I have reviewed on this side of the Atlantic... I'm recommending it unreservedly * Observer * The Mark and the Void is Murray's best book yet - a wildly ambitious, state-of-the-nation novel, and a scabrously funny yet deeply humane satire on the continuing fall-out of the biggest financial crisis in 75 years * The Bookseller * With The Mark and the Void, Paul Murray has done the impossible: he's written a novel about international finance that not only isn't dense, boring, or annoyingly didactic, but is, in fact, a hilarious page-turner with a beating human heart. To put all of these elements in a pot and alchemically produce something so brilliant and cohesively constructed, one might assume Paul Murray is a witch. I think he's simply a great writer. -- Adam Wilson, author of 'Flatscreen' and 'What's Important Is Feeling' Five years after his hugely successful novel Skippy Dies, Murray's third book is utterly original and very funny * Irish Times * People always tell me 'If you love Paul Murray so much, why don't you marry him?' Now thanks to recent legislation in his native Ireland, I finally can. And so should you, reader. The Mark and the Void not only monetizes the death of the novel, but makes us believe in its resurrection. Praise the Lord for Paul Murray's big brain and tender heart! -- Gary Shteyngart A fantastic novel. I laughed and wept -- Bret Easton Ellis, on Skippy Dies I loved Skippy Dies -- Ali Smith * Times Literary Supplement * An unforgettably exuberant saga -- Emma Donoghue, on Skippy Dies * Daily Telegraph * A coruscating comic novel...what Dave Eggers did for social media in The Circle, Murray does for global banking in The Mark and the Void...and he does it with laughs, plenty of laughs * The Times * The Mark and the Void is a hilarious, blade-sharp satire featuring vividly drawn characters, and it is, once again, the funniest book I've read this year...A joy from start to finish * Independent * Exuberantly inventive satire...a sustained tour de force of thrilling prose, memorable characters and trenchant humour. Look on, ye bankers, and despair! * Mail on Sunday * Serious and impressive...very funny but there is profundity beyond the laughter * Guardian * Paul Murray has produced a comic classic that cements his status as one of the most gifted novelists of his generation. Funny, angry and unputdownable * Daily Express * This novel's arrival deserves a trumpeting fanfare...curiously brilliant, intricately entertaining ...Banker plus struggling novelist equals page turner * Sunday Independent * The Mark and the Void is so sensationally good... It takes the global financial crisis by its throat, and shakes it into giving birth to a wild, intelligent, angry, witty, uproariously funny, devastating novel -- Neel Mukherjee

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