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The Bee Sting

The Bee Sting

Shortlisted for the Booker Prize 2023

By Paul Murray

Paperback | ISBN 9780241353967

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Harry Hartog's review

Shortlisted for the Booker, and the Harry Hartog favourite to win, this remarkable novel tells the story of the Barnes family. Told in the voices of Dickie, Imelda, Cass and PJ, it unearths the secrets and lies that have brought the family to a bunker in the woods in the middle of the night. It is a wonderful novel, heart-wrenching and full of heart and it sets a breathless pace to the denouement - Karen, Head Buyer

Publisher's description

Irresistibly funny, wise and thought-provoking - a tragicomic tour de force about family, fortune, and the struggle to be a good person when the world is in meltdown...

The Barnes family is in trouble. Dickie's once-lucrative car business is going under - but rather than face the music, he's spending his days in the woods, building an apocalypse-proof bunker with a renegade handyman. His exasperated wife Imelda is selling off her jewellery on eBay and half-heartedly dodging the attentions of fast-talking cattle farmer Big Mike, while their teenage daughter Cass, formerly top of her class, seems determined to binge-drink her way to her final exams. And twelve-year-old PJ, in debt to local sociopath 'Ears' Moran, is putting the final touches to his grand plan to run away from home.

Where did it all go wrong? A patch of ice on the road, a casual favour to a charming stranger, a bee caught beneath a bridal veil - can a single moment of bad luck change the direction of a life? And if the story has already been written - is there still time to find a happy ending?


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Format: Paperback
ISBN: 9780241353967
Publish/Release date:
Publisher: Penguin Books Ltd
Number of pages: 656
Width (mm): 153
Height (mm): 232
Depth (mm): 36

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