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The call : a novel
Yannick Murphy
Adult Fiction MURPHY

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From Publishers' Weekly:

A triumph of quiet humor and understated beauty, Murphy's latest (after Signed, Mata Hari) takes the form of a diary belonging to veterinarian David Appleton, who recounts a year of converging perils: the slow grind of the recession, his worrying medical test results, a strange recurring vision, and the unwanted attention of a mysterious stranger. Then, when David's 12-year-old son, Sam, is shot in a hunting accident and winds up comatose, his family has every claim to despair; instead, they battle through, even as David's search for his son's shooter goes nowhere, and the stranger reveals a shocking, potentially life-altering secret. The trials of David's family are interposed with the calls he takes in his veterinary practice, in which he tends to sick sheep and injured horses with the same gentleness he shows his young children and exasperated but loving wife. These scenes evoke the dulcet cadences of life in a rural New England town, a place of stoicism and goodwill without the embroidery of folksy cliches. Murphy's subtle, wry wit and an appealing sense for the surreal leaven moments of anger and bleakness, and elevate moments of kindness, whimsy, and grace. (Aug.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.

From Library Journal:

When a veterinarian in rural New England takes his son hunting, the boy is shot by another hunter and falls into a coma. Murphy (In a Bear's Eye) begins this startling story as a clever exercise in narration, with each entry concerning calls the vet receives and his responses and observations. A sample entry: "Thoughts on Drive Home: I know some people who will not look me in the eye." The entries get even stranger with the boy's hospitalization. The father sees UFOs and spacemen at night, and his unraveling continues as he attempts to find the shooter. VERDICT Murphy's eye for small-town detail and human/animal relations makes for a complex, delicate story line, and the novel as a whole carries a very real human velocity and gravity. The domestic focus and unexpected intrusions recall fiction by Dave Eggers and Vendela Vida. Engaging and acutely modern, this work will appeal to many readers.-Travis Fristoe, Alachua Cty. Lib. Dist., FL (c) Copyright 2011. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

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