The Bee Sting

The Bee Sting

Summary

WINNER OF THE NERO BOOK AWARD FOR FICTION 2023
WINNER OF AN POST IRISH BOOK OF THE YEAR 2023
SHORTLISTED FOR THE BOOKER PRIZE 2023
SHORTLISTED FOR THE WRITERS’ PRIZE FOR FICTION 2024
SHORTLISTED FOR THE KERRY GROUP NOVEL OF THE YEAR 2024
ONE OF SARAH JESSICA PARKER’S BEST BOOKS OF 2023

Book of the Year 2023
according to New York Times, New Yorker, The Sunday Times, The Economist, Observer, Guardian, Washington Post, Lit Hub, TIME magazine, Irish Times, The Oldie, Daily Mail, i Paper, Independent, The Standard, The Times, Kirkus, Daily Express, City A.M.

From one of our greatest comic novelists and the author of Skippy Dies comes a funny, thought-provoking story of one family desperately clinging on as their world falls apart . . .

'A tragicomic triumph. You won't read a sadder, truer, funnier novel this year' Guardian

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 wife Imelda is selling off her jewellery on eBay 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 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 tarmac, 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?

‘The finest novel that Murray has yet written . . . will surely be one of the books of 2023’ Sunday Independent

'Murray is a natural storyteller . . . Ambitious, expansive, hugely entertaining tragicomic fiction' Irish Times

'It's a thing of beauty, a novel that will fill your heart' Observer

‘Generous, immersive, sharp-witted and devastating . . . a triumph’ Financial Times

‘It's been compared to Jonathan Franzen's The Corrections; I'd argue it's better’ Daily Mail

Reviews

  • It can't be overstated how purely pleasurable The Bee Sting is to read. Murray's brilliant new novel, about a rural Irish clan, posits the author as Dublin's answer to Jonathan Franzen . . . A 650-page slab of compulsive high-grade entertainment, The Bee Sting oozes pathos while being very funny to boot . . . Murray's observational gifts and A-game phrase-making render almost every page - every line, it sometimes seems - abuzz with fresh and funny insights . . . At its core this is a novel concerned with the ties that bind, secrets and lies, love and loss. They're all here, brought to life with captivating vigour in a first-class performance to cherish
    Observer (Anthony Cummins)

About the author

Paul Murray

Paul Murray was born in Dublin in 1975 and is the author of An Evening of Long Goodbyes, Skippy Dies, The Mark and the Void and The Bee Sting. An Evening of Long Goodbyes was shortlisted for the Whitbread First Novel Award and nominated for the Kerry Group Irish Fiction Award. Skippy Dies was shortlisted for the Costa Novel Award and the National Book Critics Circle Award, and longlisted for the Booker Prize. The Mark and the Void won the Everyman Wodehouse Prize. The Bee Sting won the Nero Book of the Year Award and the An Post Irish Book of the Year, and was shortlisted for the Booker Prize, the Writers’ Prize for Fiction and the Kirkus Prize for Fiction. Paul Murray lives in Dublin.
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