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.

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

The Barnes family are in trouble. Until recently they ran the biggest business in town, now they’re teetering on the brink of bankruptcy – and that’s just the start of their problems. Dickie and Imelda’s marriage is hanging by a thread; straight-A student Cass is careening off the rails; PJ is hopelessly in debt to the school bully. Meanwhile the ghosts of old mistakes are rising out of the past to meet them, but everyone’s too wrapped up in the present to see the danger looming . . .

'Generous, immersive, sharp-witted and devastating; the sort of novel that becomes a friend for life' Financial Times

‘Paul Murray [is] the undisputed reigning champion of epic Irish tragicomedy’ Spectator


‘An instant classic’ Washington Post

‘[An] astute, remorselessly funny novel’ Daily Mirror

‘A wagyu steak of a novel . . . A classic in the mode of The CorrectionsThe Times

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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