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9780670922703

All That is Solid Melts into Air

McKeon, Darragh Author

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All That is Solid Melts into Air by Darragh McKeon is an exceptionally moving novel of interwoven lives, set amidst one of the most iconic disasters in living memory.

'Daring, ambitious, epic, moving' Colm Tóibín

'Exhilarating, thrilling, brilliantly imagined, beautifully written' Colum McCann

Russia, 1986. In a run-down apartment block in Moscow, a nine-year-old piano prodigy practices silently for fear of disturbing the neighbours. In a factory on the outskirts of the city, his aunt makes car parts, trying to hide her dissident past. In the hospital, a surgeon immerses himself in his work to avoid facing his failed marriage. And in a rural village in Belarus, a teenage boy wakes up to a sky of the deepest crimson. Outside, the ears of his neighbour's cattle are dripping blood. Ten miles away, at the Chernobyl Power Plant, something unimaginable has happened. Now their lives will change forever.

All That is Solid Melts into Air is an astonishing novel of terrifying beauty that captures the end of an era.

Darragh McKeon was born in 1979 and grew up in the midlands of Ireland. He has worked as a theatre director, and lives in New York. This is his first novel.

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This daring and ambitious novel blends historical epic and love story with a moving description of the Chernobyl disaster and the fall of the Soviet Union. A book rich with resonance far beyond its historical moment (Colm Tóibín)

Brilliantly imagined, exhilarating in its sweep; McKeon creates a thrilling appearance of ease, while he delves deep and forges new territory for the contemporary novel. Daring, generous and beautifully written, All That is Solid Melts into Air marks the beginning of a truly significant career. I cannot say it loud enough: McKeon is here to stay (Colum McCann)

Powerful and moving ... a supremely accomplished social novel ... What makes McKeon's vision so compelling is that the system this novel describes is not merely Russian, nor communist, but universal (John Burnside Guardian)

His description of the explosion at the Ukrainian nuclear plant is a stylistic high point ... recalls Don DeLillo's Underworld ... disturbing ... convincing ... a tense denouement ( Independent)

An outstanding debut novel ... portraying inconceivable horrors and acts of incredible beauty in luminously understated prose ... McKeon makes us care ... skilfully drawing us into their worlds before and after the explosion ... devastating ( Metro)

A book to be devoured, tragic and funny and sad and beautiful and sensual and shocking and, ultimately, utterly transcendent ... crackles with the whip-smart propulsion of a thriller, while immersing its reader in the rich inner turmoils of its characters ( Image)

Fascinating, with ... the ferocious grip of a rollercoaster thriller ... this book is beautifully written ... generous with elegantly turned phrases ... Skilfully crafted, thoughtful, poetic, well-judged ... [a] flawless pearl ( Irish Independent)

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McKeon, Darragh Author
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