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Bridget McNulty

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Member Since: May, 2009

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Strange Nervous Laughter
by Bridget McNulty   

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Category: 

Relationships

Publisher:  Thomas Dunne Books St Martin's Press ISBN-10:  0312544340 Type: 
Pages: 

248

Copyright:  2007 ISBN-13:  9780312544348
Fiction

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Strange Nervous Laughter is a book about love, about how we are changed by being in love, out of love, or on the brink between the two.

With a large splash of black humour and a liberal dose of magical realism, this is a book unlike any other. Set in Durban, South Africa, in the hottest summer ever known, it follows six quirky characters as they muddle their way through life.

Excerpt
There are three states of love. In love, out of love, and on the precipice between the two. We all have a preference, and - surprisingly - in love is not always the hands-down winner. It is too messy, too all-consuming, too much. Then again, out of love can be a little lonely, and that teetering precipice - when you're no longer in love, but not quite out of it - exhaustingly dramatic.

Professional Reviews

Publisher's Weekly
Strange Nervous Laughter Bridget McNulty. St. Martin’s/Dunne, $23.95 (256p) ISBN 978-0-312-54434-8
The lives of six people collide in McNulty’s magical realism–infused debut set in the South African city of Durban during the hottest summer on record. Beth, a cashier at a small grocery, is on duty when the store is robbed. She and the two customers, Mdu and Meryl, are unharmed but shaken. Soon after the robbery, Beth—who floats when she’s happy—begins dating Pravesh, an undertaker who can sense death by a tingling at the back of his knees and heat in his ears. Mdu, who can speak to whales, meets Aisha, who’s so caught up in her dreams that reality fails to register. Meryl, an assistant at Guinness World Records, is sent to interview Harry, who is trying to set a world record for eating only green foods. Though the characters fall in and out of love, the novel is not a romance but rather an examination of love, the ways we respond to it and how we delude ourselves about our choices. While the themes may sound weighty, McNulty’s light touch and evocative descriptions of Durban make for an absorbing read. (May)



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