This title was shotlisted for the Booker Prize. Opening on the windswept front of Morecambe Bay, on the remote north-west coast of England, "The Electric Michelangelo" is a novel of love, loss and the art of tattooing. In the uniquely sensuous and lyrical prose that has already become her trademark, Sarah Hall's remarkable new novel tells the ...
This title was shotlisted for the Booker Prize. Opening on the windswept front of Morecambe Bay, on the remote north-west coast of England, "The Electric Michelangelo" is a novel of love, loss and the art of tattooing. In the uniquely sensuous and lyrical prose that has already become her trademark, Sarah Hall's remarkable new novel tells the story of Cy Parks, from his childhood years spent in a seaside guest house for consumptives with his mother, Reeda, to his apprenticeship as a tattoo-artist with Eliot Riley - a scraper with a reputation as a Bolshevik and a drinker to boot. His skills acquired and a thirst for experience burning within him, Cy departs for America and the riotous world of the Coney Island boardwalk, where he sets up his own business as 'The Electric Michelangelo'. In this carnival environment of roller-coasters and freak-shows, while the crest of the Edwardian amusement industry wave is breaking, Cy becomes enamoured with Grace, a mysterious East European immigrant and circus performer who commissions him to cover her body entirely with tattooed eyes. Hugely atmospheric, exotic, and familiar, "The Electric Michelangelo" is a love story and an exquisitely rendered portrait of seaside resorts on opposite sides of the Atlantic by one of the most uniquely talented novelists of her generation. World rights for "The Electric Michelangelo" are controlled by Faber. Rights for France and The Netherlands have been sold.
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Publishers Weekly, 2005-08-08 Hall's mellifluous coming-of-age story about an apprentice tattoo artist from the north coast of England who reinvents himself in Coney Island, N.Y., is picaresque in its sweep and lovely in its lush description. This 2004 Booker Prize finalist, Hall's second novel (after Haweswater) but first U.S. release, follows Cyril Parks from his youth in the 1910s, as he grows up the only son of the widowed proprietor of the Bayview Hotel in Morecambe, through his hard-won apprenticeship to the seedy rogue Eliot Riley, under whose exacting tutelage he becomes a skilled tattoo artist. From his benevolent mother, Reeda Parks, who puts up consumptives at her hotel, he learns not to be disgusted by the spectacle of human misery. (Reeda also performs secret abortions and campaigns for women's suffrage.) Upon Reeda and Riley's deaths, Cy takes off for America and plies his trade among the vibrant array of freak shows at Coney Island. By 1940, he meets a local Russian chess champion, Grace, and during the course of their love affair he inscribes 109 eye tattoos all over her body. Hall's writing is pure joy, especially when describing the childhood seaside shenanigans of Cy and his boy pals. Agent, Emma Parry. (Oct.) Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.
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