Missy by Chris Hannan
A Novel

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Synopsis

Missy is laudanum, or liquid opium. Missy is Dol McQueen, a nineteen-year-old “flash-girl” traveling the arduous wagon trail from San Francisco to the boomtowns of the Sierra Nevada. Her purpose: to fleece the silver miners and to have a marvelous time.

Permanently gonged on missy, Dol and her entrepreneurial instincts wake up only when she comes into possession of a rum crate full of pure opium. But the crate has several owners, each more brutal than the last. Soon, instead of selling the boodle and opening her own establishment, Dol is fleeing across the salt flats and wastelands of the monumental American Southwest, where Civil War renegades, Native American mule thieves, and gangs of feral kids make hanging on to life a job for both hands.  Chris Hannan has mixed the irresistible Mark Twain of Roughing It with Annie Proulx’s brilliantly macabre wordplay, and the result is a historical novel of startling originality, in which every detail rings true. Dol McQueen is the most engaging antiheroine since Becky Sharp, and she makes Missy a debut of terrific energy, freshness, and delight.
 

About Chris Hannan

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CHRIS HANNAN is the author of several award-winning plays. He lives in Edinburgh, Scotland. This is his first novel.
 
Published June 10, 2008 by Farrar, Straus and Giroux. 304 pages
Genres: History, Humor & Entertainment, Literature & Fiction, Action & Adventure. Fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for Missy

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(The efforts of Dol and her cohorts to elude their pursuers suggest a black-comic gloss on Cormac McCarthy’s doom-laden No Country for Old Men.) And there is the problem of Dol’s mother Isobel, a veteran hooker with a history of misbehavior that ought to have earned her a lifetime sexual license,...

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Entertainment Weekly

What happens when a smart, mordantly funny Old West prostitute with a fondness for ''missy,'' or liquid opium, suddenly finds a whole crate of the stuff under her bed, stashed there by her pimp?

Jun 13 2008 | Read Full Review of Missy: A Novel

The Bookbag

Ness is Dol's best friend and she gently tries to approach Dol about her drug addiction and the chance that they could make something of themselves together if they tried, but Dol is blind to her advice and blind to the truth of her dependency on Missy.

Oct 24 2009 | Read Full Review of Missy: A Novel

San Francisco Chronicle

Then again, Dol McQueen gets into enough trouble by herself, mingling with a drifter pimp and a one-armed police chief (whose moral codes are virtually interchangeable), wealthy lawyers too drunk to think, and a roaming band of psychopathic children whose reputation for spectacular hooliganism pr...

Jun 20 2008 | Read Full Review of Missy: A Novel

Bookmarks Magazine

Soon, instead of selling the boodle and opening her own establishment, Dol is fleeing across the salt flats and wastelands of the monumental American Southwest, where Civil War renegades, Native American mule thieves, and gangs of feral kids make hanging on to life a job for both hands.

Jul 13 2008 | Read Full Review of Missy: A Novel

True West

On the trail of the top 10 most endangered sites found along the Oregon Trail from Independence, Missouri, to Oregon City, Oregon...

Jul 01 2008 | Read Full Review of Missy: A Novel

Reader Rating for Missy
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