The Exquisite by Laird Hunt

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“Strange, original, and utterly brilliant—Laird Hunt is one of the most talented young writers on the American scene today.”—Paul Auster

Henry, a New Yorker left destitute by circumstance and obsession, is plucked from vagrancy by a shadowy outfit whose primary business is arranging for staged murders of anxiety-ridden clients unhinged by the “events downtown” and seeking to -experience—and live through—their own carefully executed assassinations. When Henry joins this nefarious crew, which includes a beautiful blonde tattooist named Tulip, contortionist twins, and a woman referred to only as “the knockout,” he becomes inextricably linked to its ringleader, the mysterious herring connoisseur Mr. Kindt, whose identity can be traced through twists and turns all the way back to the corpse depicted in Rembrandt’s The Anatomy Lesson.

Mirrored by a concurrently running story set in a hospital where Henry and Mr. Kindt are patients attended to by a certain Dr. Tulp, the mysteries surrounding Mr. Kindt’s past, Henry’s fate, and murders both staged and real begin to unravel in the most extraordinary ways. Substantive, stylish, and darkly comic, The Exquisite is a skillful dissection of reality, human connection, and the very nature of existence.


About Laird Hunt

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Called "one of the most talented young writers on the American scene today" by Paul Auster, Laird Hunt is the author of three previous, genre-bending novels: The Impossibly, The Exquisite, and Indiana, Indiana. A former press officer at the United Nations and current faculty member at the University of Denver, he lives in Boulder, Colorado.
Published September 1, 2006 by Coffee House Press. 256 pages
Genres: Literature & Fiction. Fiction

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Entranced by his new mentor’s courtly persona, his crackers and talismanic herring spread, his tales of the Dutch theft of New York and his air of soft-spoken menace, Henry quickly becomes chief “executioner,” and there are hints that one victim, Kindt’s accountant, may have actually died.

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Henry breaks in, overpowers you, “kills” you, and afterward you go out together and insist that Henry buy you a drink, considering how much you just paid him to rub you out.

Nov 30 2006 | Read Full Review of The Exquisite

Gather Books

Henry, a destitute New Yorker, is instructed by his friend Tulip to visit the apartment of Aris Kindt who has lots of things worth stealing.

Mar 09 2007 | Read Full Review of The Exquisite

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