The Genius of the Sea by Naeem Murr
A Novel

No critic rating

Waiting for minimum critic reviews

See 2 Critic Reviews



From the author of New York Times Notable Book The Boy comes this mesmerizing evocation of the worlds that live within a single man, and the mysteries at the heart of life.

Heralded by The New York Times Book Review as having a "genius for the unexpected," and as a writer of "sharply intelligent prose," Naeem Murr arrived on the literary scene with his critically acclaimed first novel, The Boy. Murr lives up to this praise with his brilliant and original new work.

Daniel Mulvaugh is haunted by his failures. He has tried not to think about the death of his closest friend, for which he feels responsible, or the reasons for his mother's lifelong secrecy. He's estranged from his wife and true love, and his ability to connect to his life has begun to elude him. At this impasse, he can no longer find distraction in his pub-happy friends, or fulfillment in dealing with the squalid troubles of his social welfare clients.

When fate beckons Daniel in the form of Amos Radcliff, a bizarre ex-merchant marine living in Daniel's childhood apartment, he finds comfort in surrendering to this man's stories about his experiences on the high seas. But Amos isn't all he seems, and Daniel soon realizes that the key to his own past resides somewhere in these increasingly intimate and disturbing tales.

Between Amos and Daniel, the story moves back and forth: from the working-class pubs of London to the shantytowns of Bangkok, from a sanatorium for the mentally ill to a South American merchant ship crewed by misanthropic sailors, from this world into a deeper and more mysterious one of primal loss, love, and betrayal.

The Genius of the Sea takes both Daniel and the reader on a journey into a contemporary heart of darkness -- and light. Naeem Murr has crafted a richly compelling waking dream of a book.


About Naeem Murr

See more books from this Author
Naeem Murr was both a Stegner Fellow and a Scowcroft Fellow at Stanford University. He has received the Raymond Carver Prize for poetry and twice won the Gettysburg Review Award for best story. He lives in San Francisco.
Published January 1, 2003 by William Heinemann Ltd. 320 pages
Genres: Literature & Fiction. Fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for The Genius of the Sea

Kirkus Reviews

See more reviews from this publication

Amos is an old man who’s been receiving fraudulent welfare checks (“the king’s shilling,” as he grandiloquently refers to it) and living in the old estate flat where Daniel grew up and his mother died.

| Read Full Review of The Genius of the Sea : A Novel

Publishers Weekly

See more reviews from this publication

Clarke, considered one of Canada's finest political novelists, but less well known in the U.S. (a memoir, Pig Tails 'n Breadfruit, was published by the Ne

Apr 21 2003 | Read Full Review of The Genius of the Sea : A Novel

Reader Rating for The Genius of the Sea

An aggregated and normalized score based on 5 user ratings from iDreamBooks & iTunes

Rate this book!

Add Review