The Horned Man by James Lasdun

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"Unputdownable... a masterpiece of chilling, mesmerizing control.'"—Michael Dirda, Washington Post

The Horned Man opens with a man losing his place in a book, then deepens into a dark and terrifying tale of a man losing his place in the world. As Lawrence Miller—an English expatriate and professor of gender studies—tells the story of what appears to be an elaborate conspiracy to frame him for a series of brutal killings, we descend into a world of subtly deceptive appearances where persecutor and victim continually shift roles, where paranoia assumes an air of calm rationality, and where enlightenment itself casts a darkness in which the most nightmarish acts occur. As the novel races to its shocking conclusion, we follow Miller as he traverses the streets of Manhattan and the decaying suburbs beyond, in terrified pursuit of his pursuers. Written with sinuous grace and intellectual acuity, The Horned Man is an extraordinary, unforgettable first novel by an acclaimed writer and poet of unusual power. Reading group guide included.

About James Lasdun

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James Lasdun's previous books include The Horned Man, named a New York Times Notable Book and The Economist Best Book of the Year. He teaches at Princeton University and lives in Shady, New York.
Published May 17, 2003 by W. W. Norton & Company. 204 pages
Genres: Mystery, Thriller & Suspense, Literature & Fiction, Horror, Action & Adventure, Humor & Entertainment. Fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for The Horned Man

Kirkus Reviews

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Although the Trumilcik case transpired before Miller’s arrival on campus, strange coincidences have lately made Miller suspicious that Trumilcik may be stalking him, or at least using Miller’s office after-hours: Miller keeps finding inexplicable telephone calls on his bill, and documents by Trum...

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The Guardian

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The Horned Man James Lasdun 194pp, Jonathan Cape, £10.99 The Anglo-American novel, of which this is an intriguing example, used to fall into two main categories.

Feb 23 2002 | Read Full Review of The Horned Man

The Guardian

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'It was like a riddle: what do a glass eye and a motiveless killing have in common?' Trumilcik's sinister trail grows ever stronger, until finally Lawrence encounters him in the basement of an abandoned synagogue: 'It was the only time I did see him, pale and tattered, stinking of dereliction, ...

Feb 03 2002 | Read Full Review of The Horned Man

Publishers Weekly

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A lonely, eccentric New York academic discovers his office is also home to a deranged squatter in this startling, brilliantly mysterious debut novel by poet and short story writer Lasdun.

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Book Reporter

Be prepared to savor the appetizing assortment of red herrings, fresh clues, provocative questions, and formidable ideas that force readers to redefine their own perceptions of reality, memory, revenge, and the definition of madness.

Jan 22 2011 | Read Full Review of The Horned Man

London Review of Books

Her name is perhaps a clue that the more paranoid interpretation is the right one, but Miller wonders if the misplaced bookmark could be ‘a case of parapraxis – Freud’s term for the lapses of memory, slips of the tongue, and other minor suppressions of consciousness that occur in everyday life.’ ...

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