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Drowning practice : a novel
2022
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Library Journal Review
Meginnis has a wild if intimately involving imagination--his debut, Fat Man and Little Boy, offered a surreal slant on the terrible atomic bombing of Japan at the end of World War II by reconceiving the bombs as human and in fact brothers--and he's at it again. His second novel posits that one night everyone on Earth has the same dream of being escorted to death by a loved one on November 1, spurring the conviction that the world will end after Halloween. Lyd and her daughter, Mott, join a troupe of travelers aiming to live fully until the end, regardless of the uncertainty, though Mott's estranged father has a different idea of what they should be doing. With a 75,000-copy first printing.
Publishers Weekly Review
Meginiss (Fat Man and Little Boy) sets a mother and daughter's escape from an abusive ex-husband against a pre-apocalyptic backdrop in his layered sophomore effort. It begins with an arresting premise: everyone on Earth just had the same dream that they will all die in seven months, on the day after Halloween. Some take their own lives or ask others to kill them, while others burn down buildings, drink excessively, or attempt to continue life as normal. Lyd, a successful novelist and mother to 13-year-old Mott, attempts to hide from her abusive ex-husband, David, who claims to be a spy but won't say for which agency. Lyd and Mott's travels through a dystopian landscape has echoes of The Road, up until they arrive at the University of Houston and move into a dorm, where they find a new, semi-civilized normal, and Mott attends a writing workshop and forms a friendship with an awkward woman who works the front desk. Inevitably, David shows up. There's a lot going on, and it's a little baggy, but Meginnis writes well about the dread Lyd endured when living with David, and an ambiguous ending leaves many open questions to keep the reader pondering. Many writers continue to imagine the end of things, but Meginnis has found a new way to make it disturbing. (Mar.)
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