The Bee Sting Book Reviews

Paul Murray

The Bee Sting by Paul Murray Book Summary

One of The New York Times Top 10 Books of 2023
Winner of the An Post Irish Book of the Year 2023
Shortlisted for the 2023 Booker Prize and the 2023 Nero Book Award for Fiction
Finalist for the 2023 Kirkus Prize for Fiction

One of The New Yorker's Essential Reads of 2023. One of The Washington Post's 10 Best Books of 2023. One of TIME's 10 Best Fiction Books of the Year. Named a Best Book of the Year by NPR, The Guardian, The Economist, New York Public Library, BBC, and more

From the author of Skippy Dies comes Paul Murray's The Bee Sting, an irresistibly funny, wise, and thought-provoking tour de force about family, fortune, and the struggle to be a good person when the world is falling apart.

The Barnes family is in trouble. Dickie’s once-lucrative car business is going under—but Dickie is spending his days in the woods, building an apocalypse-proof bunker with a renegade handyman. His wife, Imelda, is selling off her jewelry on eBay and half-heartedly dodging the attention of fast-talking cattle farmer Big Mike, while their teenage daughter, Cass, formerly top of her class, seems determined to binge drink her way through her final exams. As for twelve-year-old PJ, he’s on the brink of running away.

If you wanted to change this story, how far back would you have to go? To the infamous bee sting that ruined Imelda’s wedding day? To the car crash one year before Cass was born? All the way back to Dickie at ten years old, standing in the summer garden with his father, learning how to be a real man?

The Bee Sting, Paul Murray’s exuberantly entertaining new novel, is a tour de force: a portrait of postcrash Ireland, a tragicomic family saga, and a dazzling story about the struggle to be good at the end of the world.

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Book Name The Bee Sting
Genre Literary
Language English
E-Book Size 6.2 MB

The Bee Sting (Paul Murray) Book Reviews 2024

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Nothing is as it seems. Paul Murrray! What! Wait! Now I know why the book club was excited to discuss the ending. I’m reminded a bit of David F Wallace too from this novel.

Just…WOW. Impeccable.

Tedious - why is this Booker Prize listed?. This is a really tedious book. It could have been half the length. The characters are all so unlikable and unsympathetic - both their interior lives and their exterior lives.

A page turner.. The Bee Sting is as juicy, emotional, and saturated as a 1950s technicolor melodrama by Douglas Sirk, yet with a solid moral and literary core. You go deep into the minds and lives of the Barneses—Dickie the dad, Imelda the mom, Cass the daughter, and PJ the son. They’re a prosperous Irish family but one that’s increasingly in trouble, individually and collectively. The yearnings and terrors of each character come vividly to life. The prose is masterful, especially when Imelda holds center stage. Here the author dispenses with most punctuation, but you are never at sea, just deep in her mind (I would almost say her soul). Imelda’s parts put me in mind of the famously unpunctuated ending of Ulysses (And then I asked him with my eyes to ask again yes and then he asked me would I yes . . . .) but it is in no way a hard read. It’s a miracle that so much heart and nuance and almost-but-not-quite florid prose can sink its teeth into you do deeply. The normally punctuated parts convey complicated thoughts and half thoughts as gracefully as a skater doing easy triple lutzes. If I were boarding a transatlantic flight this is the novel I’d want to have with me. I suspect that only an Irish writer could quite pull this off.

Surprisingly Good!. Initially thought it was a bit juvenile after reading the first section - actually gave up and gave it 2 stars. But came back later and it turned out to be quite a gripping page turner. A somewhat sad and at times sordid saga of a family, that has quite a few surprises in store for the reader, and is clearly a contender for the Prize.

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Other Books from Paul Murray
Book Name Score Reviews Price
Faith or Frustration 0/5 0 $9.99
Skippy Dies 4/5 138 $12.99
Skippy stirbt 0/5 0 $14.99
More Than Conquerors 0/5 0 $9.99
The Failure of Death 0/5 0 $9.99

Summary of The Bee Sting by Paul Murray

The The Bee Sting book written by Paul Murray was published on 15 August 2023, Tuesday in the Literary category. A total of 270 readers of the book gave the book 4 points out of 5.

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