Macmillan Childrens Publishing Group
The Town That Forgot How to Breathe

The Town That Forgot How to Breathe

A Novel

Kenneth J. Harvey



Trade Paperback

Something strange is happening in the seaside town of Bareneed. Mythical creatures are being pulled from the sea, perfectly preserved corpses of long-lost villagers are washing up on the shore, and residents of the town are suddenly overcome by a mysterious illness that is making them forget how to breathe.

A page-turning gothic thriller reminiscent of H. P. Lovecraft, The Town That Forgot How to Breathe is "a novel of dazzling ambition and strange, haunting loveliness. . . . An absolute triumph of the storyteller's art" (Joseph O'Connor, author of Star of the Sea).


Praise for The Town That Forgot How to Breathe

“An eerie and gripping story, the work of an extravagantly haunted imagination.” —J. M. Coetzee, Nobel Prize winning author of Disgrace

“[A] thoughtful, grounded piece of literary horror.” —San Francisco Chronicle

“Haunting, poetic, funny, moving, The Town That Forgot How to Breathe takes on the big themes--the meaning of life, our relationship to the dead, man's place in the rapidly changing modern world--and carries everything off with a surging confidence that leaves the reader, well, breathless.” —John Harding, Daily Mail (U.K.)

“Harvey brings uniquely imaginative storytelling skill to this wickedly allegorical tale. . . . It will frighten readers so much they may never turn out the lights.” —BookPage

“Harvey's characters and their world--both the mystical and the real--are meticulously created. He moves between them in a way that creates dread and confusion, leaving readers on edge. . . . A fascinating, mystical story that will make readers hold their breath.” —Detroit Free Press

“Both a contemporary and a historical novel, The Town That Forgot How to Breathe is a tour de force! It speaks of the sea: of those who are upon it, beside it, beneath it. Kenneth J. Harvey, a writer like no other, is as knowledgeable as he is adventurous. A very exceptional novel, extraordinary in its power.” —Alistair MacLeod, author of No Great Mischief

“The quality of [Harvey's] storytelling and his way with an eerie instant are too good to miss.” —The Times (London)

“Harvey has managed to come up with something fresh and original. . . . His voice and vision are unique and strong through his writing, and it's just the breath of fresh air needed in horror fiction today.” —

“A heartwarming romance . . . a creepy horror story . . . a subtly didactic political allegory . . . [and] a fascinating regional novel . . . Harvey is an author whose storytelling prowess can speak for itself.” —Publishers Weekly (starred review)

“Chilly as the touch of Corpse-Weed, and haunting as the trouble in Stephen King's 'Salem's Lot or H. P. Lovecraft's The Dunwich Horror. Harvey delivers the horror goods.” —The Believer

“Harvey's American debut is big in every way. . . . Mystical, complicated, and always compelling, this is a standout among fall fiction. . . . Highly recommended.” —Library Journal

“A compelling tale that works on several levels--as a horror story, a warm father-daughter bonding story, and as a social commentary.” —The Sacramento Bee

“A very creepy read; thoughtful and eerie at the same time.” —The Arizona Republic

“Harvey's own tall tale is a richly ambiguous parable, not of the need to abandon technology in favor of 'the simple life,' but of the need to restore myth and poetry to our lives.” —The Philadelphia Inquirer

“Impressive . . . A truly strange and thoroughly entertaining page-turner, part fairy tale, part fable, part gothic thriller.” —Irish Independent

About the author

Kenneth J. Harvey

Kenneth J. Harvey's books are published in twelve countries. In Canada, The Town That Forgot How to Breathe won the Thomas Raddall Atlantic Fiction Award. Harvey's works have also been nominated for the Books in Canada First Novel Award and the Commonwealth Writers' Prize. He lives with his family in an outport of Newfoundland, Canada.

Kenneth J. Harvey

From the Publisher


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