Macmillan Childrens Publishing Group
The Plover

The Plover

A Novel

Brian Doyle

Picador

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Declan O Donnell has sailed deep into the vast, wild ocean, having had just finally enough of other people and their problems. He will go it alone, he will be his own country, he will be beholden to and beloved of no one.

But the galaxy soon presents him with a string of odd, entertaining, and dangerous passengers, who become companions of every sort and stripe. The Plover is the story of their adventures and misadventures in the immense blue country one of their company calls Pacifica. Hounded by a mysterious enemy, reluctantly acquiring one new resident after another, Declan O Donnell's lonely boat is eventually crammed with humor, argument, tension, and a resident herring gull.

Brian Doyle's The Plover is a sea novel, a maritime adventure, the story of a cold man melting, a compendium of small miracles, an elegy to Edmund Burke, a watery quest, a battle at sea---and a rapturous, heartfelt celebration of life's surprising paths, planned and unplanned.

EXCERPT

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45° NORTH, 125° WEST


WEST AND THEN WEST for weeks and weeks or months and months sweet Jesus knows how long. A lifetime of lifetimes. On the continent of the sea. A pair of shaggy claws scuttling on the ceiling of the sea. The silent...

Reviews

Praise for The Plover

“Brian Doyle writes with Melville's humor, Whitman's ecstasy, and Faulkner's run-on sentences . . . Few contemporary novels shimmer like this one.” —Anthony Doerr, author of All the Light We Cannot See

“Conrad, Stevenson, and Jack London come to mind, but so does the magical realism of Gabriel García Márquez . . . The Plover sails delightfully on an imaginative sea of insight, compassion, and a kind of mystical grace.” —The Seattle Times

“It is Doyle's careful shaping of his characters' internal landscapes that makes The Plover so unique . . . A novel of wondrous ideas worth mulling over.” —The Oregonian

“A rare and unusual book and a brilliant, mystical exploration of the human spirit.” —Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

“Brian Doyle has spun a great sea story, filled with apparitions, poetry, thrills, and wisdom. The sweet, buoyant joy under every sentence carried me along and had me cheering. I enjoyed this book enormously.” —Ian Frazier, author of Travels in Siberia and The Cursing Mommy's Book of Days

“Board this boat! Here's Doyle at his probing, astonishing, wordslinging best.” —Robin Cody, author of Voyage of a Summer Sun

The Plover alternately reminded me of The Unusual Life of Tristan Smith by Peter Carey, with its crippled main character and fictional country; The Life of Pi by Yann Martel, for strange adventures at sea; Florence and Giles by John Harding, for made-up words; and the works of Gabriel Garcia Marquez for the elements of magical realism. ” —Booksquawk

“Doyle has written a novel in the adventurous style of Jack London and Robert Louis Stevenson but with a gentle mocking of their valorization of the individual as absolute. Readers will enjoy this bracing and euphoric ode to the vastness of the ocean and the unexpectedness of life.” —Library Journal (starred)

“A novel about the sea. It is a rhythmic read. The cadence of the sea and of on-board conversation creates a mosaic of movement. The ocean serves as both protagonist and antagonist. It holds everyone together as it strives to pull everyone apart. It slides through the novel and lulls us into its great heart.” —The Portland Book Review

The Plover is a fun ride with meaning and heart, lots of it, as well as jokes, scares, storms at sea, surprises, magic, absurdity--and humanity, exuberant joyful humanity.” —Shelf Awareness (starred review)

“I don't know how many all-bird novels are out there, but Doyle could rule the canon. The aviary ensemble of The Plover ('those who have heard it say it has a mournful yet eager sound'), separated from the whole of the narrative, deftly and gracefully drives a stand-alone tale. ... But this is a people story -- it's full of them. They are colorfully introduced, down to the detailed fabric of their being and then often released from the tale, only to be intricately woven back in.” —The Register-Guard

Reviews from Goodreads

About the author

Brian Doyle

Brian Doyle edits Portland Magazine at the University of Portland in Oregon. He is the author of many books, among them the sprawling Oregon novel Mink River. His work has been reprinted in the annual Best American Essays, Best American Science and Nature Writing, and Best American Spiritual Writing anthologies. Among various honors for his work are a Catholic Book Award, three Pushcart Prizes, the John Burroughs Award for Nature Essays, Foreword Reviews's Book of the Year Award in 2011, and, puzzling him to this day, the 2008 Award in Literature from the American Academy of Arts and Letters.

Brian Doyle

© Hob Osterlund

Brian Doyle

From the Publisher

Picador

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