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Macmillan Childrens Publishing Group
The Giant, O'Brien

The Giant, O'Brien

A Novel

Hilary Mantel

Henry Holt and Co.


New York Times Book Review Notable Book of the Year
Los Angeles Times Best Book of the Year

London, 1782: center of science and commerce, home to the newly rich and the desperately poor. In the midst of it all is the Giant, O'Brien, a freak of nature, a man of song and story who trusts in myths, fairies, miracles, and little people. He has come from Ireland to exhibit his size for money. O'Brien's opposite is a man of science, the famed anatomist John Hunter, who lusts after the Giant's corpse as a medical curiosity, a boon to the advancement of scientific knowledge.

In her acclaimed novel, two-time Man Booker Prize winning author Hilary Mantel tells of the fated convergence of Ireland and England. As belief wrestles knowledge and science wrestles song, so The Giant, O'Brien calls to us from a fork in the road as a tale of time, and a timeless tale.

Boston Book Review - Nominee

THE GIANT, O'BRIEN"Bring in the cows now. Time to shut up for the night."
There came three cows, breathing in the near-dark: swishing with the tips of their tails, their bones showing through hide. They set down their hooves among the...

Praise for The Giant, O'Brien

“Smart, astringent, and marvelously upsetting fiction.” —Francine Prose, The New York Times Book Review

“A novelist without peer in her generation . . . No reader who loves fiction should miss this opportunity to read this extraordinary work.” —San Francisco Chronicle

“Mantel's novel is in one sense a brilliant pastiche of Swift and Joyce [but] it becomes her own style, as acute and arresting as is her vision of history.” —The New York Review of Books


Reviews from Goodreads

Hilary Mantel

Hilary Mantel is the author of seven previous novels, including Eight Months on Ghazzah Street (Owl Books, 0-8050-5203-8), An Experiment in Love (Owl Books, 0-8050-5202-X), and A Change of Climate (Owl Books, 0-8050-5205-4). She also wrote A Place of Greater Safety. Winner of the Hawthornden Prize, she lives in England.

image of Hilary Mantelo
Els Zweerink

Read a New York Times interview