This is How

Author(s): M.J. Hyland

Literary Fiction

Patrick Oxtoby is an outsider longing to fit in. Patrick struggles to make friends. He can't shake the feeling that his acquaintances are conspiring against him, fracturing his fragile personality and prompting him to take a course of action that alters his life. A mesmerizing portrait of a man whose unease in the world leads to his tragic undoing.


Product Information

Sal writes: MJ Hyland just loves trouble, or at least troubled youth. She delves and scrapes away to get to the bare bones of what makes people tick. Compellingly, they are ordinary, unassuming types leading seemingly uneventful lives and she's good at it. Her last book, Carry Me Down was shortlisted for the Man Booker and Orange prizes and How the Light Gets In is a favourite at BRTD. This book is inspired by a story she read from a collection of interviews with 12 convicted murderers. There's something just slightly off about her main character, poor old Patrick Oxtoby but nothing you could put your finger on. When we first meet him he is fleeing the embarrassment of a broken engagement, and who wouldn't have fleeting thoughts of perhaps pushing the jilting lover down the stairs? Patrick is moving on, he has a new job as a mechanic and new digs in a seaside boarding house. And who wouldn't feel cramped when their mother turns up, unannounced, to check up on you - a grown man? One thing leads to another and this is how...you're in for a riveting, unputdownable read! Victoria writes: This Is How is a novel that subtly reveals the fragility of human life in an extraordinarily beautiful way. It alludes to the arbitrary and inevitable experience of existence, the uneasiness of life, the power of time, memory and moments past, while referring to the splendor and power of the simple. This Is How is a devastating and uncompromising story, one of a man and his transformations through a series shocking moments of despair: beginning with a humble relocation to a seaside town, and concluding with an unexpected and irrevocable act of violence - one that determines a new life confined within the fortification of the criminal justice system. In this novel, M.J. Hyland explores the very complex nature of individuality and the nuances of being, through a delicate and brilliantly astute portrait of an outsider. The compelling characterization of Patrick Oxtoby as the obscure, anxious and internalized protagonist, provides the basis for a stunningly refined and virtually timeless novel. Despite the apparent emotional burden, this novel is a celebration of those rare and fleeting moments of beauty, of human connection and tenderness. This is How is a hauntingly seductive novel, one that will linger with you well after the book is finished - although this is hardly surprising, given the talent of the author at hand.

General Fields

  • : 9781921520532
  • : Text Publishing Company
  • : Text Publishing Company
  • : 0.52
  • : June 2009
  • : 230mm X 152mm
  • : Australia
  • : books

Special Fields

  • : M.J. Hyland
  • : Paperback
  • : 1
  • : good
  • : 388