A Prayer for the Dying: A Novel

Front Cover
Macmillan, May 26, 2009 - Fiction - 208 pages
15 Reviews

New York Times Book Review Notable Book of the Year

“A new masterpiece of American literature.” —Dennis Lehane, Entertainment Weekly

A Prayer for the Dying reads like the amazing, unrelenting love child of Shirley Jackson and Cormac McCarthy. It’s twisted proof that God will do worse to test a faithful man than the devil would ever do to punish a sinner.” —Chuck Palahniuk

Set in Friendship, Wisconsin, just after the Civil War, A Prayer for the Dying tells of a horrible epidemic that is suddenly and gruesomely killing the town's residents and setting off a terrifying paranoia. Jacob Hansen, Friendship's sheriff, undertaker, and pastor, is soon overwhelmed by the fear and anguish around him, and his sanity begins to fray. Dark, poetic, and chilling, Stewart O'Nan's A Prayer for the Dying examines the effect of madness and violence on the morality of a once-decent man.

 

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LibraryThing Review

User Review  - viviennestrauss - LibraryThing

Why only 4 stars? Not a topic or time period I would have chosen to read but this was highly recommended by a friend. Could possibly be one of the most horrific books I've ever read. The question ... Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - hayduke - LibraryThing

This novel will slowly take you down a dark path, as Jacob Hansen, preacher, sheriff and undertaker, tries to keep his small Wisconsin town alive against a diphtheria outbreak. He is also haunted by ... Read full review

Selected pages

Contents

Section 1
3
Section 2
28
Section 3
50
Section 4
73
Section 5
95
Section 6
126
Section 7
148
Section 8
172
Copyright

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About the author (2009)

Stewart O’Nan's novels include Last Night at the Lobster, The Night Country, and Prayer for the Dying. His novel Snow Angels was the basis of the 2007 film of the same name. He is also the author of the nonfiction books The Circus Fire and, with Stephen King, the bestselling Faithful. Granta named him one of the Twenty Best Young American Novelists. He lives in Pittsburgh.

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