Dan Sheehan - Restless Souls - Orion Publishing Group

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  • Hardback £14.99
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    • ISBN:9781474605854
    • Publication date:08 Feb 2018
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    • ISBN:9781409171348
    • Publication date:08 Feb 2018

Restless Souls

By Dan Sheehan

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A stunning debut novel about war and loss, male friendship and the power of home.

'It never stops being a page-turner . . . a great debut' Colum McCann
'A terrific debut novel, bold and wise, each page lit with wit and with feeling' Jonathan Lee
'The funniest sad book I've read in a long time . . . A terrific debut from a dynamic new writer' J. Robert Lennon

Tom, Karl and Baz grew up together in down-on-its-luck Dublin. Friends since childhood, their lives diverged when Tom left home to be a war correspondent. Now, after three years embedded in the Siege of Sarajevo, he returns a haunted shell of the lad who went away.

Karl and Baz have no idea what they're doing but they are determined to see him through the darkness, even if it means travelling halfway around the world. Hearing about an unlikely cure - an experimental clinic called Restless Souls - they embark on a road trip across California.

But as they try to save Tom from his memories, they must confront their own - of what happened to their childhood friend Gabriel. And in doing so, they must ask how their boisterous teenage souls became weighed down, and why life got so damn complicated and sad.

Biographical Notes

Dan Sheehan received his MFA from University College Dublin. His writing has appeared in the Irish Times, the Los Angeles Review of Books, Guernica, TriQuarterly, Words Without Borders, BOMB, and Electric Literature, among others. He currently works as an editor at Literary Hub and lives with his wife Téa Obreht in New York. Restless Souls is his first novel.


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  • ISBN: 9781474605885
  • Publication date: 08 Feb 2018
  • Page count:
  • Imprint: W&N
RESTLESS SOULS is a hilariously shambolic road trip, a moving, freaked out, at times bruisingly mordant examination of the purgatorial agonies of PTSD, and above all a bawdy, alive, profane panegyric to the indissoluble bonds of friendship — Colin Barrett, author of YOUNG SKINS, Winner of the Guardian First Book Award
RESTLESS SOULS is a terrific debut novel, bold and wise, each page lit with wit and with feeling. In his examination of friendship, Ireland, and a distant Sarajevo under siege, Dan Sheehan marks himself out as a writer to watch — Jonathan Lee, author of HIGH DIVE
A great rattlebag of a novel, Restless Souls turns genre inside out. At turns comedic, at turns literary, at turns thriller, at turns philosophical, it never stops being a page-turner. Mixing humour with its attendant darkness, Sheehan postulates that we all must eventually face our own history. Ultimately this is a road journey into memory. This is a great debut, reminiscent of Colin Barrett, Sara Baume, Rob Doyle, Claire Louise Bennett and a whole new generation of Irish writers. — Colum McCann, author of TRANSATLANTIC
RESTLESS SOULS is the funniest sad book I've read in a long time, and a first novel of amazing complexity and maturity. Sheehan shows us the traumas of war and family like a seasoned veteran of both, and administers jokes like a battlefield nurse. A terrific debut from a dynamic new writer — J. Robert Lennon, author of BROKEN RIVER
Bittersweet might be the word for the feeling Dan Sheehan conjures up with this tale of three childhood friends trying to put things right, except that the warmth and depth with which he portrays the challenges of friendship go way beyond sweetness, and there's nothing bitter about the anger and darkness into which he is unafraid to send his characters; instead, this is a story of what happens when the best of intentions meet the hardest of truths. Here are the shadow of war, the long reach of trauma, and the moments when it becomes clear that shared memories, and banter, and boyhood code, may no longer be enough. A touching, brave book — Belinda McKeon, author of TENDER
RESTLESS SOULS is set amidst the siege of Sarajevo and catches admirably the madness of those times. For more than three years the embattled Holiday Inn in the Bosnian capital was the headquarters of the foreign press. The rooms without a view were the ones most in demand. We called ourselves the Sarajevo Survivors' Club. If I had the talents of a novelist, Dan Sheehan's book is one that I would love to have written — Martin Bell
One part war story, one part bro story, and one part road trip, RESTLESS SOULS is a wonderful debut by a talented, intelligent writer who knows how to make you think and make you feel and make you laugh. I devoured it — David Ebershoff, author of THE DANISH GIRL and THE 19TH WIFE
A brilliant debut from a talented young Irishman, RESTLESS SOULS is alternately comic and tragic, as three boyhood friends come to grips with the loss of innocence and the suddenly forceful presence of death in their lives — Philipp Meyer, author of THE SON
[An] enjoyable debut novel . . . there's some fine Irish comedy along the way, and Sheehan adeptly pierces the nature of lasting friendship — Observer
[Sheehan] evokes the boys' confusion, their tenderness, their fear. But also their hope that they can save their damaged friend and, in so doing, rescue themselves from the guilt that has haunted them since the first of their number took his life, a message that transcends generations. — GUARDIAN
Vivid, funny and emotionally intelligent, Sheehan's exploration of male friendship yokes extremes of human behaviour into a labile, and page-turning, tragicomedy. — SYDNEY MORNING HERALD
A strong and striking debut — THE AU REVIEW
[A] tender, banter-filled debut — DAILY MAIL
[A] bold, brave, bravura debut — SUNDAY EXPRESS S MAGAZINE
Sheehan's debut novel is ambitious, rambunctious and extremely accomplished. Ambitious, in so far as it addresses daunting and complex issues; rambunctious, in its wild, road-trippy exuberance; and accomplished because it combines these elements with style, wit and compassion . . . The prose style, full of vibrant wise-cracking energy, can turn on a dime into a controlled lyricism befitting serious subjects such as PTSD, mental health and the nature of masculinity... — Bert Wright, SUNDAY TIMES
Sheehan's stunning and moving debut novel explores the weight of trauma and the complicated contours of male friendship . . . Sheehan's blend of breathless action, unsentimental depictions of love, and spot-on period touches will appeal to readers who like their hopeful narratives tinged with powerful uncertainties — PUBLISHERS WEEKLY starred review
An insightful dissection of male friendship — Karen Hardy, CANBERRA TIMES
A great and intriguing read . . . an astonishingly assured look at three friends battling to make sense of their lives . . . I love the structure - as it flits back and forwards, and a picture is gradually built of the friends as they develop from being teenagers when, with Gabriel as the protector, their futures seemed full of promise, through a sense of helplessness, and finally to, if not an assured future, at least a feeling of hope . . . the heartrending scenes in Sarajevo are meticulously researched — IRISH EXAMINER
I was engrossed in this novel from the start - engaged by the author's acute observations of human nature, and the way the friends' characters gradually emerge through their, apparently mindless, banter. [Sheehan] is destined for great things. He has combined horror, sadness and comedy to brilliant effect; his structure is masterly; his pacing pitch perfect, and his characters ring eerily true. I was blown away by this; it's a book I will never forget. — Sue Leonard, BOOKS IRELAND MAGAZINE

Adaobi Tricia Nwaubani

Adaobi Tricia Nwaubani grew up in the eastern part of Nigeria, among the Igbo speaking people-the major culprits of 419 scams . She lives in Nigeria. I DO NOT COME TO YOU BY CHANCE is her first novel. It won a Betty Trask Award, the Commonwealth Writers' Prize for Best First Book (Africa), and was a finalist for the 2010 Wole Soyinka Prize for Literature in Africa.

Ami McKay

Ami McKay's debut novel, The Birth House, was a No.1 bestseller in Canada, winner of three CBA Libris Awards, nominated for the International IMPAC Dublin Literary Award, and a book club favourite around the world. While writing her new novel, The Witches of New York, she discovered several women in her family tree who were accused and tried for witchcraft. Born and raised in Indiana, Ami now lives in Nova Scotia.To find out more, visit www.amimckay.com@sideshowami

Amy MacKinnon

Amy MacKinnon, a former congressional aide, is a freelance writer whose commentaries have appeared in theSeattle Times, Boston Globe, Boston Herald, Patriot Ledger and on National Public Radio and This American Life. She lives in Marshfield, Massachusetts with her husband and their three young children.

Catriona McCloud

Catriona McCloud was born in South Queensferry, Scotland, and educated at Edinburgh University. She lives on a farm in a beautiful valley in Galloway.

Donna Hay

Donna Hay's first novel, 'Waiting in the Wings', won her the RNA New Writers' Award, and since then she has attracted praise from critics for 'Kiss & Tell', 'Such a Perfect Sister', 'Some Kind of Hero', 'Goodbye, Ruby Tuesday' and 'No Place for a Woman'. She writes regularly for TV TIMES and WHAT'S ON TV magazine. She lives in York with her husband and daughter.

Elizabeth Haydon

Having travelled the world extensively Elizabeth Haydon now lives on the East coast of America with her family. She is an editor in educational publishing. In her spare time she plays music.

Ella Griffin

Ella Griffin was born in Dublin. She was an award-winning advertising copywriter before she took the leap into fiction. She has written three novels since 2011. She writes about love and loss and loves making readers laugh and cry (sometimes on the same page.) Ella lives with her husband in County Wicklow in Ireland.You can find Ella at www.ellagriffin.com, Facebook/EllaGriffinAuthor and @EllaGriffin1

Gemma Townley

Gemma Townley is the author of five previous novels. Before turning to fiction Gemma worked in magazines. She now lives in London with her husband, Mark, and two children.

H.C. Carlton

Harold Carlton sketched the Paris collections for many years for the Sunday Times, the Observer and other publications including Elle magazine. He worked as assistant designer for two Paris maisons de couture, Nina Ricci and Courreges. Subsequently he illustrated Mademoiselle magazine and the New York Times and wrote for the Village Voice. He returned to London to become Menswear Editor of the Sunday Times. He is the author of Labels, which sold more than 1 million copies Stateside.

Holly Lisle

Holly Lisle lives and works in the USA - she is the author of a number of successful fantasy novels and has collaborated with many household names.

Ian Rankin

Born in the Kingdom of Fife in 1960, Ian Rankin graduated from the University of Edinburgh in 1982, and then spent three years writing novels when he was supposed to be working towards a PhD in Scottish Literature. His first Rebus novel was published in 1987, and the Rebus books are now translated into thirty-six languages and are bestsellers worldwide.Ian Rankin has been elected a Hawthornden Fellow, and is also a past winner of the Chandler-Fulbright Award. He is the recipient of four Crime Writers' Association Dagger Awards including the prestigious Diamond Dagger in 2005. In 2004, Ian won America's celebrated Edgar Award for Resurrection Men. He has also been shortlisted for the Anthony Award in the USA, won Denmark's Palle Rosenkrantz Prize, the French Grand Prix du Roman Noir and the Deutscher Krimipreis. Ian Rankin is also the recipient of honorary degrees from the universities of Abertay, St Andrews, Edinburgh, Hull and the Open University.A contributor to BBC2's Newsnight Review, he also presented his own TV series, Ian Rankin's Evil Thoughts. Rankin is a number one bestseller in the UK and has received the OBE for services to literature, opting to receive the prize in his home city of Edinburgh, where he lives with his partner and two sons. www.ianrankin.net Twitter @Beathhigh

J.G. Farrell

J.G. Farrell was born in Liverpool in 1935 and spent a good deal of his life abroad, including periods in France and North America, and then settled in London where he wrote most of his novels.Among his novels, TROUBLES won the Faber Memorial Prize in 1970 and the Lost Man Booker prize in 2010 and THE SIEGE OF KRISHNAPUR won the Booker Prize in 1973.In April 1979 he went to live in County Cork where only four months later he was drowned in a fishing accident.

James A. Levine

James A. Levine is a Professor of Medicine at the Mayo Clinic. In collaboration with the United Nations, James has focused his work on the plight of women and children in low-income countries. For his scientific work, Dr. Levine has regularly appeared on CNN, BBC, CBC and the Discovery Channel, and has been repeatedly featured in the NEW YORK TIMES, USE TODAY, TIME, WALL STREET JOURNAL, US NEWS, THE TIMES and many other major US and international papers.

Jean Fullerton

Jean Fullerton is the author of seven historical novels. She is a qualified District and Queen's nurse who has spent most of her working life in the East End of London, first as a Sister in charge of a team, and then as a District Nurse tutor. She is also a qualified teacher and spent twelve years lecturing on community nursing studies at a London university. She now writes full-time. Find out more at www.jeanfullerton.com

Joe R Lansdale

Joe R. Lansdale is the winner of the British Fantasy Award, the American Horror Award, the Edgar Award, and six Bram Stoker Awards. He lives in Nacogdoches, Texas.

John Marco

John Marco has worked in various industries including aviation, computers and home security. He now writes full time. He lives on Long Island in the USA.

Joseph Boyden

Joseph Boyden is the author of a collection of stories. he is a regular contributor to a number of magazines in Canada. He divides his time between Ontario and Louisiana, where he teaches English at the University of New Orleans.http://www.josephboyden.com/

Julie Walters

Julie Walters was nominated for an Oscar for Educating Rita, having made the part her own on stage, and starred in Billy Elliot. She is Mrs Weasley in the Harry Potter films, and co-starred with Helen Mirren in Calendar Girls. Versatile enough to appear both as Mrs Overall in her friend Victoria Wood's Acorn Antiques as well as the sexy Wife of Bath in the BBC's adaptation of The Canterbury Tales, she is 'arguably the nation's best-loved actress' (Sunday Times).

Kerry Reichs

Kerry Reichs is a native of Charlotte, North Carolina. She is a graduate of Oberlin College, Duke University School of Law and Sanford Institute of Public Policy. Kerry practiced law in Washington, DC for six years prior to settling down to write novels. She currently lives in DC and Los Angeles. Kerry has been a maid of honour five times, a bridesmaid five times and a reader twice. She has never been married.

Kevin Ivison

Captain Kevin Ivison, GM, was commissioned into the army in 2000, and served in Afghanistan, Bosnia, Kosovo, Northern Ireland and Iraq, where his work as a bomb disposal expert won him the George Medal. Since leaving the army in April 2009 he has worked for the Ministry of Defence.