The Town by Shaun Prescott

Staff Pick

Prescott’s favorite writer is Kafka, so any echo of The Trial or The Castle in his title is likely deliberate, as is the plot's philisophical blend of the mundane and the surreal. Never breaking its low-key, reflective tone, the novel is narrated by an unnamed writer researching a book about the disappearing towns of New South Wales, Australia. The one he finds himself (or perhaps loses himself) in seems more simulacrum than town—its buses go nowhere and no one rides them, houses are there for “display,” people spend their days roaming stores without wanting anything.  Then mysterious holes start popping up and replace chunks of the town with a strange, mirror-like blankness. Despite this ominous development, the townspeople carry on much as usual, leading lives with few hopes or expectations. As the narrator ponders what it might mean if this is the end of the world, Prescott captures something chillingly true about today, where we cling to business as usual even as the climate crisis grows more dire by the day—almost as if we don’t really have anything to lose.

The Town: A Novel Cover Image
$26.00
ISBN: 9780374278526
Availability: Backordered
Published: Farrar, Straus and Giroux - February 4th, 2020

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