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Half of the Human Race [Hardcover]

Anthony Quinn
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (43 customer reviews)

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Review

`By jove, it's a corker' --Tatler, January 11, 2011

'Not only is Connie Callaway, one of his two principals, part of the sisterhood of the Suffragette movement, the other, Will Maitland, is a championship cricketer who operates in an all-male sporting environment. To portray two such gender-specific worlds equally convincingly is a tall order, but Quinn carries it off with aplomb. His impeccable eye for detail, perfect pitch for the nuances of dialogue, and the quiet, understated passion that enlivens his writing - all seen to good effect in his debut novel The Rescue Man - combine here to make his considerable achievement seem effortless... There are also vivid descriptions of women's prisons, of the trenches of the First World War, of the sweeping-away of the complacency of the Edwardian age. Quinn's grasp of history is acute, but it is his ambition - and his ability to deliver on it - that impresses most. The Rescue Man won prizes. Half of the Human Race should follow in its footsteps and establish its author as one of our most impressive novelists' --Independent,

'His integration of the historical background into the lives of his protagonists (the suffrage movement, Edwardian professional cricket, the experience of the trenches) is admirably done, with everything stitched into a seamless tapestry. The rhythm of rejection and understanding in Connie and Will's relationship is mapped out with care and precision. The permutations between them and sad, lonely Tam are explored with such exemplary meticulousness that you can't help but be touched' --The Sunday Times,

'This is only Anthony Quinn's second novel, but you would never guess it from the expert way he marshals his material, telling a human story in a literate, intelligent way... If the cricket scenes bring a nostalgic smile to the face, the real guts of the book can be found in the character of Connie. She is sprightly, impulsive, independent-minded... Her passion for justice never stifles her capacity for intellectual self-doubt and emotional tenderness. You really care what happens to her. Half of the Human Race is not just an exhilarating love story, bur a thoughtful, well-crafted novel that can be recommended to lovers of cricket, smoking or Jane Austen - not necessarily in that order' --Daily Telegraph,

'Half of the Human Race is the sort of novel one presses on a friend in a spirit of happy envy, confident of the fictional treat that lies ahead of them' --Evening Standard,

`Captivating, thought-provoking and compelling.' --Easy Living

`This beautifully constructed novel imagines a romance between a cricketer and a suffragette.' --The Observer

`Both as a historical novel and as the story of a love affair Half of the Human Race is a credible and compelling book.'
`Male authors do not always succeed with novels in which the central character is a woman, but Anthony Quinn has portrayed Connie in subtle shades. He is equally convincing with his male character'
`This is a moving and compelling novel that has the potential to become a successful film.'
--TLS,

`excellent and surprising book.'
`A wonderfully rich sense of time and place is evoked.'
`Quinn's subtle historical scene-setting is painterly but never clich�éd.'
`The final section of the book covers the war years and it is here that the writing really gathers pace, with Quinn hitting his stride in some truly heart-stopping battle scenes.'
`The oft-described horror of trench warfare is envisioned with a fresh eye and a keen ear for the many different voices thrown together in a fighting company, and at times it is possible to forget that this is fiction rather than a first-hand account.'
`A thoroughly absorbing and moving novel and it is testament to the author's adaptability and energy'
--The Sunday Times

`Few books boast a suffragette heroine and a professional cricket hero but Anthony Quinn's second novel pulls off such a strange pairing because it is old-fashioned in a very good way... Quinn memorably foregrounds the humanity of the characters... in his novel's historical sweep and tells their stories wonderfully' --Metro

`... powerful and touching. In Connie, Quinn has created a compelling heroine' --Guardian Review

`What lights up Half of the Human Race is not only the Suffragist movement in all its glory and lunacy, but Quinn's affection for his cast'
`So often, historical fiction relies on research for its colour and depth of interest, but these are people who feel absorbingly real in their misunderstandings, jokes, troubles and passions.'
`It would make a compelling film, but is an even more satisfying novel' --The Daily Telegraph

'Trench warfare is vividly described: the agonizing wait for dawn, the despairing bravery of those going `over the top', the futility, the waste, the sadness. Anthony Quinn tells this part of his tale faultlessly, and without a clich�é. Quinn writes about cricket with an insider's authority, amanaging o retain the interest of readers less familiar with it by his deft use of cricket's idiosyncratic vocabulary, which bestows a poetic charm on his style' --The Tablet

'A highly readable book about love, loyalty and integrity' --Daily Mail

'Enthralling... in effortlessly fluent prose, Quinn keeps you riveted until the very end' --Mail on Sunday

'with crisp prose and evocative description, Anthony Quinn's second novel embodies early 20th century Britain with aplomb and exhumes a political plight that still has great relevance' --Eastern Daily Press

'Not just an exhilarating love story... a bold, impressive novel' --Waitrose Weekend

`The Suffragette movement and pre-war country cricket might seem an odd couple for a novel but Anthony Quinn marries them perfectly in a nostalgic and compelling tale whose themes of love and friendship on and off the pitch will appeal to lovers of romance and cricket alike.' --The Cricketer

`I'm attempting to write my own novel about this era, and so I'm very curious to see how Quinn (a terrific film and fiction critic) manages to dramatise it. I'm only on chapter three, and already I'm picking up tips fast!' --Daily Telegraph

Book Description

A captivating and engrossing new novel on the Suffragette movement, county cricket and the First World War by the prize-winning Anthony Quinn.

About the Author

Anthony Quinn was born in Liverpool in 1964. Since 1998 he has been the film critic of the Independent. His first novel The Rescue Man (2009) won the Authors' Club Best First Novel Award.
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