THE ENCHANTED wrapped its beautiful and terrible fingers around me from the first page and refused to let go after the last.
book that finds transcendence in the most unlikely of places, enshrouding horrible things in a gossamer veil of fantasy with a truly unforgettable
narrator. So dark yet so exquisite
(Erin Morgenstern, author of THE NIGHT CIRCUS
THE ENCHANTED is unlike anything I've ever read
... A jubilant celebration that explores human darkness with a profound lyric tenderness and not one jot of sentimentality ... contagious and seductive
(Katherine Dunn, author of GEEK LOVE
)Rene Denfeld is a genius.
In THE ENCHANTED, she has imagined one of the grimmest settings in the world - a dank and filthy death row in a corrupt prison - and given us one of the most beautiful, heart-rending, and riveting novels I have ever read
(Donald Ray Pollock, author of THE DEVIL ALL THE TIME
)A striking one-of-a-kind prison novel.
The narrator, who is on death row and remains nameless until the book's end, explains that the prison, although a place where "the walls sigh with sadness," is enchanted: golden horses "run deep under the earth," miniature men with miniature hammers hide in the walls, and "flibber-gibbets dance while the oven slowly ticks." The narrator's magical perspective-which is paradoxically necessary, perhaps, to preserve what remains of his sanity-contrasts heartbreakingly with the parallel tale of an investigator, also unnamed, who is tasked with finding details about the past of another death-row inmate, known as York, that will result in his sentence being commuted, even though York has decided he wants to die ... Through the novel's rich, haunting prose
, Denfeld, who herself has worked as an investigator in death penalty cases, shines a light on lives led with capital punishment on the schedule. This is a stunning first novel from an already accomplished writer that will leave the reader hoping for more fiction in the author's future.
)Read this magical book, and prepare to be spellbound
)A dark must-read.
An unnamed prisoner looks for salvation amid the shadows of a high-security prison in this eerie, haunting novel
by Rene Denfeld, who worked as a Death Row investigator for many years. (MAIL ON SUNDAY
BOOK OF THE WEEK Weaving horror and suspense alongside magical realism, Denfeld takes the reader on a nightmarish journey that raises important questions about clemency and punishment, death and redemption...Meticulously researched, the novel benefits from the author's first-hand experience. A gripping and learned study of dysfunctional human behaviour. (THE LADY
This is magical, bleak and unexpectedly compelling. (HARPER'S BAZAAR
is a compelling, nuanced meditation on the possibility (no more than that) of human redemption, even int he most unlikely circumstances imaginable. (NEW INTERNATIONALIST
Denfeld is much more interested in the why rather than the whodunnit...it is through lyricism Denfeld offers her insight into human nature. Her thesis is that even in this terrible place there is to be found some terrible beauty. (IRISH EXAMINER