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Life! Death! Prizes! Paperback – 1 Apr 2012

4.5 out of 5 stars 68 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing (1 April 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1408819139
  • ISBN-13: 978-1408819135
  • Product Dimensions: 23.3 x 1.9 x 15.5 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars 68 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,320,032 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product description


A raw, funny and heartfelt book, full of surprising tenderness and hope - a fine achievement (A.L. Kennedy)

I loved this book for its touching, truthful - sometimes shocking - and painfully funny portrayal of two brothers struggling to stay together after the death of their mother. It's a paean of praise for the other side of contemporary youth, the side that, with all its foibles and failures, is still driven by love and connection (Mavis Cheek)

I don't know how he does it, but Stephen May manages to balance hilarity and sadness in nearly every sentence of this deftly comic, completely engaging and at times absolutely hair-raising novel. Life! Death! Prizes! deserves every one of its exclamation marks (Suzanne Berne, author of the Orange Prize-winning A Crime in the Neighborhood)

Echoes of J.D. Salinger and Dave Eggars, this is a book about boys, brotherhood, teenage heroism and confusion. It is happy, sad and good. Stephen May is a major new talent, sharply observant of the human condition (Monique Roffey, author of White Woman on the Green Bicycle, shortlisted for Orange Prize)

I loved Life! Death! Prizes! I read it over a weekend, barely putting it down, and when I'd finished and had to leave Billy and Oscar to the rest of their lives, I felt bereft. Stephen May has the sharp eye of David Nicholls and the verve of Kate Atkinson (Suzannah Dunn, author of The Confession of Katharine Howard)

A heartbreaking tale, propulsively told. By turns bleak, funny, and tender, Life! Death! Prizes! is an intoxicating gulp of a novel (Christopher Wakling, author of What I Did)

Full of surprises, this acutely observed story of grief and love begins bleakly, ends up full of compassion and has great deal to say about modern families and the world we live in en route. It's a real achievement, and introduces Stephen May as a talent to be reckoned with (Melvin Burgess)

Gritty, witty, uplifting, sharp - it reminded me of Nick Hornby in its portrayal of modern family in all its glorious chaos (Kate Long)

Stephen May's writing is muscular, tender and touching (Willy Russell)

This is a wonderful, wry novel, looking at brotherly love and grief in a tender and humorous way (Psychologies)

Book Description

Poignant, funny, unforgettable and with echoes of Roddy Doyle, A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius and the works of Jimmy McGovern and Paul Abbot, this is a story of grief, resilience and brotherly love

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