This Is How Paperback – 2 Jul 2009
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'M.J. Hyland has a ferocious imagination, and an eerie way of squeezing the distance between author, character and reader, so that the atmosphere of the book soaks and penetrates the reader's mind. When you've been reading Hyland, other writers seem to lack integrity; they seem wedded to weak confabulations, whereas she aims straight for the truth and the heart.' Hilary Mantel
The brilliant new novel from the author of the Man-Booker-shortlisted Carry Me DownSee all Product Description
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Top Customer Reviews
The publisher seems oddly reluctant to tell you that this is a book about the aftermath of a violent crime, referring only to Patrick's "tragic undoing" and supplying a pretty little cover with a man and a dog. In reality, this misleadingly advertised novel is a compelling and macabre journey to the dark side of human existence.
Like Carry Me Down, This Is How is told through sparse, present-tense, first-person narration that rattles along at a crackling pace, capturing Patrick's shock and vulnerability as events spiral rapidly beyond his control. The result is a gripping, readable and surprisingly sympathetic portrayal of a memorable antihero.
Patrick protests his innocence on the grounds that he never "intended" to do anything wrong. "My mind played hardly any part," he tell us, "but my body acted and, as far as the law is concerned, my body may as well be all that I am". Is there some truth in this "don't blame me!" determinism? This is the central issue the novel explores.
Personally, I'm not convinced. Anger, loneliness, loss of control, ignorance, drunkenness... these are causes of violence, but not excuses.Read more ›
I finished the novel in two or three sittings. Before I did finish it, however, I bought Hyland's other two novels.
I really enjoyed the book. I felt strong empathy with the main character, and I loved how events were piled on top of other events, creating a very claustrophobic tone. It's very, very sad, and the final pages will stay with you for a long time.
This was a real eye opener , well written and appealing in its frankness and clarity.
It made me feel very sad that some people have to live with this horrid illness...a life wasted.
This story will stop the reader from thinking as we all do, that those with mental problems should " ...get a grip and snap out of it..."
A very sad tale...but mesmerising none the less and well worth it.
This is a book which will stay with you and that is something you may not welcome. But if you want a thought provoking read, then I would recommend it.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Disliked the style of writing from the start - only got 1\4 in and had to give up as i found it unbearable.Published 1 month ago by SH
Great, speedy delivery. As described. Recommended seller, will buy again from this sellerPublished 6 months ago by Mrs. R. Garfield
One of my favourite books of all time. Devastating, understated, and filled with compassion. I *still* think and wonder how Patrick is, as if he is a real person. Read morePublished 18 months ago by Kizzie
Phew... not a comfortable read but worth it. Hyland can write about strange, damaged people with such confidence and clarity.Published 18 months ago by Karolina Knapton
The first part of this novel is set in a seaside resort just as the holiday season is ending, a rather clichéd setting in modern fiction where characters go to try and... Read morePublished 18 months ago by John Fitzpatrick
Read this some time ago. Not at all what I expected, even when reading it - in a good way. Memorable.Published 24 months ago by paj
Set in a seaside town in Southern England in some time frame which might be, variously, some time between 1965 and 1975 (see later) This is How follows the story of Patrick... Read morePublished on 10 Aug. 2014 by Lady Fancifull
Restrained, quietly tragic story about a misfit. A fascinating insight into a damaged psyche. The title is called This Is How and yet you're left still not quite knowing why and... Read morePublished on 16 May 2014 by Mel J Crowe