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Cover image for Bridge of Clay
Format:
Title:
Bridge of Clay
ISBN:
9781984830159

9780375594595

9780375845598

9781984830166

9780375945595

9780375896996
Edition:
First edition.
Publication:
New York : Alfred A. Knopf, [2018]
Physical Description:
537 pages ; 24 cm
Summary:
The breathtaking story of five brothers who bring each other up in a world run by their own rules. As the Dunbar boys love and fight and learn to reckon with the adult world, they discover the moving secret behind their father's disappearance. At the center of the Dunbar family is Clay, a boy who will build a bridge--for his family, for his past, for greatness, for his sins, for a miracle. The question is, how far is Clay willing to go? And how much can he overcome?
Holds:

Available:*

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YA Zusak, M. Bridge
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FICTION - ZUSAK
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Zusak, M.
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YA FIC ZUSAK 2018
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YA ZUSAK
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TEEN ZUSAK
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TEEN Zusak, M.
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TEEN Zusak, M.
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TEEN Zusak, M.
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Zusak, M.
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Zusak, M.
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Zusak, M.
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YA ZUSAK
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T ZUSAK
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TEEN Zusak, M.
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Zusak
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On Order

Summary

Summary

The unforgettable, New York Times bestselling family saga from Markus Zusak, the storyteller who gave us the extraordinary bestseller THE BOOK THIEF, lauded by the New York Times as "the kind of book that can be life-changing."

NAMED ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY * THE WALL STREET JOURNAL

"One of those monumental books that can draw you across space and time into another family's experience in the most profound way." -- The Washington Post

"Mystical and loaded with heart, it's another gorgeous tearjerker from a rising master of them." -- Entertainment Weekly

"Devastating, demanding and deeply moving." -- Wall Street Journal

The breathtaking story of five brothers who bring each other up in a world run by their own rules. As the Dunbar boys love and fight and learn to reckon with the adult world, they discover the moving secret behind their father's disappearance.

At the center of the Dunbar family is Clay, a boy who will build a bridge--for his family, for his past, for greatness, for his sins, for a miracle.

The question is, how far is Clay willing to go? And how much can he overcome?

Written in powerfully inventive language and bursting with heart, BRIDGE OF CLAY is signature Zusak.


Author Notes

Markus Zusak was born in Sydney, Australia on June 23, 1975. He began writing at the age of 16, and seven years later his first book, The Underdog, was published. He is best known for his young adult novels The Book Thief and I Am the Messenger, both of which are Michael L. Printz Honor books. The Book Thief was adapted into a movie. His next book, Bridge of Clay was published October 2018. It won 2019 Indie Book Awards for Debut Fiction and Book of the Year.

(Bowker Author Biography)


Reviews 7

Publisher's Weekly Review

This exquisitely written multigenerational family saga by Zusak (The Book Thief), his first novel in 13 years, weaves the story of a missing father and a bridge-building brother. The five Dunbar brothers are beholden to only themselves after the death of their mother and abandonment by their father ("Our mother was dead./ Our father had fled"). Matthew, the eldest, puts their story to paper by way of "the old TW," a typewriter: "Let me tell you about our brother./ The fourth Dunbar boy named Clay./ Everything happened to him./ We were all of us changed through him." Slipping back and forth in time, the book maps a complex history: grown and married with two children, Matthew recounts their mother's immigration to the United States at age 18, their father's upbringing and first marriage, and young life in the chaotic, loving Dunbar household of five boys-then devastation after their father disappears. The deftly woven threads build tension as Zusak's skillful use of foreshadowing and symbolism brings long-held secrets to the surface. With heft and historical scope, Zusak creates a sensitively rendered tale of loss, grief, and guilt's manifestations. Ages 14-up. (Oct.) © Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.


Horn Book Review

Twelve years after the American publication of The Book Thief (rev. 3/06), Zusak returns with an epic saga of five rambunctious Australian brothers, their long-suffering parents, and the bonds of love that tie them together. Matthew Dunbar, the eldest brother, narrates this story in an elliptical, digressive, somewhat frustratingly enigmatic style that ranges among the past, present, and future of all characters with an inexplicably high degree of omnis-cience. In the beginning there was one murderer, one mule and one boy, but this isnt the beginning, its before it, its me, and Im Matthew, and here I am, in the kitchen, in the nightthe old river mouth of lightand Im punching and punching away. The prose ebbs and flows, cascading through long and short sentences, fragments, clipped paragraphs, and staccato rhythms. The distinctly Australian landscape is fully realized, and the supporting characters (a very large number of them) are convincing in their brief cameos, but like the impressionistic vignettes that make up the plot, they are subsumed by the heftier elements. These include themes of love, forgiveness, redemptionand journeys; striking imagery and symbolism, especially in relation to the titular bridge; and abundant literary allusions, particularly to The Odyssey and The Iliad. But while Zusak is a talented writer, the self-indulgent and elegiac prose asphyxiates any semblance of good storytelling, making this book too demanding for most readers, regardless of age. jonathan hunt (c) Copyright 2018. The Horn Book, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.


Booklist Review

*Starred Review* Here are the five Dunbar brothers: reliable Matthew, the oldest and the eloquent narrator of this extraordinary book; incorrigible Rory; Puck, with a pair of fists; Henry, who with a talent for making money knows the odds; Clay, the fourth son and protagonist, is the best of us, according to Matthew; and youngest Tommy, the animal collector. Their mother is dead, and their father has fled, until, one day, he returns to ask for help building a bridge. Only Clay agrees to help, and their bridge quickly assumes symbolic value. Zusak (The Book Thief, 2006) offers up a narrative that is really two stories: one of the present, the story of the bridge and of Clay's love for the girl across the street; and the second of the past, occupied by the boys' childhood and stories that Clay loves The Iliad, The Odyssey. The tone is sometimes somber and always ominous, leaving readers anxious about the fates of these characters whom they have grown to love. Zusak pushes the parameters of YA in this gorgeously written novel: a character has scrap-metal eyes; rain is like a ghost you could walk through. In the end, it always comes back to Clay, that lovely boy, as a neighbor calls him. A lovely boy and an unforgettably lovely book to match. HIGH-DEMAND BACKSTORY: A national author tour, insane marketing, and an initial 500,000 print run await Zusak's first novel since his critically acclaimed, best-selling The Book Thief. Expect another sensation.--Michael Cart Copyright 2018 Booklist


New York Review of Books Review

Like many, I adored and was completely destroyed by "The Book Thief," Zusak's best-selling 2005 novel about a girl, the power of reading and the Holocaust. His muchanticipated follow-up, "Bridge of Clay," is a multigenerational story (think "A Tree Grows in Brooklyn") that goes forward and backward, present and back again, in looping, narrowing spirals, as Zusak explores how family members build, buoy, wound and save one another. The five boisterous Dunbar boys are a unit; along with their father, Michael, and their mom, Penny, they form the puzzle of a family. With the death of Penny - an immigrant to Australia from Eastern Europe who is simultaneously lucky and luckless and one of the most beautifully drawn characters in the book - the puzzle has been shattered. Michael disappears, broken with grief, leaving the eldest brother, Matthew, to care for the rest. Then one day their father returns, asking the boys for help building a bridge. Clay, the brother who "took all of it on his shoulder," is the only one who agrees. "Bridge of Clay" has been more than a decade in the making, and it shows: The characters are clearly loved, and the artistry of language will leave you gasping at times. On a more frustrating level, the structure is confusing, particularly in the beginning, and narrative propulsion is muddled by the scope and poetic repetition. It's a big ask for the reader to make it through a huge chunk of pages without some clear grounding. But for those who keep going, this look at how familial love transcends time, space and consequence will offer an enormous payoff.


School Library Journal Review

Gr 9 UP-Narrated by the oldest of the five Dunbar boys, Matthew, Zusak's latest explores the struggles of the family in both the present and the past. The boys are living together when their father, Michael, comes by seeking help in building a bridge. Michael had abandoned them shortly after their mother, Penelope, died of cancer a few years prior. Clay, the second youngest of the brood, decides to go help their father with this project even though he knows this will bring animosity from his eldest brother. Interwoven are the stories of Penelope and Michael's relationship, the boys' schooling, and some romance mixed with tragedy. Zusak reads, bringing the characters to life. VERDICT The story of healing "bridges" is engaging, but the multiple storylines and jumps in time can get overwhelming.-Megan Huenemann, Norris High School, Firth, NE © Copyright 2019. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.


Kirkus Review

Years after the death of their mother, the fourth son in an Australian family of five boys reconnects with his estranged father.Matthew Dunbar dug up the old TW, the typewriter his father buried (along with a dog and a snake) in the backyard of his childhood home. He searched for it in order to tell the story of the family's past, a story about his mother, who escaped from Eastern Europe before the fall of the Berlin Wall; about his father, who abandoned them all after their mother's death; about his brother Clay, who built a bridge to reunite their family; and about a mule named Achilles. Zusak (The Book Thief, 2006, etc.) weaves a complex narrative winding through flashbacks. His prose is thick with metaphor and heavy with allusions to Homer's epics. The story romanticizes Matthew and his brothers' often violent and sometimes homophobic expressions of their cisgender, heterosexual masculinity with reflections unsettlingly reminiscent of a "boys will be boys" attitude. Women in the book primarily play the roles of love interests, mothers, or (in the case of their neighbor) someone to marvel at the Dunbar boys and give them jars to open. The characters are all presumably white.Much like building a bridge stone by stone, this read requires painstaking effort and patience. (Fiction. 16-adult) Copyright Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.


Library Journal Review

In this rollicking new novel by Zusak (The Book Thief), we meet the Dunbar boys: narrator Matthew; wild Rory; bridge builder Clay; Henry, the entrepreneur; and Tommy, the animal lover. The Dunbars' interactions bring to mind cartoons in which characters are locked together with fists flying and pain inflicted, and the narrative takes on big themes such as love, death, sin, abandonment, and redemption. After having left the boys on their own, their father, Michael, returns to ask for their help in building a bridge across a river. Only Clay rises to the challenge. Each chapter stands on its own, focusing on different characters, including Michael, from a small Australian town; the boys' mother, Penny, from Eastern Europe; and Carey Novac, an aspiring jockey and Clay's love interest. Invoking the Iliad and the Odyssey, the story creates its own larger-than-life mythologies. VERDICT Though the movement from one chapter to the next can be confusing-the novel would have benefited from more editing and tightening-Zusak just loves his characters (including the animals), and the reader will, too. Marketed for a YA audience in the United States but best suited to strong YA readers and adults.-Jacqueline Snider, Toronto © Copyright 2019. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.