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he: A Novel

Winner of the 2017 Ryan Tubridy Show Listener's Choice Award at the Irish Book Awards. John Connolly recreates the golden age of Hollywood for an intensely compassionate study of the tension between commercial demands and artistic integrity and the human frailties behind even the greatest of artists. An extraordinary reimagining of the life of one of the greatest screen comedians the world has ever known: a man who knew both adoration and humiliation; who loved, and was loved in turn; who betrayed, and was betrayed; who never sought to cause pain to others, yet left a trail of affairs and broken marriages in his wake . . . And whose life was ultimately defined by one relationship of such tenderness and devotion that only death could sever it: his partnership with the man he knew as Babe. he is Stan Laurel. But he did not really exist. Stan Laurel was a fiction. With he, John Connolly recreates the golden age of Hollywood for an intensely compassionate study of the tension between commercial demands and artistic integrity, the human frailties behind even the greatest of artists, and one of the most enduring and beloved partnerships in cinema history: Laurel &Hardy.
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About the Author

John Connolly is author of the Charlie Parker mysteries, The Book of Lost Things, the Samuel Johnson novels for young adults and, with his partner, Jennifer Ridyard, the co-author of the Chronicles of the Invaders. His debut - EVERY DEAD THING - swiftly launched him right into the front rank of thriller writers, and all his subsequent novels have been Sunday Times bestsellers. He was the first non-American writer to win the US Shamus award, and the first Irish writer to be awarded the Edgar by the Mystery Writers of America.


Rewarding and uplifting. Connolly has stepped outside the crime genre to publish a literary novel of real merit. * * An invaluable feel for a period and a fascinating, if awkward personality. Writing the story as a novel rather than just a straight biography gives the tale an extra layer of humanity and reality. -- Maxim Jakubowski * Crime Time * John Connolly's new book is a fascinating look at the Golden Age of Hollywood through the eyes of one of the finest comedians ever to grace the silver screen. This is a book full of history, full of sadness and joy, replete with fascinating characters. Connolly's greatest achievement here is that he makes you forget that this is fiction, that this comes from his imagination. Connolly makes you believe that this is what Stan Laurel must have been like because it is a book that speaks true. I applaud him for that. Read it now. * SHOTS Magazine * Part-biography, part-cinema history, part-Hollywood gossip columns . . . the ingredients all stirred dexterously together by a highly - even bizarrely - individual narrative hand . . . Wildly original in its methods, it is addictively readable in its outcome * Sydney Morning Herald * Fans of Connolly will be awed at this new literary work in a very different voice * Florida Times-Union * The life and art of Stan Laurel, from vaudeville and silent movies to the talkies and old age, is explored in this artful novel . . . It's the best tribute to this novel that by the end of it you feel you have been given the full texture of a life. * Kirkus Reviews * It's not often you get an evocation of a friendship so deep and tender between two men in fiction . . . A wonderful story of love, of an abiding loyalty. -- Declan Burke * RTE * An entertaining account of early 20th-century celebrity * Daily Express * This is a book about love: love of women, love of men, love of art, love of comedy . . . What catapults the reader straight into Hollywood's Golden Age is the enormous amount of research and passion that lies behind He. When those researched details coalesce, a world of Dickens-like detail leaps off the page. * Irish Times * A fine novel. * The Sunday Times *

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