“Page’s imaginative powers are electric. She has the ability to analyze the often nightmarish qualities of the human psyche and as a result, Frankie Styne is a taut examination of the complex emotional ties that bind, the methods we employ to distance ourselves, and our ambiguous powers of imagination. She is at once poignant and provocative, stomach-churningly distasteful and yet compulsively readable.” Time Out
“Page is a fierce writer; her relentless imagination and pure writing skills bring a broken, nightmare world fully to life.” Kirkus starred review
I’m delighted to learn that Frankie Styne and the Silver Man is due for release in Canada and the US in February 2016 and has already earned a Kirkus starred review https://www.kirkusreviews.com/book-reviews/kathy-page/frankie-styne-and-silver-man/.
I’m very fond of this novel, which combines fantastic elements with a (mostly) realistic narrative, partly because it is funny as well as serious, stomach-churning, etcetera. It’s set in a terraced street in small town in the UK, where some very distinctive characters live side-by side and sometimes overhear and/or try interfere with each other’s lives. More details will follow, but here’s what the UK edition said:
“Frankie Styne, the successful author of a series of gruesome killer novels, has lived at 125 Onley Street for many years. Meticulous and obsessive, he lives a life of isolation, managing to keep both future and past at bay.
Next door, live Liz Meredith and her new baby, Jim. Liz has been told by her social worker Mrs Purvis that Jim has a rare disorder, and will never be like other children. But Mrs Purvis can’t see, as Liz can, that Jim already knows things no ordinary person could. Besides, Liz doesn’t want any help from the social services, or from Tom and Alice, the couple at number 129 who seem to want to adopt her – or is it Jim they really want? In any case, Liz yearns to be left in peace so that she can imagine her way out of how things are.
When Frank’s solitary anonymity is threatened, he hatches a real-life plot which, as he begins to enact it, unexpectedly changes not only his own life, but also those of Liz and Jim. Sifting through our collective nightmares, Kathy Page has written a novel that is powerful, humorous, tragic and thoroughly surprising…”
My recent novels, The Find, Alphabet and The Story of My Face, are suspenseful narratives about characters who struggle not only with circumstances, but also with their own natures. It was in Frankie Styne and the Silver Man that I began to explore questions about the nature of identity which have continued to animate my work, and to develop a fascination with the inner lives characters who are marginalized, extraordinary or in some way “other.”
“Exquisite writing .. Page is a fierce writer; her relentless imagination and pure writing skills bring a broken, nightmare world fully to life. ” Kirkus starred review
“Frankie Styne & the Silver Man resists being put down for the night… I read on, captivated and creeped-out. But this being Kathy Page, I always trusted I was heading away from a nightmare, towards a happier place. This is Felicia’s Journey, with a big dollop of hope.” Caroline Adderson, prize-winning author of Ellen in Pieces.
“Fresh and engaging. Her writing is crisp and her insights into human behavior are acute.” Lynne Van Luven, Monday Magazine
“Great story. Great writing too. You render down the monstrous, gently fold the abnormal into an embrace and make it human… fantastic!” Helen Heffernan
“Each character in the book is horrific, but each in a different way. I was even afraid of the baby! Was absolutely certain that a truly gruesome ending was in story but couldn’t put it down anyway. Ending was perfect. It’s a keeper. Will read again.” Barb Egerter