Author(s): Darragh McKeon
All That is Solid Melts into Air by Darragh McKeon is an exceptionally moving novel of interwoven lives, set amidst one of the most iconic disasters in living memory. "Daring, ambitious, epic, moving". (Colm Toibin). Coloured sheets of paper fall from the sky. This is their first indication that something serious has happened. Each sheet bears a message: you have three hours to evacuate, bring only one suitcase. From their balconies they can see a dark column of smoke rising above the nuclear plant. For the people of Pripyat, these are the last moments they will spend in their homes. For a child piano prodigy, a dissident factory worker, a broken-hearted surgeon and unknowing others, this disaster will change their lives forever..."Shocking, vivid...sweeps with epic confidence across lives". (Sunday Independent). "Astonishing...A page-turner". (Irish Times). "A stunning debut. The reader cannot help but root for a boy genius who, coming from a line of damaged men is now the only hope his mother and aunt have to sustain them." (Guardian). Darragh McKeon was born in 1979 and grew up in the midlands of Ireland. He has worked as a theatre director, and lives in New York.
This is his first novel.
This daring and ambitious novel blends historical epic and love story with a moving description of the Chernobyl disaster and the fall of the Soviet Union. A book rich with resonance far beyond its historical moment -- Colm Toibin Brilliantly imagined, exhilarating in its sweep; McKeon creates a thrilling appearance of ease, while he delves deep and forges new territory for the contemporary novel. Daring, generous and beautifully written, All That is Solid Melts into Air marks the beginning of a truly significant career. I cannot say it loud enough: McKeon is here to stay -- Colum McCann Powerful and moving ... a supremely accomplished social novel ... What makes McKeon's vision so compelling is that the system this novel describes is not merely Russian, nor communist, but universal -- John Burnside Guardian His description of the explosion at the Ukrainian nuclear plant is a stylistic high point ... recalls Don DeLillo's Underworld ... disturbing ... convincing ... a tense denouement Independent An outstanding debut novel ... portraying inconceivable horrors and acts of incredible beauty in luminously understated prose ... McKeon makes us care ... skilfully drawing us into their worlds before and after the explosion ... devastating Metro A book to be devoured, tragic and funny and sad and beautiful and sensual and shocking and, ultimately, utterly transcendent ... crackles with the whip-smart propulsion of a thriller, while immersing its reader in the rich inner turmoils of its characters Image Fascinating, with ... the ferocious grip of a rollercoaster thriller ... this book is beautifully written ... generous with elegantly turned phrases ... Skilfully crafted, thoughtful, poetic, well-judged ... [a] flawless pearl Irish Independent