John Egan lives with his mother, father and grandmother in rural Ireland. The Guinness Book of Records is his favourite book and he wants to visit Niagara Falls with his mother. But, more than anything, he is determined to become a world-famous lie detector, almost at any cost.
Carry Me Down is written in clean, compelling prose, and is about John’s obsessive and dangerous desire to see the truth, even as his family is threatened in countless ways. In this singular tale of disturbed love every word rings true.
‘John Egan is a brave, resourceful boy, intelligent and self-aware, yet skating on the edge of madness. The story of John’s twelfth year is both sympathetic and disturbing. It is also rich in understated humour…This is writing of the highest order.’J. M. Coetzee
’M. J. Hyland maintains the same steely control she exercised in her debut, How the Light Gets In. Her sentences are so crisp they have hospital corners.'Australian Book Review
‘Carry Me Down is a heart-rendingly domestic work full of compassion for the most ordinary of our human frailties.’Age
‘Hyland writes in unadorned, clear prose, evoking period, place and setting with intense clarity and a lovely, restrained lyricism.’Australian
‘A remarkable achievement of imaginative sympathy, done without structural gimmicks or stylistic fireworks, but with language that quietly demands that as John speaks, we speak along with him.’Times Literary Supplement
‘This is a page turner…a gripping story told so well that it changes the way you see things.’Bulletin
‘Hyland writes in unadorned, clear prose, evoking period, place and setting with intense clarity and a lovely, restrained lyricism. If How the Light Gets In made me think Salinger, Carry Me Down makes me think William Faulkner and James Joyce.Weekend Australian
‘Hyland’s debut novel, How the Light Gets In, was widely acclaimed but perhaps will now be seen as merely the forerunner to Carry Me Down. All the potential shown in the first book…the crisp style, the precise depiction of a sparring, delinquent mind, the great ear for idiomatic speech?is fully realised in Carry Me Down…a heart-rendingly domestic work full of compassion for the most ordinary of our human frailties.’Age
‘I don’t think I’ve ever read such a true book…it seems to me that this author never strikes one false note. She delivers complexities in such a simple manner that the art is concealed, but it is there all the same.’Hilary Mantel
‘Hyland’s talent and her power of realisation are manifest and moving…a novel that will command the world’s attention.’Monthly