Love Among the Particles

224 pages

Trade Paper

List Price US $14.95
ISBN: 9781934137642


ISBN: 9781934137659

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“A magnetic pull transcends the pages of [Love Among the Particles], making for a fully addictive collection.”

Slice magazine

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“Lock’s writing is beautiful, with clean, clear, perfect sentences . . . seducing the reader with language and narrative into a fully realized alternative world to say something new about our own. . . . Love Among the Particles is topical, astonishing and provocative . . . a masterful collection.”

Shelf Awareness for Readers (starred review)

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“[Lock’s stories] are gems, rich in imagination and language. Readers will happily suspend disbelief, perhaps even finding particles of humor . . . And beyond the entertainment lie 21st-century conundrums: What really exists? Are we each, ultimately, alone and lonely? Where is technology taking humankind? For all their convolutions of space and time, these stories are remarkably easy to follow and savor.”

Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

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“Enticingly and enigmatically relevant for the present . . . these humorous, imaginative meditations on the nature of dreams, time, and space shimmer in their own darkness. . . . Reminiscent of the plays of Samuel Beckett, there is a wealth of insight here.”

Publishers Weekly

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“This fantastical collection of short stories is a joyous compendium of characters time-traveling through the annals of literary history—Mr. Hyde, Henry James, and Huckleberry Finn to name a few.”

Barnes and Noble Review

“Lock is a rapturous storyteller, and his tales are never less than engrossing.”

Kenyon Review

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“Stories make their own realities, just as histories do, and Lock’s uniquely intricate understanding of this dynamic is what makes these tales so inimitable.”

Full Stop

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“[Lock] is not engaged in either homage or pastiche but in an intense dialogue with a number of past writers about the process of writing, and the nature of fiction itself . . . taking a trope that seems familiar to readers of the weird but analysing it in the fiercest detail.”

Weird Fiction Review

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“A masterpiece . . . deeply thought provoking, filled to the brim with wit, and imaginative beyond belief, Love Among the Particles is a book for all who have ever dreamed and long to do so again.”

Akashic Insider

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“Norman Lock once again proves himself a master storyteller . . . These stories are brilliantly imaginative and wonderfully unsettling.”

Largehearted Boy

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Love Among the Particles is virtuosic story telling, at once a poignant critique of our romance with technology and a love letter to language. In a whirlwind tour of space, time, and literary history, Lock creates worlds that veer wildly from the natural to the supernatural via the pre-modern, mechanical and digital ages. His characters may walk out of the pages of Robert Louis Stevenson, Mark Twain, Franz Kafka, or Gaston Leroux, but they are distinctly his own. Mr. Hyde finally reveals his secrets to an ambitious journalist, unleashing unforeseen horrors. An ancient Egyptian mummy is revived in 1935 New York to consult on his Hollywood biopic. A Brooklynite suddenly dematerializes and passes through the internet, in search of true love….

Love Among the Particles will thrill Norman Lock’s devoted fans and dazzle new readers with its dizzying displays of literary pyrotechnics. It is nothing less than a compendium of the marvelous.

Shelf Awareness Best Book of the Year

Vol. 1 Brooklyn Favorite Book of the Year

Atlantic Wire Spring Book Preview Recommendation

Kirkus Reviews Best Book Out This Week

Excerpt from Love Among the Particles

Early in his second decade of confinement, Hyde changed. He grew quiet, calm, composed, mild. He became pleasing in his demeanor so that his outward form seemed, almost, to copy an altered nature. Almost, for the deformity—the most notable aspect of his appearance (a misshapenness that had been thought the visible evidence of an inward corruption)—persisted. It could not be otherwise, for Jekyll’s chemistry had produced the outlines of Hyde’s very form. The skull was too large, as if the fontanelles, which had closed in infancy, had been reopened by a gigantic subterranean strain. The hands, too, were overlarge, pelted and sinewed like an animal’s. The backbone had been violently recast into the likeness of a heavy swag of iron chain, such as decorates a courthouse entrance. And yet, it was possible now for his jailers to look at Hyde without shuddering, because his soul no longer seemed to them repugnant. Even the asylum’s fastidious chaplain, who had fled from Hyde’s insistent blasphemies, would stop to give him the comforts of his Savior, for which Hyde would bless him. Hyde’s reclamation soon came to the attention of the Superintendent and then to the Home Office, which recommended clemency toward the prisoner. No longer considered dangerous or insane, Hyde was given a larger, more pleasant cell on one of the asylum’s upper floors, with a view of sky and English countryside. He was allowed to take daily exercise on the asylum grounds and given other privileges reserved for the reformed. He would die at Broadmoor: no provision existed for his release. But he might live out his life there in relative ease. The public had forgotten him entirely, in favor of the hated Boer, whose iniquities belittled Hyde’s in the popular press and imagination.

This was the Hyde to whom Frederick Drayton was introduced in the winter of 1900, in Hyde’s bright, if spare, cell, with an aspidistra struggling on the brick sill and a curtain at the window to keep out the morning light. He was not “the child of Hell” Stevenson had promised and that he, Drayton, had been expecting. The man who rose politely to acknowledge his visitor was reserved, remarkably kempt, and almost gentle in his manner. Hyde might have been a caretaker or a gardener attached to some estate.