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by Nick Holdstock

THE CASUALTIES by Nick Holdstock

In the vein of The Leftovers by Tom Perrotta, a man recounts the final weeks of his neighborhood before the apocalyptic event which only a few of the eccentric residents will survive

Samuel Clark likes secrets. He wants to know the hidden stories of all the bizarre characters that inhabit the streets of Edinburgh, Scotland with him. He wants to know about the nymphomaniac, about the man who lives under a bridge, about the girl with a cracked face. He wants to uncover their histories because he has secrets of his own. He believes, as people do, that he is able to change. He believes, as the whole world does, that there is plenty of time to solve his problems. But Samuel Clark and the rest of the world are wrong. There will be change, but there isn’t much time. Change and tragedy are about to scream into Sam’s and everyone’s lives. It will be a great transformation; and it just might be worth the cost.

Written by a rising literary star whose work has been published in notoriously selective publications such as n+1 and The Southern Review, The Casualties is an ambitious debut novel that explores how we see ourselves, our past and our possible futures. It asks the biggest question: How can we be saved?

Nick Holdstock’s fiction and essays have appeared in a wide range of US and UK publications, including The London Review of Books, The Southern Review, n+1, Dissent, Vice, The Independent, and Los Angeles Review of Books. He is the author of The Tree That Bleeds: A Uighur Town on the Edge (Luath Press Ltd 2011), a book about life in China’s Xinjiang province, and China’s Forgotten People (I B Tauris 2015). In 2012 he was awarded a Robert Louis Stevenson Fellowship for fiction. He lives in Edinburgh.

Praise for The Casualties:

“Contemplative without being preachy, Holdstock explores the ills of today’s world and asks what might be different if we knew tomorrow might never come or how we might change if we could truly leave the past behind. A first novel well worth checking out.” —Booklist

“A book like few others published today. Holdstock’s writing achieves a level of precision that, seemingly, is becoming harder and harder to find. There is an inimitable craftsmanship within these pages that is both piercing and stunning. Nick Holdstock has bred a rare and beautiful bird with The Casualties. We need more writers like him.” —Jason Mott, New York Times bestselling author of The Returned

“As readers we want to be thrilled, moved, tickled, saddened, something. But we don’t always ask outright for what we really want: a brilliant, one of a kind story. With The Casualties Nick Holdstock did it; it’s a wholly unique, lightning bolt of a book. The writing isn’t exactly like anybody else. The ideas aren’t plucked from a fashionable tree. The arc isn’t by numbers. Like encountering a personality you just haven’t met before, the book feels... new. Put it this way; despite knowing that something nasty was barreling toward Holdstock’s Comely Bank, I wanted to be there when it arrived, wanted to be with the characters when it was so close you could hear it, wanted to see the looks on their faces, wanted to kiss one, hold the hand of another. The novel is a wave of sensible madness. A masterpiece snapshot. If that sounds lofty, open her up, start on page one, and let it wash over you completely.” —Josh Malerman, author of Bird Box