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The history of Mr. Polly - H.G. Wells

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The history of Mr. Polly
H.G. Wells
Paperback / softback
UK Publication Date

Deer Lake is a small Minnesota town where people know their neighbours and crime is something that happens on the evening news. But the illusion of safety is shattered when eight-year-old Josh Kirkwood disappears from a hockey rink as he waits for his mother to pick him up after practice. The only thing the police find is his duffel bag with a note stuffed inside, `Ignorance is not innocence but SIN`. With each passing hour the search for Josh takes on a more ominus intensity. For Megan O`Malley, the new regional officer of the state criminal investigative unit, it is a test of whether she can cut it in the all-male world of local cops. For police chief Mitch Holt, it is a frightening reminder of the big city crime that devastated his life before he fled to Deer Lake.

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H.G. Wells was born in Bromley, Kent in 1866. After working as a draper's apprentice and pupil-teacher, he won a scholarship to the Normal School of Science in 1884, studying under T. H. Huxley. He was awarded a first-class honours degree in biology and resumed teaching but had to retire after a kick from an ill-natured pupil afflicted his kidneys. He worked in poverty in London as a crammer while experimenting in journalism and stories. It was with THE TIME MACHINE (1895) that he had his real breakthrough.

H.G. Wells is often cataloged as a pioneer of science fiction (which he was) . . . but he was also a great Edwardian writer of immense fame and influence who deserves to be remembered as a major literary figure

A delightful comedy of everyday Edwardian England that draws inspiration from its author's own life . . . The story - still strikingly modern - is a comedy about a midlife crisis . . . a comedy of ordinary, provincial life, rooted in the everyday, with countless brilliantly observed details . . . The History of Mr Polly has a special charm as a novel in which, for once, Wells became carefree and relaxed, and described the thing he could never find for himself - peace of mind
Guardian - Robert McCrum

'The History of Mr Polly (1910) is a disturbing comic masterpiece . . . a more gently satirical and masculine counterpart to Flaubert's Madame Bovary . . . a classic of radical existentialism, and, after 100 years, still amusing, unsettling and powerfully contemporary '
Washington Post

Widely considered to be Wells's most perfectly-formed novel, this comic idyll is the story of a henpecked, unsuccessful, desperately frustrated small shopkeeper who bungles but survives a suicide-and-arson attempt, and becomes master of his fate under another identity
GUARDIAN - David Lodge

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