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Marvel and a Wonder

by Joe Meno


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A boy and his grandfather hunt for a stolen horse in this novel "evoking William Faulkner and Cormac McCarthy" (Booklist).

Longlisted for the American Library Association's Andrew Carnegie Medal for Excellence in Fiction

In the summer of 1995, Jim Falls, a Korean War vet, struggles to raise his sixteen-year-old mixed-race grandson, Quentin, on a farm in southern Indiana. In July, they receive a mysterious gift—a beautiful quarter horse—which upends the balance of their difficult lives. The horse's appearance catches the attention of a pair of troubled, meth-dealing brothers and, after a violent altercation, the horse is stolen and sold. Grandfather and grandson must travel the landscape of the bleak heartland to reclaim the animal and to confront the ruthless party that has taken possession of it. Along the way, both will be forced to face the misperceptions and tragedies of their past.

"A vivid portrait of Heartland America . . . I've long been an admirer of Joe Meno's work, and this is his most ambitious book yet." —Dan Chaon, New York Times–bestselling author of Ill Will

"[Meno] has a knack for giving small happenings emotional weight. . . . Meno knows how to make you love his characters, want what they want. But don't think he's going to let things turn out well for them. Marvels and wonders aren't worth the trouble. Fortunately, this book is." —The New York Times Book Review

"It's at once a story about two people and an exploration of the past, present, and future of the country. . . . As the fate of the horse, of Jim Falls, of Quentin—of America!—becomes more perilous, the book picks up speed. The story is operating on different levels—as a family story, an epic, and in the end a page-turner—but they remain skillfully balanced." —Chicago Reader

"A wise and touching novel of love, loyalty, courage; an extraordinary book not to be missed." —Library Journal

Publication Details

Akashic Books
Publication Date:


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Joe Meno (Author)

Joe Meno is a fiction writer and playwright who lives in Chicago. He is a winner of the Nelson Algren Literary Award, a Pushcart Prize, the Great Lakes Book Award, and was a finalist for the Story Prize. He is the author of five novels and two sho...

More about Joe Meno
Marvel and a Wonder
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