Fiction Chris Hannan Missy: A Novel

ISBN 13: 9780374199838

Missy: A Novel

2.97 avg rating
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9780374199838: Missy: A Novel

Missy is laudanum, or liquid opium. Missy is Dol McQueen, a nineteen-year-old “flash-girl” traveling the arduous wagon trail from San Francisco to the boomtowns of the Sierra Nevada. Her purpose: to fleece the silver miners and to have a marvelous time.

Permanently gonged on missy, Dol and her entrepreneurial instincts wake up only when she comes into possession of a rum crate full of pure opium. But the crate has several owners, each more brutal than the last. Soon, instead of selling the boodle and opening her own establishment, Dol is fleeing across the salt flats and wastelands of the monumental American Southwest, where Civil War renegades, Native American mule thieves, and gangs of feral kids make hanging on to life a job for both hands.  Chris Hannan has mixed the irresistible Mark Twain of Roughing It with Annie Proulx’s brilliantly macabre wordplay, and the result is a historical novel of startling originality, in which every detail rings true. Dol McQueen is the most engaging antiheroine since Becky Sharp, and she makes Missy a debut of terrific energy, freshness, and delight.

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About the Author:

Chris Hannan is the author of several award-winning plays. He lives in Edinburgh, Scotland. This is his first novel.

From Publishers Weekly:

Starred Review. This wildly entertaining first novel from Scottish playwright Hannan takes place in the down and dirty Wild West and features one of the most bombastic, fantastic heroines in recent memory. Nineteen-year-old Dol McQueen is an intelligent, strong-willed hooker with a weakness for liquid opium, or "missy." "Sometimes when I'm gonged," says Dol, "I have an immense feeling inside me that I can govern Chaos." And chaos is just what she gets when a crate of choice opium lands under her bed, stashed there by a grisly pimp called Pontius who warns her to keep quiet. Dol carries on with her business and gets increasingly attached to that fortune beneath her bed. The real pandemonium is unleashed when a spooky, brutal gang enlisted by the rightful owners of the opium arrives in town bringing mayhem. Dol-along with her mother, Pontius and the opium-flees into the desert, the escape slowed by lack of water, mule-pinching Indians and Dol's withdrawal from her missy, an experience that leaves her clearheaded but vulnerable to the truth about what she has become. Hannan nails the setting, crafts a sizzling plot and, with Dol, gives readers a lovable, larger-than-life star. (June)
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Hannan, Chris
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