Dan Vyleta Smoke: A Novel

ISBN 13: 9780385540162

Smoke: A Novel

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9780385540162: Smoke: A Novel
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Readers of the Harry Potter series and Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell are sure to be mesmerized by Dan Vyleta’s thrilling blend of historical fiction and fantasy, as three young friends scratch the surface of the grown-up world to discover startling wonders—and dangerous secrets.
 
 
 
“Dan Vyleta writes with intricacy and imagination and skillful pacing; never once would I have considered putting his book down. In the manner of both a Dickens novel and the best young adult adventure stories (the Harry Potter series among them). . .his ending, which I wouldn’t dare reveal here, is a real firecracker.”—Jennifer Senior, The New York Times
 
 
Welcome to a Victorian England unlike any other you have experienced before.  Here, wicked thoughts (both harmless and hate-filled) appear in the air as telltale wisps of Smoke.
 
Young Thomas Argyle, a son of aristocracy, has been sent to an elite boarding school.  Here he will be purged of Wickedness, for the wealthy do not Smoke.  When he resists a sadistic headboy's temptations to Smoke, a much larger struggle beyond the school walls is revealed.  Shortly thereafter, on a trip to London, Thomas and his best friend witness events that make them begin to question everything they have been taught about Smoke. 
 
And thus the adventure begins... You will travel by coach to a grand estate where secrets lurk in attic rooms and hidden laboratories; where young love blossoms; and where a tumultuous relationship between a mother and her children is the crucible in which powerful passions are kindled, and dangerous deeds must be snuffed out in a desperate race against time.

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From the Back Cover:

Imagine a world in which every wicked thought is visible to all . . . 

In an alternative Victorian England, a population is held in thrall to sin. From a brief flicker of envy to a deep murderous rage, sin is immediately visible as smoke rising from the skin. The worse the sin, the more noxious the haze. But the elite have learned to control their smoke, proof of their virtue and right to rule.

Thomas Argyle and Charlie Cooper are friends at a prestigious boarding school near Oxford. Charlie is naturally good, but Thomas’s father was accused of a terrible crime, and Thomas fears that the same evil lies coiled inside him. Then, on a trip to London—a forbidden city shrouded in darkness—they witness an event that leads them to question the very nature of virtue. But it is Livia, the daughter of a powerful aristocrat, who reveals that the rules of smoke can be broken. Together, they set out on a quest to uncover the truth about their world of smoke, soot and ash—and perhaps to change it . . .

Combining history, allegory and adventure, Smoke is a narrative tour de force and a tale of ferocious imaginative power, told by a master storyteller.

About the Author:

DAN VYLETA is the son of Czech refugees who emigrated to Germany in the late 1960s. He holds a Ph.D. in history from King's College, Cambridge. Vyleta is the author of three novels, Pavel & I, The Quiet Twin, which was shortlisted for the Rogers Writers' Trust Fiction Prize, and The Crooked Maid, which was a finalist for the Scotiabank Giller Prize and won the J.I. Segal Award. An inveterate migrant, Vyleta has lived in Germany, Canada, the United States and the United Kingdom. He currently resides in Stratford-upon-Avon in England.

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