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The Missing

Andrew O'Hagan

104 ratings by Goodreads
ISBN 10: 1565843355 / ISBN 13: 9781565843356
Published by New Press, The, 1996
Used Condition: Good
From Better World Books (Mishawaka, IN, U.S.A.)

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Former Library book. Shows some signs of wear, and may have some markings on the inside. Bookseller Inventory # GRP3041056

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Bibliographic Details

Title: The Missing

Publisher: New Press, The

Publication Date: 1996

Book Condition:Good

About this title


Hailed by the Times Literary Supplement as an “International Book of the Year” on its publication in Britain, The Missing is a fascinating literary meditation on missing persons by the acclaimed young Scottish writer Andrew O’Hagan.

Writing with what one reviewer praised as “passion, eloquence, and honesty,” O’Hagan explores one of society’ most enduring, yet unexamined, concerns—missing persons. He writes movingly of his own grandfather, lost at sea during World War II; of Sandy Davidson, the three-year-old who disappeared from a construction site near O’Hagan’s childhood home; of James Bulger, the toddler abducted from a mall in Liverpool and murdered by two ten-year-olds in 1993; and the twelve young women Fred and Rosemary West murdered and buried in their Gloucester backyard over a period of nearly thirty years.

In all of these cases, O’Hagan goes out with police and meets with social workers and families, always looking for the deeper truths so often left forgotten. What kind of lives did those who have gone missing lead? What made them disappear? What happens to those left behind?

Merging social history, memoir, and reportage, The Missing is one of those rare books that bring a neglected corner of human experience into the public eye, and a memorable debut from an exceptionally perceptive and talented new writer.


Scottish journalist Andrew O'Hagan's fascination with "missing persons" grew out of his childhood exposure to the fear engendered by unexplained disappearance. He begins his inquiry into this scarily prevalent phenomenon by describing his growing up in working-class Glasgow in the 1970s, his parents' worry over inner city violence, and the disappearance of a local boy that left the author with a deep unease. O'Hagan's investigation into the causes of such disappearances--abduction, willful walking away from life, teenage angst, parental abandonment--includes a detailed account of a famous British serial murder case in Gloucester. Through wrenching interviews with those hurt most, O'Hagan evokes a compassionate and disturbing empathy with the absent victims of modern alienation.

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