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An Arsonist's Guide to Writers' Homes in New England: A Novel (Paperback)

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An Arsonist's Guide to Writers' Homes in New England: A Novel By Brock Clarke Cover Image
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Staff Reviews

This book is a love letter to the Pioneer Valley of Massachusetts, the people that live there, and the rich literary history of New England. Most importantly, this book is an exploration of stories--the stories we read and absorb, the stories other tell about us, the stories we tell ourselves. I could not put this book down. This book is funny in the same way that your Yankee grandfather is funny--dark, witty, and with a lesson to be learned at the end of the day, if you can suss out what that lesson is. Every reader will come away with their own conclusions, and their own Arsonist's Guide.

— From Katrina's Picks

Spring/Summer '09 Reading Group List

“The Arsonist's Guide to Writers' Homes in New England is the most original novel I've read in recent memory. Thought-provoking, insightful, and funny, this is an unusual, and irresistible, story -- a moving portrait of an everyman, who is at once ordinary and singular. An intelligent and satisfying read.”
— Tova Beiser, Brown University Bookstore, Providence, RI


"Funny, profound . . . a seductive book with a payoff on every page."—People

A lot of remarkable things have happened in the life of Sam Pulsifer, the hapless hero of this incendiary novel, beginning with the ten years he spent in prison for accidentally burning down Emily Dickinson's house and unwittingly killing two people. emerging at age twenty-eight, he creates a new life and identity as a husband and father. But when the homes of other famous New England writers suddenly go up in smoke, he must prove his innocence by uncovering the identity of this literary-minded arsonist.

In the league of such contemporary classics as A Confederacy of Dunces and The World According to Garp, An Arsonist's Guide to Writers' Homes in New England is an utterly original story about truth and honesty, life and the imagination.

About the Author

Brock Clarke is an award-winning author of seven previous works of fiction, including the bestselling An Arsonist's Guide to Writers' Homes in New England. He lives in Maine, and teaches at Bowdoin College.

Praise For…

"It's nearly impossible not to care about and laugh with Sam.   ...He appeals to the fool in everyone and comforts us  in  knowing that we're not alone."—Chicago Tribune

"Sizzles." - The Washington Post Book World
Product Details
ISBN: 9781565126145
ISBN-10: 1565126149
Publisher: Algonquin Books
Publication Date: September 2nd, 2008
Pages: 305
Language: English

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