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If This Is Home

3.62  ·  Rating Details ·  58 Ratings  ·  17 Reviews
A dazzling first novel from the critically acclaimed author of Ten Stories About Smoking.

Mark Wilkinson has three names. He left his own behind in the rainy north of England. American immigration knows him as Joe Novak. And at the Valhalla, the mysterious complex where he sells lofty ambition and dark desires, he goes by Mr Jones.

Since he was eighteen, Mark has been runnin
Hardcover, 320 pages
Published July 5th 2012 by Picador (first published 2012)
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William Brandon III
Nov 28, 2012 William Brandon III rated it it was amazing
So I've been a a bit prejudiced lately: I pine for long, luxurious, complicated sentences and words, more resplendent and evocative than the ideas they represent. With the exception of one author (dead now, unfortunately) I have found modern literature disappointing: short, direct sentences, uncomplicated and unoriginal plots, and frankly a lack of spark. Mr. Evers, as I intimated to my wife, has emerged (finally) as a "living" author I can truly say inspires me. This novel, though it started si ...more
Doug Dosdall
Jan 01, 2013 Doug Dosdall rated it it was ok
This book was a bit of a mess. It is two really separate stories in some ways (from different periods of a single character's life). Except I don't see the current character in the 10 year old character and vice-versa. The part of the story set in Las Vegas just goes nowhere as far as I can see and doesn't come to any conclusion. And the central mystery is just kind of pointless as well when you discover it. Not sure what I missed.
Joy Clark
Dec 27, 2016 Joy Clark rated it it was ok
Shelves: 2016, netgalley-arc
Note: due to the nature of this book, I'm going to avoid details as much as possible in the following rant. To the people who loved this book: please help, because I feel like I am missing something. I actually spent 30 minutes last night tossing and turning trying to figure out what I missed - and I came up with nothing. Zip. Nada. The writing was good, the pace excellent (I stayed up way too late last night finishing it), but that storyline, the plot? Didn't connect with it. I get it, it's all ...more
P.C. Dettman
Jul 23, 2012 P.C. Dettman rated it it was amazing
Stuart Evers's first novel is extremely good. This is a split story, which I am liking less as a type than ever. At least both strands focus on the same cast this time, but still it is a risk for writer and reader alike. Evers just manages to pull it off, but only just, and relies on flashbacks even in the "present" strand, which almost proves the weakness inherent in the structure.

But with that comment out of the way, this is an original story well-told. Having seen Evers make his first public
David Hebblethwaite
Nov 14, 2012 David Hebblethwaite rated it liked it
The author of last year’s excellent Ten Stories About Smoking returns with his first novel, which continues to explore how life may fall short of one’s dreams. Evers’ protagonist is Mark Wilkinson, who escaped his life in Cheshire and made it in America as ‘Joe Novak’; when we meet him in the early 2000s, he’s in Las Vegas , selling apartments at the ultra-high-end Valhalla complex. Alternate chapters chronicle a day in 1990 when Mark’s teenage girlfriend Bethany Wilder became a reluctant beauty ...more
Saffron Dennis
Nov 02, 2014 Saffron Dennis rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Saffron by:
I have to note my annoyance first because this went from slight irritation to full on agitation by the end. Every paragraph a character was lighting a cigarette. It was almost as if the author got lazy and couldn't actually come up with a new character without shadowing his own obvious obsession with nicotine. I discovered after reading the book he has already written short stories about smoking, the man is truly addicted.

Anyway back to the story, it was a disjointed read at first with the Las V
Jan 29, 2014 Andrew rated it really liked it
A really enjoyable read and surprising as it was a random choice from the library shelves. The plot is split into two time lines, the first sees Joe Novak trading apartments/experiences in a fancy hotel in Las Vegas to rich American men, however he is falling apart and has flashbacks to his life 13 years earlier as Mark Wilkinson an 18 year old on the brink of running away with his girlfriend Bethany to New York. At the same time as we hear of life for Mark in suburban cheshire village on outski ...more
I came to this book with no prior knowledge of author or content other than 'young talent'. I was immediately caught up in twin narratives: the edgy and surreal Las Vegas real estate world to which Mark has 'escaped' and the fateful day Bethany his girlfriend was carnival queen 13 years earlier. The British small town mentality and lives of teenagers is brilliantly evoked in the latter. Evers is adept at detail, incident and back-story but it never feels superfluous or baggy. The second half of ...more
Jul 29, 2012 Lawrence rated it really liked it
Desperation to leave what is sure to be small town stagnation to pursue the dream of something different can sometime distort your sense of the past. But when the past intrudes in a slight different disguise and you are forced to return to the place you've spent you whole life running from, the truth of the past come painfully rushing back to greet you. It's somewhat of a detective story, and it's use of flashbacks works to drive the search for the truth about oneself and about what it means to ...more
Daniel Parsons
Feb 07, 2014 Daniel Parsons rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
In the most fantastic way this was not what I was expecting at all. A realist ghost story intertwining past and present, North England, Las Vegas and the continual presence of New York. It's a masterpiece of careful character building and slow reveals and a genuinely immersive plot. More please.
Nov 15, 2013 Penny rated it liked it
I know Stuart (I used to work with him), so I find it really hard to be objective about this, but this novel is clearly very well written with some great details.
Jan 09, 2015 Leo rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A neat and disquieting story tweaking familliar themes of teenage origins and escapes. You can't take the satellite town out of the boy.
Shaun Lake
Shaun Lake rated it it was amazing
Aug 22, 2016
Sandy Pfaff
Sandy Pfaff rated it liked it
Apr 27, 2014
Simon rated it really liked it
Oct 25, 2013
Sdurrant516 rated it liked it
Jun 25, 2014
Ireen rated it it was ok
Jul 10, 2013
Paul Cooper
Paul Cooper rated it it was amazing
Nov 29, 2012
Chris rated it really liked it
Feb 05, 2014
Fran Slater
Fran Slater rated it liked it
Sep 27, 2013
Rebecca rated it really liked it
May 23, 2014
Mar 05, 2015 Elliot rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Charlotte rated it really liked it
May 02, 2015
Kristina Kenving
Kristina Kenving rated it really liked it
Jun 25, 2013
Andrew Gray
Andrew Gray rated it liked it
Jan 12, 2015
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Jul 12, 2014
Stuart rated it liked it
Jan 01, 2016
Michael rated it it was ok
Aug 09, 2014
Joshua Davis
Joshua Davis rated it liked it
Jan 19, 2013
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Formerly a bookseller and editor, Stuart Evers is a writer and reviewer. His short stories have appeared in The Best British Short Stories 2012, Prospect and on The Times website. He has reviewed for a wide range of publications including the Guardian, the Independent, the Daily Telegraph and New Statesman. He lives in London.

His first book was published in 2011, a collection of short stories enti
More about Stuart Evers...

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