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Here They Come

3.62 of 5 stars 3.62  ·  rating details  ·  478 ratings  ·  85 reviews
Here They Come is the lyrical, startling and poignant third novel from Yannick Murphy, a National Endowment for the Arts award winner and one of the freshest voices in American fiction today. Splitting time between a ramshackle apartment and a lonely hot dog vendor, the observant thirteen-year-old who stands steadily at the center of Here They Come gives lyrical voice to a ...more
Paperback, 256 pages
Published May 10th 2007 by Grove Press (first published 2006)
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Dusty Myers
Very early on in this book, its narrator—a preteen girl of unspecific age—confesses to saying "fuck" a lot: "I curse all the time, or maybe it's just 'fuck' I always say" (6). This comes after she narrates herself saying fuck in conversation, and so she's doing a fine job of contextualizing her own character. Then what follows her swearing confession is this paragraph:

My mother says shit in French all the time. Merde when the electric gets cut. Merde when the candlestick wax drips onto her clot
...more
Eva
Sep 16, 2007 Eva rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: people who like coming of age stuff

i bought this book on a whim off the mcsweeney's shelf. what luck! it's just positively wonderful! it so simply and tragically captures the relationship between a young girl, her pathetic mother, and her absentee dad. it's dark dark DARK throughout, but always floats on that buoyant edge of childhood, so it never feels as unbearable as it should.
Amber Anderson
Nov 06, 2008 Amber Anderson rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: anyone who likes A Tree Grows in brooklyn. And everyone else.
Recommended to Amber by: salina
Shelves: favorites, novels
Fuck, what a book.
It reminded me of a tree grows in Brooklyn. It deals with poverty, so it makes you appreciate what you have...but it also makes you miss childhood. And hate hot dog vendors.
oriana
Ok so I was smoking at work and I accidentally finished After Dark and I realized that I didn't have anything to read at lunch or on the subway ride home, and I started getting a little upset, thinking about the entire train ride with nothing to do but stare at hipsters and be bored. I cannot handle being bored. So I was thinking I'd maybe go to the Strand, but that would be silly becuase I hate going there during the daytime, and anyway I have only like 6,000 books at home that need to be read ...more
Carolyn
May 20, 2008 Carolyn rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: you! you right there!
A badly-written review for one of my favorite books:

The prospect of capturing the moment when childhood is lost is one of modern literature's greatest quests. From Catcher in the Rye to East of Eden, coming-of-age novels depict character's maturing because change is so evocatively and universally remembered. Portraying characters on the brink of adulthood, however, risks nostalgia, or worse, caricature. Too many adolescent characters speak in a teenager's voice with an adult's comprehension of w
...more
Amber
I initially stumbled upon this book while aimlessly wandering around Bookman's, drooling over all of the books I wanted to buy but couldn't afford. Having to limit myself to 2 books, I swapped a copy of 1984 (intending to replace it because, let's face it, when you lend books out there's a real danger that they aren't returned to you) for "Here They Come." The beautiful cover and lacking synopsis intrigued me. In this case, 'judging a book by its cover' was the best thing I could have done becau ...more
Theresa
Three stars? Four stars? It was a difficult choice. While it contained some exceptional writing, I searched in vain for a plot. Perhaps that was the intention of the author. The narrator is a young girl growing up in poverty in New York City in the 1970's. She is never given a name and many others also remain nameless. The mother is always "our mother." While her sisters have names, I never recall the brother being anyone other than "our brother." Rather humorously, the father's girlfriend, who ...more
Alexa.elam
This is a quick read and good, though not great. It's an interesting portrait of an impoverished, lower east side loft-living family in the 70's. While Murphy conjures some powerful images, and the tale is compelling, I could have stood a little more depth- both to the characters, and to the story itself.
Jennifer
was recommended by Alvin Orloff, and put aside by me for a hot year - you go, Yannick, a flawless portrait of a pleasingly feral family in a crappy apartmentL subjects for the ages.
Dave
Not great. Good story, but the writing didn't really grab me. Had to force myself to finish it, which is never a good sign.
Melissa Lee-tammeus
I read this book in hopes of having my 13 year old read it and I was quite amazed this is considered teen fiction. I decided that it was more a 17 year old read than a 13 year old read - at least for my teen. This was not your typical Judy Blume but more of a social outcry with incredibly intense themes such as sexual abuse, extreme poverty, and suicidal ideation. It is true it is from a 13 year old girl's viewpoint - her and her brother and sister live with their mother in a rundown tenement wi ...more
David
I picked up this book because I thought it might be a good one to look at for a young narrator, which I don't think it ended up being the best for. The narrator is 13 at the start and only gets older from there, so maybe that is the problem. That and the fact that she's probably a little old for her age because of the sort of things she has to suffer. She isn't poorly constructed or anything. I just didn't pick up any youth narrator tricks I thought I could use. That being said, this is a great ...more
Carmen
This is my second foray into the McSweeney's publishing world. McSweeney's certainly doesn't have a style or a type that they publish - this book was quite different than Icelander, which I also recently finished. The story compelled me to keep reading though I can't quite put my finger on why. The writing style may have been the author's attempt at the stream of consciousness thought process of an NYC adolescent - the main narrator, but for the fact that, on occasion, the point of view changes. ...more
Tj Wilson
Loved the narrator. She is cynical, innocent and knowing. Her simple, honest prose completely work. We are guided through her crazy world questioning her bias, laughing at her blunt observations and cringing at the utter amounts of suckiness that she has to endure. I can't say how much I loved this narrator. I think Murphy really captured the scope of a teenager and blended it with the surreal in a very subtle and interesting way.

Murphy takes a lot of chances in this book. Her storyline is unor
...more
Perez Malone
This book had me from the beginning. It isn't overly proud of itself and the tragedies it details. Murphy lays things out, goes through the events, describes them in effective language, but doesn't over dramatize them. I really liked the insistence in this novel that even the horrible things in our lives (getting felt up by a hot dog vendor for instance) can become part of the bedrock of our lives. Again, unlike so many other authors, Yannick Murphy never seems overly proud of her ability to ima ...more
Tim
This book had me from the beginning. It isn't overly proud of itself and the tragedies it details. Murphy lays things out, goes through the events, describes them in effective language, but doesn't over dramatize them. I really liked the insistence in this novel that even the horrible things in our lives (getting felt up by a hot dog vendor for instance) can become part of the bedrock of our lives. Again, unlike so many other authors, Yannick Murphy never seems overly proud of her ability to ima ...more
Sarah
by popular* demand...

the trope of precocious girl coming of age in abject poverty has been done before, and better (see the many references to A Tree Grows in Brooklyn in other people's reviews). i felt like i had read this story a number of times. not to mention, the blase tone came across as less indicative of the young narrator's life-weariness, and more as a lack of thinking things through. it was just difficult to discern what the author was trying to do or say. shock us with squalor? pull
...more
Christy
I'm not sure how to rate this. It was beautiful but depressing. I admire Murphy for refusing to get into standard coming-of-age territory, even though the ingredients were present in liberal amounts throughout this novel. The book is a series of anecdotes/ruminations by a thirteen to fourteen year old girl. Supposedly it's set in the 1970s, but I didn't think that came across in the prose. Maybe the fact that the main characters are able to go on living in such abject poverty without the interve ...more
Ken
I stumbled across this novel in a small book store in Portsmouth, NH. The endorsement from Frank McCourt and the bookshop itself didn't hurt either the fact that I chose it either. Sometimes this is how you find some hidden treasures and "Here They Come" was just that. Although I felt the book was lacking in plot it was the power of Murphy's prose that propelled the novel. Her bold descriptions create a series of images and characters that would find themselves comfortable in any of McCourt's me ...more
Anthony Faber
Novel of a dysfunctional single parent family growing up in a Greenwich Village loft. The narrator is probably a few years younger than me. There are continuity errors, some quirky alternate history and some magical realism, but it's well worth reading.
Amanda
Jan 18, 2008 Amanda rated it 3 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Rachel Bullock
Recommended to Amanda by: Oriana Leckert
I love this book! Narrated by a thirteen-year-old girl living in the squalor of the LES in the seventies, it reads in bursts of scenes of about a year in her life: her "merde"-spewing mother watching TV naked, her half-estranged father and the girlfriend who is referred to exclusively as "the slut," a hot dog vendor who likes to hug her in a way she acknowledges is inappropriate for her age but she allows in exchange for Hershey's and hot dogs, a brother eternally clad in a silk robe embroidered ...more
N. Miller
The basic premise: Holden Caulfield's long-estranged sister speaks her mind from a maggot-infested apartment in the boroughs of New York. Brought to you by McSweeney's, of course.

I liked this quite a bit, Ms. Murphy--although if Freud were to take a long, hard look at this novel, he'd say you almost certainly have some major daddy issues; not a single male character redeems himself for his sins in this novel. But sometimes a dude just, you know, doesn't. I can dig.

This novel is certainly worth a
...more
Leilani Clark
Yannick Murphy writes the kind of prose that runs into each other, lots of "ands" connecting shimmering descriptions of water, cities, hot dogs and horses. The novel tells the story of a thirteen year old girl growing up in a poverty with her French mother, musician brother and two other jolly, ragged sisters. The main character can barely finish a sentence without using the word "fuck," which she readily admits in the first two pages. This is the first I've read of Murphy and I will read her ag ...more
Katie
so vivid. best novel ive read in a long time. i could actually picture everything i was reading.
Emily
I think this is the first McSweeny's book I have read the whole way through.

While I wouldn't necessarily call this a light read, it is written in delicate little vignettes, chapters rarely more than five pages long. The narrator is a thirteen-year old living in a trash-filled apartment with her mother, brother,sisters, and dog in New York in the 70s. It easily could have been depressing but Murphy's beautiful descriptions and biting humor infused throughout balances the sadness to make this an e
...more
kathryn
I wasn't sure at first on this one. I didn't know what the style was going to be when I picked it up, but overall I enjoyed it. I find books about growing up poor(well, no, this one was not primarily about growing up poor, but it was a huge part of it) frustrating and sad. Overall I liked it and did enjoy the style-i'd definitely read more Yannick Murphy. When I returned it to the library, the librarian and I talked about what a pretty book physically it is too-it is a great size, lovely font an ...more
za
really gorgeous and gritty. a story about crazy family and being poor in new york in the 70s. i picked this up randomly in a book store in san francisco and it had a note written from a bookstore employee wedged in the front pages that was silly and simple and said something like: dear customer, read me because i am really well-written. normally i think that cheeky young-guy humor is annoying, but i bought it. and actually, i think the notes simplicity really served as a good description.
Dylan
1: Had to pick it up because of the beautiful boards.
2: Was intrigued by the blurb about the little girl 'who can bend spoons with her mind'
3: Kept reading to get to the bottom of this.
4: Turns out it plays a very, very small part of the story. Nearly non-existent.
5: Wasn't disappointed, per se, but wasn't overwhelmed.

Pick this one up, if you don't really want to think about anything much, and are just looking read something pretty.
ej
_Here They Come_ is a beautifully twisted story about familial connections, loss, change, and other such perils of growing up. Set in New York in the 1970s, the novel is filled with undulating energy and schools of eye watering moments. The characters are unforgettable and the story is unbelievably haunting, piquant, and startling. This is Murphy in her finest hour. I consumed this book, and it consumed me in return.
Renee
I wish goodreads had offered a "1/2 star" because I would have given this book a rating of 3.5 The writing in this book is exceptionally clever and at the same time very simple. I had trouble with is the grave dismal lives of the characters. Could their lives really be so bleak, chaotic, and for lack of a better word pathetic? Because that is a possibility, I felt sad and exhausted by the end. Still, I say, worth the read!
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Yannick Murphy is the author of the novels, The Call, Signed, Mata Hari, Here They Come, and The Sea of Trees. Her story collections include Stories in Another Language and In a Bear's Eye. Her children's books include The Cold Water Witch, Baby Polar, and Ahwhoooooooo!. She is the recipient of various awards including a Whiting Writer's Award, a National Endowment for the Arts award, a Chesterfie ...more
More about Yannick Murphy...
The Call Signed, Mata Hari This Is the Water Baby Polar In a Bear's Eye

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“You will always see less as you grow older, otherwise you would not want to go on.” 2 likes
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