Books by Bradford Morrow

THE PRAGUE SONATA by Bradford Morrow
Released: Oct. 3, 2017

"An elegant foray into music and memory."
A musical mystery set against the backdrop of a nation shattered by war and loss. Read full book review >
THE FORGERS by Bradford Morrow
Released: Nov. 4, 2014

"A conventional thriller elevated by its glimpses into a bookish milieu."
A recovering forger reveals the seedy underside of the well-mannered world of bookmen, corpses and all. Read full book review >
THE UNINNOCENT by Bradford Morrow
Released: Dec. 5, 2011

"The eeriness of these stories grows overly familiar, but there's no question Morrow knows how to conjure a mood."
A set of neo-Gothic tales that seek out the line between sanity and madness in modern suburbia. Read full book review >
Released: Feb. 21, 2011

"A wonderfully speculative patchwork quilt on the meaning of life and death."
Twenty writers discuss what the inevitability of death means to them. Read full book review >
THE DIVINER'S TALE by Bradford Morrow
Released: Jan. 20, 2011

"A book that's likely to be best remembered for putting an attractive human face on an esoteric craft. "
A committed dowser but reluctant psychic is the winsome protagonist of this sixth novel from Morrow (Ariel's Crossing, 2002, etc.), which occupies a middle ground between domestic realism and Gothic suspense. Read full book review >
ARIEL’S CROSSING by Bradford Morrow
Released: June 3, 2002

"High-toned escape with palatable preaching and beautiful scenery."
Ghosts of the Spanish settlers and lingering effects of the Manhattan Project pleasantly spook the atmosphere in a New Mexican family drama. Read full book review >
GIOVANNI'S GIFT by Bradford Morrow
Released: Feb. 1, 1997

An elegant unveiling of the dark secrets that often lie submerged beneath grim events, from the novelist whose earlier inclinations toward the gothic (Trinity Fields, 1995; The Almanac Branch, 1991) seem to have reached full flower. All childhood homes tend to become spooky after a long absence, and Ash Creek is no exception. Nestled high in the Rocky Mountains, it has an isolated and ethereal quality to it, and Henry and Edme Fulton, the elderly couple who now live there, move through it as through a kind of Arcadia—until they begin to receive strange threats from an unknown enemy. When Henry and Edme's nephew Grant hears of their plight, he returns, with decidedly mixed feelings, to the home he grew up in. Now 33, Grant has been living in Rome for many years, and the reasons behind his exile form as much of a mystery as the haunting of Ash Creek. Shortly after Grant's return, his uncle's friend Giovanni Trentaz is found murdered near the house, and in an old cigar box of Giovanni's Grant finds clues that suggest just how deep and painful the mystery surrounding the family may be. This ostensible collection of junk turns out to contain the secret not only to Giovanni's murder, but to the hidden lives of practically everyone at Ash Creek. As Grant begins to piece together the fragments of his past, he also falls in love with Giovanni's mysterious, beautiful, extremely disturbed daughter Helen—an obsession that leads inexorably to the violent climax of a complex and highly charged tale. Slick, suave, and substantial: Morrow works the classical narrative of Pandora's box into a readable and intriguing thriller with much wit and a very sharp eye. (Author tour) Read full book review >
TRINITY FIELDS by Bradford Morrow
Released: March 1, 1995

Morrow (The Almanac Branch, 1991, etc.) situates a fragile story of friendship within an imposing political conflict to create a classic American tale of epic proportions. Narrator Brice and his best friend, Kip, grow up in Los Alamos, New Mexico; their fathers are brilliant engineers recruited by the government to develop the hydrogen bomb. (The novel's title comes from Robert Oppenheimer's name for the first nuclear test.) Los Alamos is a utopian community, free from crime, unemployment, even taxes, offering the kind of security that allows a lasting bond to develop between Brice and Kip. Too young to understand exactly what kind of dangerous work is done there, they are sensitive enough to feel the need to create games that match the perils their fathers are ``courting day and night in their labs.'' Now 50, Brice recalls his youth in delicious detail: risky games played with shotguns (Kip always proves more courageous); an ill-fated attempt to run away during high-school that causes Kip to call the frightened Brice a traitor; reconciliation and the decision to attend Columbia together; then a painful estrangement as Brice's antiwar activism conflicts with Kip's unlikely decision to serve. Kip leaves behind a fiancÇe, Jessica, and becomes a member of the elite, covert corps known as Ravens. When the news of Jessica's pregnancy reaches him, he tries to return to civilian life, but Jessica and Brice have already settled into a sort-of married life; Kip disappears back into the forests of Vietnam, leaving Brice to develop free from the shadow of his buddy cum nemesis. But when Kip makes an appearance 20 years later, all Brice's hard-won confidence is tested. Morrow's poetic prose, the stark emotions it reveals, and the effortless interweaving of personal and political themes give his novel a simple grandeur. (35,000 first printing; author tour) Read full book review >
Released: Oct. 31, 1991

Cadillac Gothic with new chrome stripping on stories going to the same old grave, by some heavy-hitters in the rich-prose department. At the Poe pinnacle of Old Gothic, all detail and landscape emerge from the tortured, fragmenting psyche of the hero. No such figure easily defines the New Gothic. Many of these tales—of which Paul West's ``Banquo and the Black Banana: The Fierceness of the Delight of Horror'' is the worst offender (it reads at times like a Burroughs cutup)—are overrich by half, and the straightforwardness of Ruth Rendell's ``For Dear Life,'' Joyce Carol Oates's ``Why Don't You Come Live with Me It's Time,'' and Angela Carter's ``The Merchant of Shadows'' blow like breaths of fresh air through the heavy vapors. The single, most well-focused story herein is Rendell's, about the cramps of horror besetting an old dowager taking her first subway ride in London. The best stylist may well be John Edgar Wideman, whose plague tale, ``Fever,'' opens marvelously: ``He stood staring through a window at the last days of November. The trees were barren women starved for love and they'd stripped off all their clothes, but nobody cared.'' The most far-out tale (that still tells a story) is Robert Coover's ugly but cuckoo ``The Dead Queen,'' a reworking of Disney's Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs from the point of view of Prince Charming on the wedding night: no matter how madly Charming performs in bed, Snow White awakens in the morning with hymen restored (as she has awakened after endless sex with the seven dwarfs before Prince Charming awakened her in the coffin that the vanity-ridden queen now lies in). Most fanciful is a tossup, but John Hawkes's ``Regulus and Maximus,'' about the sins of monks, is superpurple. Anne Rice presents a lacy Lestat the Vampire excerpt from Interview with the Vampire. All weighed together, too much and not enough. Should do well, though. Read full book review >
THE ALMANAC BRANCH by Bradford Morrow
Released: June 1, 1991

Morrow's teasing, psychologically dense second novel (after Come Sunday, 1988)about the neurotic lives of a rich American familybetrays its early promise in favor of endless literary avant-garde posturing. No wonder Grace Brush sees visions when she has a migraine: The daughter of Fawthe mysterious multinational business magnate who founded Geiger (known familiarly as ``The Sprawl'')and Erin, his cipher wife, Grace lives at the center of a nebulous web of untruth. Author Morrow, editor of the literary magazine Conjunctions, begins on a high note with Grace's childhood hallucinations, which prompt Faw to move the family to Shelter Island, at the tip of Long Island. There, the family quickly disintegrates; mother Erin starts an affair; Grace's brother Desmond dies in a fall; and Grace's migraine trances soon include Desmond's spirit as her incestuous lover. Flashing to the future in this soap-opera, Grace's other brother Berg creates a pornographic film about the one true incestuous moment he witnessed between Desmond and Grace. Berg eventually sinks to blackmailing his own family, threatening to reveal Faw's illegal profit-siphoning activities, in order to complete the movie. But Grace stonewalls him, and this airless effort comes to a feeble close. Plotted for maximum tease value to entice the reader on this convoluted journey but offering too little rewardperhaps because there's not enough substance to this particular rich and neurotic family. Read full book review >