Untouchable: A Novel

By Bronson Pinchot
Read by Scott O’Connor

11.80 Hours 05/03/2011 unabridged
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It is the autumn of 1999. A year has passed since Lucy Darby’s unexpected death, leaving her husband David and son Whitley to mend the gaping hole in their lives. David, a trauma-site cleanup technician, spends his nights expunging the grisly remains of strangers, helping their families move on, though he is unable to do the same. Whitley—an eleven-year-old social pariah known simply as the Kid—hasn’t spoken since his mother’s death. Instead, he communicates through a growing collection of notebooks, living in a safer world of his own silent imagining. As the impending arrival of Y2K casts a shadow of uncertainty around them, their own precarious reality begins to implode. Questions pertaining to the events of Lucy’s death begin to haunt David while the Kid, who still believes his mother is alive, enlists the help of his small group of misfit friends to bring her back. As David continues to lose his grip on reality and the Kid’s sense of urgency grows, they begin to uncover truths that will force them to confront their deepest fears about each other and the wounded family they are trying desperately to save.

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Summary

Summary

Winner of the 2011Barnes & Noble Discover Award

Recipient of the 2011Publishers Weekly Listen-Up Award

It is the autumn of 1999. A year has passed since Lucy Darby’s unexpected death, leaving her husband David and son Whitley to mend the gaping hole in their lives. David, a trauma-site cleanup technician, spends his nights expunging the grisly remains of strangers, helping their families move on, though he is unable to do the same. Whitley—an eleven-year-old social pariah known simply as the Kid—hasn’t spoken since his mother’s death. Instead, he communicates through a growing collection of notebooks, living in a safer world of his own silent imagining.

As the impending arrival of Y2K casts a shadow of uncertainty around them, their own precarious reality begins to implode. Questions pertaining to the events of Lucy’s death begin to haunt David while the Kid, who still believes his mother is alive, enlists the help of his small group of misfit friends to bring her back. As David continues to lose his grip on reality and the Kid’s sense of urgency grows, they begin to uncover truths that will force them to confront their deepest fears about each other and the wounded family they are trying desperately to save.

Editorial Reviews

Editorial Reviews

“In his first novel, Untouchable, Scott O’Connor speaks softly and somehow manages to make something beautiful of unspeakable matters…O’Connor tells a wisp of a story, but in a voice so insistently stirring, you want to lean in close to catch every word.” New York Times Book Review
“Once in a very long time, a book comes along that resonates and sings with heart. It’s characters so real you want to touch them, hug them. Their peril so well told you are filled with fear as you are a mere observer of their adventure. You find yourself holding your breath as you read the last pages…And when it is over you wish you could read it all for the first time, again. That is how good this book is.” Crimespree magazine
“There are no easy answers or safe archetypes here, nor is there a single iota of sugar-coating. The world of Scott O’Connor’s debut novel is tough, worn, and thoroughly lived in, and is as vivid and painfully honest as anything I’ve read in a very long time. Do not sleep on Untouchable, this is the real thing.” Nathan Singer, author of A Prayer for Dawn and In the Light of You
“Pinchot—with a soft, easy delivery—lovingly brings this melancholy story and its diverse characters to life. His narration is smooth and compelling, while the voices he lends Whitley and his father fully realize their sadness and despair. But Pinchot also manages to infuse each scene with a sense of hope. The result is heartfelt performance of a rich and deeply moving story.” Publishers Weekly (starred audio review)
“In his first novel, O’Connor exposes the raw anguish and grief a father and son experience after the sudden death of their wife and mother. David Darby works for a crew of sanitation experts who erase the traces of violent death from homes, hotels, convenience stores, etc., for the owners and bereaved families. His son, Whitley, who is only called "The Kid," has refused to speak since his mother died and communicates only with a notebook and pencil. Each day Darby's gruesome job brings him closer to despair and violence. And as the Kid suffers unspeakable bullying at school, he maintains the belief that his mother is not dead and that he will be able to bring her back. Given that scenario, the lives of both protagonists rapidly spiral out of control. O’Connor's brutal exposure of his characters' pain and grief is astonishing in its immediacy and not necessarily a comfortable read. Like Jodi Picoult, the author doesn't flinch from the realities of life and death that can create madness or the solutions that can restore wholeness. Introducing an amazing new talent to the world of fiction. Highly recommended.” Library Journal (starred review)

Reviews

Reviews

Author

Author Bio: Scott O’Connor

Scott O’Connor is the author of the novella Among Wolves, the novels Untouchable and Half World, and the short story collection Thalassa. He has been awarded the Barnes and Noble Discover Great New Writers Award, and his stories have been shortlisted for the Sunday Times/EFG Story Prize and cited as Distinguished in Best American Short Stories. He has written for Fox, Universal Television, and Parkes + MacDonald Productions, as well as the New York Times Magazine, Zyzzyva, Rattling Wall, and the Los Angeles Review of Books.

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Details

Details

Available Formats : Digital Download, Digital Rental, CD, MP3 CD
Category: Fiction
Runtime: 11.80
Audience: Adult
Language: English