The Giant, O'Brien: A Novel

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Henry Holt and Company, Jun 12, 2007 - Fiction - 208 pages

New York Times Book Review Notable Book of the Year
Los Angeles Times Best Book of the Year

London, 1782: center of science and commerce, home to the newly rich and the desperately poor. In the midst of it all is the Giant, O'Brien, a freak of nature, a man of song and story who trusts in myths, fairies, miracles, and little people. He has come from Ireland to exhibit his size for money. O'Brien's opposite is a man of science, the famed anatomist John Hunter, who lusts after the Giant's corpse as a medical curiosity, a boon to the advancement of scientific knowledge.

In her acclaimed novel, two-time Man Booker Prize winning author Hilary Mantel tells of the fated convergence of Ireland and England. As belief wrestles knowledge and science wrestles song, so The Giant, O'Brien calls to us from a fork in the road as a tale of time, and a timeless tale.


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User Review  - bodachliath - LibraryThing

An intriguing mixture of fact and fantasy. Unlike the Cromwell novels and A Place of Greater Safety, the need for invention is clear here. Although the Irish giant Charles Byrne and the surgeon John ... Read full review

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User Review  - passion4reading - LibraryThing

Charles O'Brien, a gentle Irish giant with the soul of a poet, arrives in London with his agent and his band of followers to be exhibited among the better-off citizens. One who comes to the see him ... Read full review

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About the author (2007)

Hilary Mantel is the author of seven previous novels, including Eight Months on Ghazzah Street (Owl Books, 0-8050-5203-8), An Experiment in Love (Owl Books, 0-8050-5202-X), and A Change of Climate (Owl Books, 0-8050-5205-4). She also wrote A Place of Greater Safety. Winner of the Hawthornden Prize, she lives in England.

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