MLA Platinum Award Press Release

Summary and book reviews of Mr. Splitfoot by Samantha Hunt

Mr. Splitfoot

by Samantha Hunt

Mr. Splitfoot by Samantha Hunt X
Mr. Splitfoot by Samantha Hunt
  • Critics' Opinion:

    Readers' Opinion:

     Not Yet Rated
  • First Published:
    Jan 2016, 336 pages
    Paperback:
    Jan 2017, 336 pages

    Genres

  • Rate this book


Book Reviewed by:
Kate Braithwaite
Buy This Book

About this Book

Book Summary

A contemporary gothic from an author in the company of Kelly Link and Aimee Bender, Mr. Splitfoot tracks two women in two times as they march toward a mysterious reckoning.

Ruth and Nat are orphans, packed into a house full of abandoned children run by a religious fanatic. To entertain their siblings, they channel the dead. Decades later, Ruth's niece, Cora, finds herself accidentally pregnant. After years of absence, Aunt Ruth appears, mute and full of intention. She is on a mysterious mission, leading Cora on an odyssey across the entire state of New York on foot. Where is Ruth taking them? Where has she been? And who - or what - has she hidden in the woods at the end of the road? 

In an ingeniously structured dual narrative, two separate timelines move toward the same point of crisis. Their merging will upend and reinvent the whole. A subversive ghost story that is carefully plotted and elegantly constructed, Mr. Splitfoot will set your heart racing and your brain churning. Mysteries abound, criminals roam free, utopian communities show their age, the mundane world intrudes on the supernatural and vice versa. 

Making good on the extraordinary acclaim for her previous books, Samantha Hunt continues to be "dazzling" (Vanity Fair) and to deliver fiction that is "daring and delicious" (Chicago Tribune.)

Excerpt>br>Mr. Splitfoot

Far from here, there's a church. Inside the church, there's a box. Inside the box is Judas's hand." Nat is slight and striking as a birch branch.

"Who cut it off?" Ruth asks. "How?"

But Nat's a preacher in a fever. His lesson continues with a new topic. "Baby deer have no scent when they are born." Nat conducts the air. "Keeps those babies safe as long as their stinking mothers stay far away." This is how Nat loves Ruth. He fills her head with his wisdom.

"My mom doesn't stink."

"You don't even know who your mom is, Ru."

"Of course I do. She's a veterinarian. She already had too many animals when I was born."

"I don't believe you."

Ruth looks left, then right. "OK. She's a bank robber. When you're asleep, she brings me money."

"Where's all the cash, then? Are you hiding it in some big cardboard box?"

So Ruth swerves again, returning to the version of a mother she uses most often. "I mean my mom's a bird, a red...

Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" articles
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $39 for a year or $12 for 3 months
  • More about membership!

Reviews

BookBrowse Review

BookBrowse

Part ghost story, part love story, part modern gothic horror, Mr. Splitfoot is an original, vivid and compelling work of literary fiction. Although at times the story becomes almost mired in its own beautifully described misery – for example when Cora says, "There's sacrifice, antagonism, rebellion, obsession, and adoration, but no properly complex word for what's between a mother and a daughter, roots so twisted, a relationship so deep, people suffocated it in kitsch and comfort words to pretend it's easy." – uncovering the truth of Ruth's history and accompanying Cora towards motherhood is ultimately a rewarding journey...continued

Full Review (551 words).

This review is available to non-members for a limited time. For full access, become a member today.

(Reviewed by Kate Braithwaite).

Media Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Starred Review. This spellbinder is storytelling at its best.

Library Journal
Starred Review. Readers of many genres will love this novel. It's billed as a ghost story, but it's also a road-trip narrative, a mystery, and a coming-of-age story, told with lyrical language.

Kirkus Reviews
Starred Review. A truly fantastic novel in which the blurring of natural and supernatural creates a stirring, visceral conclusion.

Author Blurb Kelly Link, author of Get in Trouble, Magic for Beginners, and many others
Samantha Hunt is astonishing. Her every sentence electrifies. Her characters demand our closest attention. Her new book contains everything that I want in a novel. If I could long-distance mesmerize you, dear reader, into picking up this book and buying it and reading it at once, believe me: I would.

Author Blurb Gary Shteyngart, author of Little Failure, Super Sad True Love Story, and many others
I'm speechless. Mr. Splitfoot is so inventive, so new; I haven't read anything like it in years. On the surface it's about false spirituality and the most demented road trip across New York State ever attempted, but it's also about the horrible ties that bind us and the small acts of redemption that make life almost okay. On top of that, it's a thrilling page-turner.  I couldn't stop reading it.

Author Blurb Luc Sante, author of Low Life and many others
Mr. Splitfoot is lyrical, echoing, deeply strange, with a quality of sustained hallucination. It is the best book on communicating with the dead since William Lindsay Gresham's Nightmare Alley, but it swaps out that novel's cynicism for a more life-affirming sense of uncertainty.

Author Blurb Sarah Manguso, author of Ongoingness, Two Kinds of Decay, and others
Mr. Splitfoot is an absolutely thrilling book. Filial and maternal love are on display in all their complicated hugeness. But Hunt gives us plenty of humor amid the horror and awe - and then turns on the lights and shows us what was looming above us the whole time. I can't stop thinking about it.

Reader Reviews

Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" articles
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $39 for a year or $12 for 3 months
  • More about membership!

Beyond the Book

The Golden Record

In Mr. Splitfoot, Samantha Hunt's new novel of ghosts, cults and motherhood, two characters fall in love while listening to the Golden Record.

Voyager spacecrafts 1 and 2 launched from Earth in 1977 and continue to travel further away from our planet, transmitting information back through the Deep Space Network. Theirs is an interstellar mission, extending NASA's space exploration of our solar system to the outer limits of the sun's influence and possibly beyond. On board, is the ultimate message in a bottle: a phonographic 12-inch record made of gold-plated copper known as The Golden Record, compiled by a team of people led by the American scientist, astronomer and author Carl Sagan. The outside of the record is transcribed with a key ...

This "beyond the book" feature is available to non-members for a limited time. Join today for full access.

Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" articles
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $39 for a year or $12 for 3 months
  • More about membership!

Readalikes

Readalikes Full readalike results are for members only

More books by Samantha Hunt

If you liked Mr. Splitfoot, try these:

  • Melmoth jacket

    Melmoth

    by Sarah Perry

    Published 2019

    About this book

    More books by this author

    For centuries, the mysterious dark-robed figure has roamed the globe, searching for those whose complicity and cowardice have fed into the rapids of history's darkest waters - and now, in Sarah Perry's breathtaking follow-up to The Essex Serpent, it is heading in our direction.

  • All the Names They Used for God jacket

    All the Names They Used for God

    by Anjali Sachdeva

    Published 2019

    About this book

    For fans of Dave Eggers and Kelly Link, an exhilarating collection of stories that explores the mysterious, often dangerous forces that shape our lives - from censorship and terrorism to technology and online dating.

Non-members are limited to two results. Become a member
Search Readalikes again
How we choose readalikes
Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" articles
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $39 for a year or $12 for 3 months
  • More about membership!

Support BookBrowse

Become a Member and discover books that entertain, engage & enlighten.

Join Now!

Editor's Choice

  • Book Jacket: The Resisters
    The Resisters
    by Gish Jen
    Gish Jen's The Resisters depicts a future United States, dubbed AutoAmerica, where climate change ...
  • Book Jacket: The Mercies
    The Mercies
    by Kiran Millwood Hargrave
    It's 1617 and a violent storm has claimed the lives of 40 fishermen off the coast of Vardø, a ...
  • Book Jacket
    Buried Beneath the Baobab Tree
    by Adaobi Tricia Nwaubani
    Ya Ta, the main character in Adaobi Tricia Nwaubani's novel, Buried Beneath the Baobab Tree, ...
  • Book Jacket: Run Me to Earth
    Run Me to Earth
    by Paul Yoon
    Suspenseful and elegant storytelling in Run Me to Earth kept me turning pages even through traumatic...

Readers Recommend

  • Book Jacket

    The Mountains Sing
    by Nguyen Phan Que Mai

    An enveloping, multigenerational tale set against the backdrop of the Viet Nam War.
    Reader Reviews

  • Book Jacket

    I Want You to Know We're Still Here
    by Esther Safran Foer

    "A vivid testimony to the power of memory."
    - Kirkus (starred review)
    Reader Reviews

Book Club Discussion
Book Jacket
The Things They Carried
by Tim O'Brien

The classic, ground-breaking meditation on war and the redemptive power of storytelling.

About the book
Join the discussion!
Win this book!
Win Mostly Dead Things

Mostly Dead Things
by Kristen Arnett

"Hilarious, deeply morbid, and full of heart."
- BuzzFeed

Enter

Wordplay

Solve this clue:

T Die I C

and be entered to win..

Books that     
entertain,
     engage

 & enlighten

Visitors can view some of BookBrowse for free. Full access is for members only.

Join Today!

Your guide toexceptional          books

BookBrowse seeks out and recommends the best in contemporary fiction and nonfiction—books that not only engage and entertain but also deepen our understanding of ourselves and the world around us.