Summary and book reviews of The Mannequin Makers by Craig Cliff

The Mannequin Makers

by Craig Cliff

The Mannequin Makers by Craig Cliff X
The Mannequin Makers by Craig Cliff
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  • Published:
    Nov 2017, 336 pages

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Book Summary

Playfully literate and strikingly original, an unforgettable debut novel about art, imitation, and obsession.

Excitement is rare in the small town of Marumaru, New Zealand. So when a young Maori man arrives on the morning train one day in 1903 - announcing the imminent visit of a famous strongman - the entire town turns out to greet him, save one. Colton Kemp, a department store window-dresser, is at home, watching his beloved wife die in premature childbirth. Tormented by grief, he hatches a plan to make his name and thwart his rival, the silent and gifted Carpenter: over the next sixteen years he will raise his newborn twins in secrecy and isolation, to become human mannequins in the world's most lifelike window display.

The Mannequin Makers is an adventure-filled and thoroughly delightful yarn, introducing one of international literature's most promising young talents to American audiences.

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Media Reviews

Kirkus Reviews

A grim and glorious meditation on the cruelty of fate

Publishers Weekly

Starred Review. This is a spellbinding and original tale, rife with perilous journeys, fascinating historical detail, and memorable characters.

Author Blurb Eowyn Ivey, author of To the Bright Edge of the World
Craig Cliff has brought turn-of-the-century Australia and New Zealand entirely to life in his haunting novel. With shades of Herman Melville and Richard Flanagan, it is a story of dark obsessions and family entanglements that will pull you in like a strong undertow. There are shipwrecks and deserted islands and uncanny illusions. But it's Cliff's writing about wood carving and the New Zealand landscape that lends the novel its beautiful lyricism.

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