The Quick: A Novel

Front Cover
Random House, 2014 - Fiction - 523 pages
75 Reviews
For fans of Anne Rice, The Historian, and The Night Circus, an astonishing debut, a novel of epic scope and suspense that conjures up all the magic and menace of Victorian London

1892: James Norbury, a shy would-be poet newly down from Oxford, finds lodging with a charming young aristocrat. Through this new friendship, he is introduced to the drawing-rooms of high society and finds love in an unexpected quarter. Then, suddenly, he vanishes without a trace. Alarmed, his sister, Charlotte, sets out from their crumbling country estate determined to find him. In the sinister, labyrinthine London that greets her, she uncovers a hidden, supernatural city populated by unforgettable characters: a female rope walker turned vigilante, a street urchin with a deadly secret, and the chilling “Doctor Knife.” But the answer to her brother's disappearance ultimately lies within the doors of the exclusive, secretive Aegolius Club, whose predatory members include the most ambitious, and most bloodthirsty, men in England.

In her first novel, Lauren Owen has created a fantastical world that is both beguiling and terrifying. The Quick will establish her as one of fiction's most dazzling talents.

Praise for The Quick

“Reading the blurbs on the dust jacket of Lauren Owen's first novel—from such luminaries as Kate Atkinson, Hilary Mantel, and Tana French—readers might think they're about to embark on a high-handed version of the Gothic novel, full of metafictions and literary allusions. These do appear, along with some beautiful language, but by Page 100, when the first neck is about to be bitten, The Quick drops its cloak and becomes a good old-fashioned vampire novel. . . . [It's full of] wonderful inventions, while still providing the torn collars and hungry looks the genre demands. . . . What fun.”The New York Times Book Review (Editor's Choice)

The Quick is that rare book that reviewers and readers live for: both plot- and character-driven, a stay-up-all-night-reading romp of more than 500 pages that you'll desperately wish was double that. This is elegant, witty, force-of-nature writing, and Lauren Owen should have a long and illustrious career ahead of her.”The Dallas Morning News

The Quick is ambitious in both scope and structure. . . . Her London is exquisitely detailed. . . . [Owen] inhabits the breadth and panorama of the Victorian tale.”The Washington Post

“Forget Jack the Ripper—it's the curiously pale aristocratic types you need to beware of in this supernatural Gothic nightmare. . . . Owen's stylishly sinister world of betrayal and Lovecraftian monsters will have you sleeping with the lights on.”O: The Oprah Magazine

“The first quarter of this debut novel is a lovely, poetic tale. . . . The last half is entirely bonkers and totally unexpected. Read it with the lights on.”—The New Republic

“[A] creepy debut . . . a thrilling tale . . . This book will give you chills even on a hot day.”—Minneapolis Star Tribune

“The book's energy, its wide reach and rich detail make it a confident example of the 'unputdownable' novel.”The Economist

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LibraryThing Review

User Review  - bhutton - LibraryThing

A melancholic story that no one really comes out ahead from. A well told tale that stays away from so many caricatures that the characters could have fallen into. An interesting tale about what happens when you have all the time in the world. Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - jwood652 - LibraryThing

Our story starts out with a brother and sister growing up in 19th century Britain and jumps to a secret society of undead aka vampires. We soon learn what the connection is. This literary thriller ... Read full review

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About the author (2014)

Lauren Owen was born in 1985. She studied at Oxford University and the University of East Anglia, where she received the 2009 Curtis Brown Prize for the best fiction dissertation. The Quick is her first novel. She lives in Northern England.

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