Published February 06, 2019 by Tom Porter

The ‘Strangely Mesmerizing’ New Novel from International Best-Seller Douglas Kennedy ‘76

One of the best-selling novelists in Europe, Kennedy has been hailed as "a master storyteller with a trademark genius for writing serious popular fiction." Kennedy, whose work has been translated into more than twenty languages, recently published his thirteenth novel, a 600-page epic called The Great Wide Open.

dk's book

Writing in The New Statesman, novelist Ian Sansom says the book’s title could also be a description of Kennedy’s career: “both territories are absolutely vast.” He describes Kennedy’s books as “glossy high-end sagas that have a steely literary core… books that are not only readable and accomplished but also somehow unsettling.”

Set in 1980s New York City, the novel explores a slice of US history through its central character Alice Burns, who “tells her family’s whole sorry history during the previous 40 years.” Sansom goes on to say: “Like all of Kennedy’s work, it has a strangely mesmerizing effect.”

Part of the novel is also set in 1970s Ireland, a country Kennedy is familiar with. In the 1970s and ‘80s he spent several years in Dublin, including a year studying abroad at Trinity College. In an interview with The Irish Times’s Hugh Linehan, Kennedy described Dublin in the 1970s as “properly Bohemian because it was poor and living conditions weren’t easy,” while at the same time being “very compelling and full of extremely smart people.”