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list price: $29.95
edition:Hardcover
also available: Paperback eBook
category: Fiction
published: Sep 2009
ISBN:9781553654353
publisher: Douglas & McIntyre

Daniel O'Thunder

A Novel

by Ian Weir

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literary, historical
0 of 5
0 ratings
rated!
rated!
list price: $29.95
edition:Hardcover
also available: Paperback eBook
category: Fiction
published: Sep 2009
ISBN:9781553654353
publisher: Douglas & McIntyre
Description

Set in the 1850s in London, England, Daniel O'Thunder interweaves the voices of several narrators to tell the story of a troubled but charismatic prize-fighting evangelist who challenges none other than the Devil to a battle in the ring.

 

A former pugilist with a right fist known as "The Hammer of Heaven," O'Thunder disappeared for years before resurfacing as a crusading street preacher. He pursues a life in Christ, serving those in need, whether they be poor, homeless or in need of guidance. But on London's dark streets, an evil presence is wreaking havoc and throwing into peril the lives of O'Thunder's most vulnerable souls.

 

The novel inhabits the world of the theatre, the criminal underworld and the world of bare-knuckle prizefighting, then shifts to the wild west of North America, where O'Thunder meets his ultimate opponent in the desert of the B.C. Interior.

About the Author

Ian Weir is a playwright, screenwriter, TV showrunner, and the author of two previously published novels. Daniel O'Thunder was shortlisted for the Commonwealth Writer'’ Prize for Best First Book, as well as the Canadian Authors Association Award for fiction, the Ethel Wilson Fiction Prize, and the amazon.ca First Novel Award. Will Starling was longlisted for the International DUBLIN Literary Award and shortlisted for the Sunburst Award. Among his extensive television credits are his work as creator and showrunner of Arctic Air and as writer and executive producer of the acclaimed gangland miniseries, Dragon Boys.He has won two Geminis, four Leos, a Jessie, and a Writers Guild of Canada Screenwriting Award.

Born in North Carolina, Ian Weir grew up in Kamloops, British Columbia. He now lives near Vancouver.

Author profile page >
Awards
  • Short-listed, Commonwealth Writers' Prize Best First Book Award
  • Short-listed, Amazon.ca First Novel Award
  • Short-listed, Ethel Wilson Fiction Prize
  • Short-listed, Canadian Authors Association's Award for Fiction
Editorial Reviews

"A terrific, fast-moving narrative."

— Guardian

"A frightening, funny, moving, page-turning romp."

— Publishers Weekly

"Laced with blood thunder, sex, murder, rape, mayhem and miracles, Ian Wier's first novel is about good versus evil...from the outset, even if we haven't read the authors biography we know we are in skilled hands."

— BC Bookworld

"Weir's plot steps smartly, and the language crackles with the immediacy of shifting first-person voices...There are murders, rapes, hangings, prizefights, a city-wide riot, and lots of thrilling escapes...By the time the novel reaches its dramatic conclusion...the story has landed in a place somewhere between dementia and the supernatural. All of which makes for an historical novel that is a lot more fun and thrilling than what we have come to expect."

— Quill & Quire

"Charles Dickens meets Tom Jones...A knockout debut.

— National Post

"If one unreliable narrator is enough to skew a book toward the fantastical, imagine the twists generated by four! In his first novel, veteran screenwriter Ian Weir calls on a quartet of witnesses to deliver the story of godly pug Daniel O'Thunder, proud son of Cork turned evangelical sermonizer, and it's a sign of his sure command that all are engaging, even when spinning bald-faced lies or subtle prevarications...This is wonderful stuff."

— Georgia Straight

"The battle between the great Hammer of Heaven and the evil stalking him climaxes in a fight that will leave readers breathless. This robust historical novel by an award-winning Canadian screenwriter will captivate fans of Sarah Waters and Charles Dickens."

— Library Journal

"In this delicious jumble of a novel, Weir has created an epic hero...Drenched in filthy Thames waters and coiffed in muttonchops, Weir's outlandish tale is a top-shelf page-turner."

— Publishers Weekly

"I haven't a enjoyed a novel so much since Benioff's City of Thieves."

— Sun Times

"Ambitious in scope and structure, the book speaks in pitch-perfect Victorian diction through a wide range of characters to relate the ultimate-stakes quarrel between the pugilist preacher Daniel O'Thunder and his ultimate adversary: The Devil Himself."

— Vancouver Magazine

"'Dickensian' is an adjective too often misused in describing books set in Victorian England. It is, however, the perfect word for this superb novel, nominated for the Commonwealth Prize. Weir, an award-winning screenwriter and playwright, takes us right to the centre of London in 1815 with as brilliantly constructed a band of reprobates as Dickens ever saw. Marvellous from the first paragraph."

— Globe & Mail

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Reader Reviews

Association of Book Publishers of BC
Librarian review

Daniel O'Thunder: A Novel

This entertaining historical novel uses multiple narrators to tell the story of a failed bare-knuckle fighter turned into a raging but magnetic evangelist. Set in mid-19th century England and Gold Rush BC, we follow a failed actor and cleric, a teenage prostitute, a newspaperman and a retired soldier as they travel in the wake of the dynamic preacher as he cuts a swath through 1850s London in his efforts to engage the Devil in a final fight. Realistic depictions of the underbelly of the Industrial Revolution reveal a harsh but compassionate world that enslaves the weak and defenseless, makes a sporting event out of murderous boxing matches and public hangings, and tries to find a way to enable caring.

Weir is also a screenwriter and playwright who has won Gemini, Jessie, Leo and Writers Guild of Canada awards.

Caution: Includes coarse language and depictions of explicit violence.

Source: The Association of Book Publishers of BC. BC Books for BC Schools. 2011-2012.

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