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Perfect Circle Reviews Bio Press/Bookshop Resources Readings


Perfect Circle hardcoverPerfect Circle paperbackPerfect Circle
Sean Stewart
available in hardcover and trade paperback
June 15, 2004


"A cracking good read."
-- The Bookseller, May 27, 2005

"Stewart delicately balances humor with a strong sense of place and menace."
-- San Francisco Chronicle

* "All-around terrific."
-- Booklist (starred review)

"Heartbreaking and hilarious, peppered with satisfying pop-culture references (Battlestar Galactica, Tom Waits, Ramen noodles) and informed by Stewart's twisted sense of humor and proud redneck sensibility, Perfect Circle delivers what the maudlin "Sixth Sense never did - a wicked good time."
-- Cleveland Plain Dealer

"Stewart's compelling account of how DK comes to grips with his ghosts, both actual and metaphorical, is alternately poignant and hilarious, with some genuinely creepy moments and one or two powerful jolts.... Compelling ... with strong potential for crossing over into the mainstream."
-- Publishers Weekly

"Stewart's quicksilver wit makes Perfect Circle perfectly hilarious. And, a supremely skilled storyteller, he saves the best for last."
-- Texas Monthly

"His novels deserve to be more widely known than they are. He delicately balances humor with a strong sense of place and menace. Perfect Circle finds him in fine form and will leave readers eager for his next offering."
-- San Francisco Chronicle

"Sean Stewart delivers an urban fantasy that is the perfect amalgam of cursed past and haunted present, of classic ghost tales and up-to-the-minute cinematic riffs ... Stewart's mastery of Will's first-person narration is unflinching and unfaltering. The voice conjured here is absolutely authentic and affecting, as is the portrait of Houston, Will's stomping grounds. Will's vast extended family of oddballs and losers and honest toilers imparts a John-Crowleyesque heft to the book. And his treatment of the ghosts -- "Ghosts don't do things to you. Ghosts make you do unspeakable things to yourself" -- is truly eerie. Readers familiar with the quotidian spookiness of master English horror writer M.R. James will find similar frissons here, but married to the gritty demimonde in the novels of American noir writer James Crumley, resulting in a fusion of black humor and pathos, blood and ectoplasm."
-- Washington Post

"By turns heartbreaking and hilarious, Perfect Circle is ... an impressive example of an author using genre resources to stake out a territory that, for the moment at least, no one but he occupies."
-- Locus

"A read-at-one-go novel.... Everything is both stated and understated, elegant, full of the mundane horror and fear that inform a normal, frustrated life.... And it is well, well worth the reading. A highly recommended work."
-- F&SF

"A hell of a book."
-- SF Site

"The kind of book that fatasy was invented for."

"By turns funny and sad.... Compelling."
-- New Trail

"When he isn't peering into other realms, Kennedy meditates on rock music, Texas culture, and the nature of regret. There may be more to be had from a ghost story, but I don't know what." A
-- Marc Sheehan, On the Town, West Michigan

"You can't put the book down because you just have to know what is going to happen next. You can't sleep if you don't find out. Sean Stewart manages this brilliantly.... Oh, and the soundtrack is great too."
-- Emerald City

SF Revu

Advance Quotes:

Perfect Circle is a perfect read, exciting, unique, everything here but the Second Coming, but, Sean Stewart himself is the prize. What a talent. Write on, my man. Write on.
-- Joe Lansdale, Sunset and Sawdust

A heartwarmingly sweet novel about what it's really like to be haunted. Sean Stewart's best yet.
-- Sarah Smith, Chasing Shakespeares

Needy Ghosts, bar fights, concealed weapons, R.E.M., and ramen noodles -- Perfect Circle is an irreverent Texas treat. Sean Stewart is one bright, funny writer.
-- Stewart O'Na
n, The Night Country

Will Kennedy has some troublesome relatives. Especially the dead ones. Perfect Circle is Sean Stewart at his spooky, funny, sad, and haunting best.
-- Karen Joy Fowler, The Jane Austen Book Club

Perfect Circle is a ghost story for grown-ups, frightening, funny, and finally redemptive. It kept me up way past my bedtime.
-- Harley Jane Kozak, Dating Dead Men

I read it all in one gulp, by turns fearful and joyful for Stewart's likable loser protagonist."
-- Cory Doctorow, Eastern Standard Tribe

If Oprah read science fiction...This quirky, engaging novel tells the story of William "Dead" Kennedy, a thirtysomething former punk rocker and down-on-his-luck divorced dad -- who sees ghosts. After a visit to his haunted cousin goes horribly wrong, "DK" finds himself getting lots of attention -- mostly the wrong kind - from both the living and the dead. Funny and thought-provoking!
-- Carol Schneck Schuler Books and Music, Okemos, MI

My favorites among Sean Stewart's books are those that hover on the edge of our reality. His characters, like William "Dead" Kennedy are much like my friends and relatives -- although if any of my relatives are seeing ghosts, they haven't mentioned this to me. Will leads a not-quite life in Texas, working in dead end jobs, and yearning to reconnect with his ex-wife, and trying to avoid ghosts. When a cousin calls with a ghost-busting request, his financial offer is more than Will can resist. But accepting the job opens Will up to a whole new level of darkness. Great prose (Stewart has some of the best metaphors going) and a melancholy mood, like music half-remembered.
-- Maryelizabeth Hart of Mysterious Galaxy Bookshop, San Diego, CA



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