The Adversary: A Novel (Hardcover)

The Adversary: A Novel By Michael Crummey Cover Image
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An enthralling novel about the corruption of power and the power of corruption from the award-winning, bestselling author of The Innocents



"MASTERPIECE" —Publisher's Weekly (Starred Review)


"ONE OF OUR BEST WRITERS" —Booklist (Starred Review)

In an isolated outport on Newfoundland's northern coastline, Abe Strapp is about to marry the daughter of a rival merchant to cement his hold on the shore when the Widow Caines arrives to throw the wedding and Abe's plans into chaos.

That ruthless act of sabotage is the opening salvo in a battle between the man and woman who own Mockbeggar's largest mercantile firms, each fighting for the scarce resources of the north Atlantic fishery, each seeking a measure of revenge on the person they despise most in the world. As their unshakeable animosity spirals further each year into vendettas and violence, the community is increasingly divided and even the innocents in Mockbeggar find themselves forced to take sides, with devastating consequences. 

Through merciless seasons of uncertainty and want, through predatory storms and pandemics and marauding privateers, it is the human heart that reveals itself to be the most formidable and unpredictable adversary for each person drawn, inevitably and helplessly, into that endless feud. 

Compulsively readable and uncompromising, The Adversary is a masterful evocation of a lost time, and a shadowed mirror to our modern politics of grievance and retribution.

About the Author

MICHAEL CRUMMEY is an award-winning poet and storyteller. Crummey was born in Buchans, a mining town in the interior of Newfoundland. He is the bestselling author of five critically acclaimed novels, The Innocents, River Thieves, The Wreckage, Galore, and Sweetland, as well as five collections of poetry. His novels have won or been shortlisted for many prizes, including the Giller Prize, the Governor-General's Award, the Commonwealth Writers' Prize and the IMPAC Dublin Literary Award, and his books have sold more than 225,000 copies in North America. He lives in St. John's, Newfoundland.

Praise For…

"Potent...[a] vibrant historical novel....By turns bawdy, violent, comic, and gruesome."
The New Yorker

"Ingeniously constructed and wound tight as a mainspring...Flawlessly crafted...A sinuous narrative in constant, elegant motion."
The Wall Street Journal

The Adversary is a beautifully written, immensely powerful and subtly ingenious novel. Its greatest — which is to say, most monstrous — revelations are so discreetly offered that you could miss them; but when you realize them, they practically take your breath away."
The Washington Post

“Crummey weaves forgotten idioms into dialogue and action, creating a knotty, muscular, incantatory language that builds on Melville and Proulx as much as biblical antecedents….The story may be dark but each sentence sparkles….Exquisite prose. Spellbinding drama.… "The Adversary" is a magnificent novel that reinvents and subverts the Genesis account until its final page.”
Minneapolis Star Tribune

“Spellbinding…Along with a vivid setting and memorable characters, Crummey impresses with his dexterous use of language to convey the time period...This gripping page-turner is Crummey’s masterpiece” 
Publisher's Weekly (Starred Review)

“[Crummey’s] language is ceaselessly entertaining…The sheer energy of the novel never flags. It’s the latest superb effort by an author who couldn’t be more deserving of greater recognition beyond his native Canada. An enthralling masterpiece.”
Kirkus (Starred Review)

“Crummey masterfully builds the suspense while tempering the intensity with instances of selfless devotion. Crummey has quietly established himself as one of our best writers.”
—Booklist (Starred Review)

“Crummey writes with a poet’s sense of language, bringing a delicacy and grace to every sentence, even as the beauty of the prose is juxtaposed against the ugliness of its subject matter. . . . Masterpiece is a glib word and one that is thrown-around all too casually, but here it seems to fit: The Adversary is a masterpiece, plain and simple. The fact that it joins previous Crummey novels . . . under that designation, is all the more impressive.”
The Toronto Star
“Gobsmackingly accomplished… Crummey’s novel simply fascinates. It’s a peerless study of interpersonal strife and power dynamics.
Quill and Quire

Product Details
ISBN: 9780385550321
ISBN-10: 0385550324
Publisher: Doubleday
Publication Date: February 6th, 2024
Pages: 336
Language: English