Anthem Of A Reluctant Prophet

Paperback | May 6, 2008

byJoanne Proulx

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When 17-year-old Luke Hunter foretells the death of his friend with freakish accuracy, life gets complicated, fast. Everyone in Stokum, his rank little pinprick of a hometown, knows about the premonition and wants to know more. But Luke holds everyone—the local news crew, his buddy Fang, the Polish widow next door—at arm’s length as he lurches through his own personal minefield studded with previously unconsidered existential ponderings, Christian fundamentalists, a missing girl’s frantic mother, and a dream girl who isn’t his. Anthem of a Reluctant Prophet is a darkly comic coming-of-age novel that nails contemporary youth culture and sits comfortably alongside the recent offerings by Miriam Toews and DBC Pierre.

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When 17-year-old Luke Hunter foretells the death of his friend with freakish accuracy, life gets complicated, fast. Everyone in Stokum, his rank little pinprick of a hometown, knows about the premonition and wants to know more. But Luke holds everyone—the local news crew, his buddy Fang, the Polish widow next door—at arm’s length as he...

JOANNE PROULX has had short stories published in literary magazines on both sides of the Atlantic, including Exile and Upstairs at Duroc. Anthem of a Reluctant Prophet is her first novel. She lives in Ottawa, Ontario.
Format:PaperbackDimensions:368 pages, 8.3 × 5.3 × 1 inPublished:May 6, 2008Publisher:Penguin CanadaLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0143053582

ISBN - 13:9780143053583

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Rated 5 out of 5 by from Supercool - I dig it This is one of the favourites that I have read this year. A teenager, at an age which all that concerns him should be girl and fun (or avoiding school), he was forced to deal with the taste of death when one day he acquired involuntary premonition and empathetic feelings for people dying around him. Joanne Proulx has amazingly mastered the voice of a "modern" teenager; how real it was to feel the character talking directly to me in his (or meaning Proulx - her) element. Hilarious and fun, at the same time plunges you into deep thoughts. "Yeah, everyone is going to die. But first, we get to live. And that's big. That's beautiful. That's not to be missed." This is the kind of stuff that "Anthem of A Reluctant Prophet" is about. I have really enjoyed this great read. And to say it like the rebellious protagonist, "I dig it."
Date published: 2008-09-14
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Amazing! This was a great read for me. The characters were awsome, the plot was new and exciting and totally unexpected. From start to finish this book pleased me and held my attention. A great read for anyone 16 and older I'd say. One of my personal favourites.
Date published: 2008-08-15

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Editorial Reviews

“If great literature is your religion, read the gospel according to Luke Hunter. This debut novel is walk-on-water magical, a true revelation.”— Neil Smith, author of Bang Crunch“Joanne Proulx is a rare talent. Anthem of a Reluctant Prophet is perfectly drawn, with great voice, humour, complexity, and an unforgettable setting.” —Lauren B. Davis, bestselling author of The Radiant City and The Stubborn Season“Joanne Proulx’s darkly comic, thoughtful novel nails contemporary youth culture, and a lot more. Here’s a coming-of-age story that’s constantly surprising, at once both wonderfully unfamiliar and true-feeling.”—Michael Helm, Giller Prize finalist for The Projectionist“Wow. A coming-of-age novel that doesn’t make me want to go after the author with a two-by-four with a nail at the end of it. Anthem of a Reluctant Prophet is the rarest of things: a well-written, funny, and entertaining first novel.”—Ray Robertson, author of Moddy Food and Gently Down the Stream"TALENTED LAUNCH...debut novel displays keen ear and dandy eye...Proulx is...a talented inhabitor of people unlike herself...every new writer that surfaces so blessed should be cherished."—The Toronto Star"Ottawa writer Joanne Proulx’s debut novel rocks, and her teenage protagonist, Luke Hunter, the reluctant prophet of the title, rules. Forgive me for sounding juvenile, but I can’t help myself. This is a great book, and Proulx’s rendering of teenage angst is crafted with such precision and compassion that the reader rides the waves of fear, depression and elation that propel Luke’s chaotic life, paying little attention to the skill that drives the narrative. But after the breathless, lyric close that leaves Luke on the brink of adulthood, it is impossible not to marvel at Proulx’s mastery. The degree of her accomplishment -- it is rare that a novel is so finely realized -- resides largely in the first-person voice that claims this coming-of-age story...With undeniable candour and perfect pitch, Proulx renders Luke’s abject tale, his articulation of a life in perpetual crisis and his search for meaning in his uncanny ability to predict death...Her ability to evoke the day-to-day concerns and interior life of a teenager is as uncanny as Luke’s own prophesying..."—The National Post"An assured first novel... Proulx’s inspired opening salvo settles into a detailed, chatty character study. The anecdotal voice is all Luke’s, a narrative rippling with author’s insight slyly encoded in the hormone itch and cooler-than-thou posturing of a mixed-up teen...The beauty of this story is its complete and beguiling faithfulness to Luke’s inner world. I felt I was back inside 17, plagued by self-doubt, social blunders and sexual angst, stumbling toward some kind - any kind - of identity...Proulx’s message is expertly wrapped in her storytelling. Unaware, you watch Luke, recognize him, worry for him, until gradually you feel his ache, and his aching entry to adulthood, in your bones."—The Globe and Mail"Joanne Proulx’s growing-up-in-Michigan novel kicks ass…Proulx’s big accomplishment is voice; Luke glows with rage, fear, and horniness…Luke’s grudging epiphanies feel real. His halting dialogue, as limited as his interior thoughts are expansive, feels especially real. Finally, a growing-up book by someone who actually grew up."—The Georgia Straight"...she fashions a fantastic and unique brand of teenage poetry."—Quill & Quire"DEBUT NOVELIST GETS BOY’S VOICE JUST RIGHT: The timeless hormonal torrent of the teen years is given its full due by Proulx, as is the redeeming power of music. But it all seems so against the ultimate odds. These kids are playing for high stakes with little more than fragile self-generated faith in their side. The good news is that in hands as sure as Proulx’s it all makes for powerful fiction."—The Montreal Gazette"Smart and punchy..."—Fast Forward Weekly"From a writerly point of view, Anthem of a Reluctant Prophet is a tour de force. Proulx’s pitch-perfect recording of adolescent angst that is small-town, male and rooted in the most extraordinary circumstances…is impressive indeed."—The Ottawa Citizen"Proulx has a way of painting the perfect picture of Luke while capturing the complexities of teenage and high school life. …[her] writing is smooth, flowing effortlessly from chapter to chapter giving just enough info to keep you wanting more."—