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Bridge of Clay
Cover of Bridge of Clay
Bridge of Clay
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NAMED ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY • THE WALL STREET JOURNAL
The unforgettable, New York Times bestselling family saga from Markus Zusak, the storyteller who gave us the extraordinary bestseller THE BOOK THIEF, lauded by the New York Times as "the kind of book that can be life-changing."


"One of those monumental books that can draw you across space and time into another family's experience in the most profound way." The Washington Post
"Mystical and loaded with heart, it's another gorgeous tearjerker from a rising master of them." —Entertainment Weekly

"Devastating, demanding and deeply moving." —Wall Street Journal

The breathtaking story of five brothers who bring each other up in a world run by their own rules. As the Dunbar boys love and fight and learn to reckon with the adult world, they discover the moving secret behind their father's disappearance.

At the center of the Dunbar family is Clay, a boy who will build a bridge—for his family, for his past, for greatness, for his sins, for a miracle.

The question is, how far is Clay willing to go? And how much can he overcome?

Written in powerfully inventive language and bursting with heart, BRIDGE OF CLAY is signature Zusak.
NAMED ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY • THE WALL STREET JOURNAL
The unforgettable, New York Times bestselling family saga from Markus Zusak, the storyteller who gave us the extraordinary bestseller THE BOOK THIEF, lauded by the New York Times as "the kind of book that can be life-changing."


"One of those monumental books that can draw you across space and time into another family's experience in the most profound way." The Washington Post
"Mystical and loaded with heart, it's another gorgeous tearjerker from a rising master of them." —Entertainment Weekly

"Devastating, demanding and deeply moving." —Wall Street Journal

The breathtaking story of five brothers who bring each other up in a world run by their own rules. As the Dunbar boys love and fight and learn to reckon with the adult world, they discover the moving secret behind their father's disappearance.

At the center of the Dunbar family is Clay, a boy who will build a bridge—for his family, for his past, for greatness, for his sins, for a miracle.

The question is, how far is Clay willing to go? And how much can he overcome?

Written in powerfully inventive language and bursting with heart, BRIDGE OF CLAY is signature Zusak.
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Excerpts-
  • From the cover

    portrait of a killer as a middle—aged man

    If before the beginning (in the writing, at least) was a typewriter, a dog, and a snake, the beginning itself—-eleven years previously—-was a murderer, a mule, and Clay. Even in beginnings, though, someone needs to go first, and on that day it could only be the Murderer. After all, he was the one who got everything moving forward, and all of us looking back. He did it by arriving. He arrived at six o'clock.

    As it was, it was perfectly fitting, too, another blistering February evening; the day had cooked the concrete, the sun still high, and aching. It was heat to be held and depended on, or, really, that had hold of him. In the history of all murderers everywhere, this was surely the most pathetic:

    At five—foot—ten, he was average height.

    At seventy—five kilos, a normal weight.

    But make no mistake—-he was a wasteland in a suit; he was bent—postured, he was broken. He leaned at the air as if waiting for it to finish him off, only it wouldn't, not today, for this, fairly suddenly, didn't feel like a time for murderers to be getting favors.

    No, today he could sense it.

    He could smell it.

    He was immortal.

    Which pretty much summed things up.

    Trust the Murderer to be unkillable at the one moment he was better off dead.

    * * *

    For the longest time, then, ten minutes at least, he stood at the mouth of Archer Street, relieved to have finally made it, terrified to be there. The street didn't seem much to care; its breeze was close but casual, its smoky scent was touchable. Cars were stubbed out rather than parked, and the power lines drooped from the weight of mute, hot and bothered pigeons. Around it, a city climbed and called:

    Welcome back, Murderer.

    The voice so warm, beside him.

    You're in a bit of strife here, I'd say. . . . In fact, a bit of strife doesn't even come close—-you're in desperate trouble.

    And he knew it.

    And soon the heat came nearer.

    Archer Street began rising to the task now, almost rubbing its hands together, and the Murderer fairly caught alight. He could feel it escalating, somewhere inside his jacket, and with it came the questions:

    Could he walk on and finish the beginning?

    Could he really see it through?

    For a last moment he took the luxury—-the thrill of stillness—-then swallowed, massaged his crown of thorny hair, and with grim decision, made his way up to number eighteen.

    A man in a burning suit.

    Of course, he was walking that day at five brothers.

    Us Dunbar boys.

    From oldest to youngest:

    Me, Rory, Henry, Clayton, Thomas.

    We would never be the same.

    To be fair, though, neither would he—-and to give you at least a small taste of what the Murderer was entering into, I should tell you what we were like:

    Many considered us tearaways.

    Barbarians.

    Mostly they were right:

    Our mother was dead.

    Our father had fled.

    We swore like bastards, fought like contenders, and punished each other at pool, at table tennis (always on third— or fourth—hand tables, and often set up on the lumpy grass of the backyard), at Monopoly, darts, football, cards, at everything we could get our hands on.

    We had a piano no one played.

    ...

About the Author-
  • Markus Zusak is the author of the extraordinary international bestseller The Book Thief and I Am the Messenger, an LA Times Book Award Finalist and Printz Award Honor book. He lives in Sydney, Australia, with his wife and children.
Reviews-
  • AudioFile Magazine Author Zusak narrates his long-awaited novel as if he has spent time with his characters in real life. In his gentle Australian accent, Zusak lingers over his well-chosen words, accenting their rhythms. His quiet tone belies the power of his story. Matthew, the eldest, tells the tale of the five Dunbar brothers. Much of his focus is on Clay, the fourth, who is "the best of us." Zusak's storytelling range is immense. Skillfully, he weaves together the life and death of the boys' musical mother and her early escape from Eastern Europe. There's Clay's love of the girl next door and the boys' relationship with their estranged father. These strands intermingle with bits of THE ILIAD and THE ODYSSEY and imagery that will make listeners stop, rewind, and listen again. S.W. � AudioFile 2018, Portland, Maine
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    Penguin Random House Audio Publishing Group
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    All copies of this title, including those transferred to portable devices and other media, must be deleted/destroyed at the end of the lending period.

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Bridge of Clay
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Markus Zusak
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