Counterpoint (June 2013)
Hardcover: 352 pages
28 Clinton Road
Glen Ridge, NJ 07028
ALL THE DEAD YALE MEN
The long-awaited sequel to Nova's classic novel The Good Son
Originally published in 1982 to wide acclaim, The Good Son remains Craig Nova’s undisputed masterpiece. This classic explored the complicated entanglements of fathers and sons —expressed in the story of Pop Mackinnon, who used his wealth to manipulate his son Chip into the ‘right’ kind of marriage upon the young man’s return from World War II.
Chip eventually gave up the love of his life and married to secure his future – and what were the consequences of that decision? All the Dead Yale Men answers that question in telling the story of Frank Mackinnon, son of Chip, a prosecutor in Boston with a happy marriage and a daughter set to follow his footsteps into law school. Chip’s death throws Frank into his family’s complicated history, where he must contend with the inheritance of the Mackinnon’s beloved land in the Delaware River Valley and a bevy of secrets that dates back three generations. When Frank’s daughter Pia falls under the sway of local grifter Aurlon Miller, Frank is inadvertently thrust into the possibility of a legacy-ending scandal —not unlike the one his father faced many decades earlier —pushing Frank to the darkest edges of what a father will do to protect the family he loves.
All the Dead Yale Men examines the end of an era, how privilege and inheritance often crumble in the face of the modern world, a story enriched by the setting and mythology of Boston and its surroundings. The novel not only moves the Mackinnon’s story forward but recasts historical elements of the classic novel as well, heralding the arrival of a new American classic.
Praise for All the Dead Yale Men:
“A great novel by one of our great novelists. A pleasure on every page.”
“Nova’s career-defining 1982 novel The Good Son explored the relationship between a domineering, social-climbing father, Pop Mackinnon, and his loyal but restless son Chip, a World War II veteran who returns home to an arranged marriage. This equally impressive sequel follows Chip’s son Frank, now happily married and a Boston prosecutor, after his father’s death by stroke unleashes long-buried family secrets and resentments… Nova’s scenic evocation of Boston is spot-on, as is his emotional detailing of the fragile intricacies of family.”
—Publishers Weekly (Starred and Boxed)
“’Long-awaited’ is an overused phrase in publishers’ promotional blurbs, but Nova’s follow-up to his acclaimed 1982 novel The Good Son merits that description as much as any recent fiction, and it has been well worth the lengthy wait. ...This gripping and intelligent chronicle of love, legacy, and betrayal (the title may suggest a genre mystery, which this surely isn’t) captures a complex clan entangled in a questionable moral universe. Nova’s Mackinnons, both here and in The Good Son, leave their edgy mark on the modern American literary landscape.”
“The story is equally as tense as The Good Son. It reads almost like a thriller but with more depth and insight about family relationships, duty, and yes, obligations to deeply flawed parents…Both [books] are written oh, so wonderfully well.”
—Greensboro News & Record
Praise for The Good Son:
“An exquisitely delineated battle between father and son . . . The structure and the language of this novel are almost without fault.”
—John Irving, New York Times Book Review
“The Good Son is the work of an artist in full command, and those of you entering it for the first time can only be envied.”
—From the foreword by Jonathan Yardley
“[Nova’s fiction] is so powerful, so alive, it is a wonder that turning its pages doesn’t somehow burn one’s hands.”
—New York Times
Praise for Craig Nova
"Craig Nova is a fine writer, one of our best. If you haven't read him, the loss is yours."
—Jonathan Yardley, The Washington Post
"Nova's novels deserve to be ranked among the best American fiction of the past two decades. . . . The more he writes, the better he gets."
"A riveting, finely rendered, insight-provoking novel . . . tense and fast-paced . . . hard-boiled and lyrical."
—Los Angeles Times
"[A] spine-chilling journey . . . moves with breakneck speed. Written with clarity and vivid detail, the book is troubling but poignant—burrowing into that shadowy, universal fear of uncertainty and malice. The book haunts, lingering in the mind long after the last page."
"Dynamite . . . Like Graham Greene or Albert Camus."
"Made me hold my breath. It's so intense, it blew me away. Sentence by sentence, the book is just fabulous."
"Nova executes like a chess master, all the while ratcheting up the tension and calling into question any sense of security, order, or reason. Like the best of noir, Nova's novels, serpentine in their structure, speed, and toxic bite, remind us that while dark forces are always present, we must embrace love."
"Compulsive and relentless."
"Visceral and noirish . . . Unnerving and profound."
"One of the country's most gifted novelists."