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Publisher's Summary

An unforgettable coming-of-age novel that becomes a profound mediation on life, death, and lifelong friendship.

Everyone has a Tully Dawson: the friend who defines your life.

In the summer of 1986, in a small Scottish town, James and Tully ignite a brilliant friendship based on music, films, and the rebel spirit. With school over and the locked world of their fathers before them, they rush toward the climax of their youth: a magical weekend in Manchester, the epicenter of everything that inspires them in working-class Britain. There, against the greatest soundtrack ever recorded, a vow is made: to go at life differently.

Thirty years on, half a life away, the phone rings. Tully has news - news that forces the lifelong friends to confront their own mortality head-on. What follows is an incredibly moving examination of the responsibilities and obligations we have to those we love. Mayflies is at once a finely tuned drama about the delicacy and impermanence of human connection and an urgent inquiry into some of the most important questions of all: Who are we? What do we owe to our friends? And what does it mean to love another person amid tragedy?

©2021 Andrew O'Hagan (P)2021 Penguin Random House Canada

Critic Reviews

"Mayflies is entirely unexpected; a joyful, warm and heart-filling tribute to the million-petalled flower of male friendship. This book will last beyond these feverish times: it's not just a reminder that culture makes the worst things bearable, but a beautiful example of it in action." (The Times)

"A rare thing: a life-enhancing novel about death. It will stay with you and you will want to read it again." (Scotsman

"Life-loving and elegiac." (Observer

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