The Bee Sting by Paul Murray


Irresistibly funny, wise and thought-provoking – a tragicomic tour de force about family, fortune, and the struggle to be a good person when the world is falling apart…

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The Barnes family is in trouble.

Dickie’s once-lucrative car business is going under – but rather than face the music, he’s spending his days in the woods, building an apocalypse-proof bunker with a renegade handyman.

His wife Imelda is selling off her jewellery on eBay while their teenage daughter Cass, formerly top of her class, seems determined to binge-drink her way to her final exams.

And twelve-year-old PJ is putting the final touches to his grand plan to run away from home.

Where did it all go wrong?

A patch of ice on the tarmac, a casual favour to a charming stranger, a bee caught beneath a bridal veil – can a single moment of bad luck change the direction of a life?

And if the story has already been written – is there still time to find a happy ending?

‘It’s a thing of beauty, a novel that will fill your heart’ – Observer

‘I experienced every possible human emotion while reading The Bee Sting…its ambition and scale are astonishing. A remarkable feat of storytelling’ – Mark O’Connell