Best of 2008 Lists

San Francisco Chronicle: 50 Best Fiction, Poetry Books of 2008

O’Nan’s novel imagines the people left behind after a teenager’s disappearance. It’s about the ordinariness of unthinkable loss.

January Magazine: Best Books of 2008

With an almost forensic efficiency, O’Nan examines the effect of the mystery on the family, friends and the entire town. What happened to 18-year-old Kim Larsen is less important than how her parents and sister deal with the emotional aftershocks.

Hartford Courant: Best Reads of 2008

Stewart O’Nan, our own bard of Avon, gave us a searing account of what a family goes through when a child disappears. “Songs for the Missing” is a tense tale that pounds home the discomfiting truth that in order to get vital help and attention, such families must quickly learn to “market” their grief and anxiety.

Chicago Sun-Times: Favorite Books of 2008

Stewart O’Nan’s Songs for the Missing: Working in the realist tradition of Richard Yates, O’Nan depicts the heartbreaking ramifications of a loved one gone missing, expertly weaving his astute behavioral observations into taut and gripping prose. Edward Champion

L.A. Times: 2008 Crime Fiction Favorite

Stewart O’Nan’s “Song From the Missing” (Viking), meanwhile, is predicated on the disappearance of a teenage girl, but it steers clear of tabloid lures to delve into the small details; the story rings with quiet emotional truth.

Washington Post: Best Books of 2008

Songs for the Missing, by Stewart O’Nan (Viking). A pretty 18-year old girl drives to her job at a gas station, but never arrives. Her disappearance is at the heart of this novel, but its real concern is with her devastated family.

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