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The Returned Hardcover – August 27, 2013

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My Struggle: Book Four
Eighteen-year-old Karl Ove moves to a tiny fishing village in the Arctic Circle to work as a school teacher. As the nights get longer, the shadow cast by his father's own sharply increasing alcohol consumption, also gets longer. Read the full description
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Editorial Reviews


"The Returned transforms a brilliant premise into an extraordinary and beautifully realized novel. My spine is still shivering from the memory of this haunting story. Wow." -Douglas Preston, #1 bestselling author of The Monster of Florence

"Jason Mott's impressive debut a tense and touching treatise on life, death and life again."
- USA Today

"White-hot debut."
-Entertainment Weekly, Summer Must List

"In his exceptional debut novel, poet Mott brings drama, pathos, joy, horror, and redemption to a riveting tale." -Publishers Weekly, starred review

"This book offers a beautifully written and emotionally astute lens at our world gone awry....Poet and debut author Mott has written a breathtaking novel that navigates emotional minefields with realism and grace."
-Kirkus, starred review

"Mott brings a singularly eloquent voice to this elegiac novel, which not only fearlessly tackles larger questions about mortality but also insightfully captures life's simpler moments....A beautiful meditation on what it means to be human."
-Booklist, starred review

"A wondrous surprise. With fine craftsmanship and a deep understanding of the human condition, Jason Mott has woven a tale that is in turns tragic and humorous and terrifying. Surely this will spark many a fabulous book club discussion." -Eowyn Ivey, New York Times bestselling author of The Snow Child

"A deft meditation on loss that plays out levels of consequence on both personal and international stages. Mott allows the magic of his story to unearth a full range of feelings about grief and connection." -Aimee Bender, New York Times bestselling author of The Particular Sadness of Lemon Cake

"This is a masterly first novel for speaks to many aspects of the human condition....Highly recommended for those who love a strong story that makes them think."
-Library Journal, starred review

"Thought-provoking, occasionally dreamlike...Mott's story of literal life after death will catch readers by their hearts and capture their imaginations....Grab this book as soon as you possibly can."
-Shelf Awareness

About the Author

Jason Mott holds a BA in fiction and an MFA in poetry and is the author of two poetry collections. His writing has appeared in numerous literary journals, and he was nominated for the 2009 Pushcart Prize. Jason lives in North Carolina.

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Harlequin MIRA; First Edition edition (August 27, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0778315339
  • ISBN-13: 978-0778315339
  • Product Dimensions: 6.3 x 1.3 x 9.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (728 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #250,130 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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More About the Author

Jason Mott lives in southeastern North Carolina. He has a BFA in Fiction and an MFA in Poetry, both from the University of North Carolina at Wilmington. His poetry and fiction has appeared in various literary journals. He was nominated for a 2009 Pushcart Prize award and Entertainment Weekly listed him as one of their 10 "New Hollywood: Next Wave" people to watch.

He is the author of two poetry collections: We Call This Thing Between Us Love and "...hide behind me..." The Returned is his first novel.

The Returned has also been optioned by Brad Pitt's production company, Plan B, in association with Brillstein Entertainment and ABC. It will air in March, 2014 on the ABC network under the title "Resurrection."

Customer Reviews

The story was interesting but I found the ending a little disappointing.
Mara Cusick
Love the idea if this book..... Makes you think..... Makes you wonder..... What would you do or say to your love one??
The characters were not well developed and I found the story line to be very boring.

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

181 of 205 people found the following review helpful By A Book Vacation on August 27, 2013
Format: Hardcover
I really wanted to like this novel, but it's rather depressing and, truth be told, I never really made a connection with the characters. This is a very finely written piece, don't get me wrong, but my questions were never answered. Why the returned come, what their purpose is, where they go when they disappear... I just don't know, and that was the main reason I picked up this novel; I wanted to know.

Instead, this novel focuses on the appearance of the dead (not zombies, mind you), and how the world decides to react to such an anomaly. However, no one has answers, so it's more or less the blind leading the blind, with some embracing the dead, some detesting it, and others ready to lock them up forever. Like I said, it's a very depressing tale. We learn how the government decides to handle it, which isn't very well, more like the Japanese Internment Camps than anything else, and we get to know characters... only to watch them traverse terrible atrocities and, ultimately, die. But why they emerged from the earth again, and what their purpose was aside from driving the story, well, I don't know.

What I did enjoy about the novel, though, was that the chapters break up to follow certain characters, even though it's told in third person, and we meet new returned and hear their brief stories. But again, it is all very tragic, and truthfully, I felt somewhat awful upon finishing it; angry with humanity. But maybe that was the purpose? People can turn evil, which is shown in this novel in very real sense, and while there are some good people interspersed, I really came out of this with a depressed soul and a feeling of disillusionment with humankind.

Overall, it's very well written, but such a depressing tale isn't really my speed.
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152 of 178 people found the following review helpful By Brett Benner VINE VOICE on August 10, 2013
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
After finishing, there's no wonder why there was a major bidding war between many of the top networks to bring this story to television. ABC won, and the show, retitled 'Resurrection', will premiere early next year on the Alphabet network. An elderly couple in the small town of Arcadia North Carolina answer their door one afternoon to find a government agent on their doorstep with their son Jacob. A child who died when he was eight years old, nearly thirty years ago. Their story becomes one of many as the deceased start turning up looking for their loved ones, and the living attempt to grapple with what it all means. The premise is eerie, and slightly unsettling, and could turn some people off reading because of its mystical bent, but they would be missing out on one of the more thought provoking debuts this year.
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182 of 223 people found the following review helpful By L.W. Samuelson VINE VOICE on August 4, 2013
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
Imagine someone coming to your door. They're dressed in a well cut suit and tie, looking official. You can tell by their air of authority that they are a government man. Behind that government man stands a young boy spouting the same joke you taught your child, the boy who drowned decades ago. The voice sounds the same and when you get a gander at him you see that it is your son, returned by some miracle from the dead. That's what happens to Harold Hargrave and thus starts "The Returned" and from the very first page I was hooked.

Lucille and Harold Hargrave are in their seventies now. They are good, decent people who know right from wrong and act accordingly, so when the government locates a concentration camp in their small town of Arcadia to contain the "returned", dead people who have mysteriously started showing up all over the world, they are forced to reconcile their beliefs with reality. They know the boy Agent Bellamy brought them is their son, but what does mean? They grapple with that question as more and more of the "returned" are relocated in Arcadia. Pressure builds between the living and the returned as soldiers transport truck loads of the living dead into Arcadia and stay to guard them. When Harold and his son, Jacob, end up in the camp, Lucille Hargrave decides to take action but not before the tension has built to a boiling point between the town's people, the soldiers, and the thousands of returned that now inhabit the town. I read with great anticipation to find how this was all going to play out.

Mott's characters are alive and vibrant. When Harold's smoker's hack becomes uncontrollable, my lungs burned. When Lucille chastises Harold for one of his many faults, I could hear my wife chastising me.
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205 of 255 people found the following review helpful By B. Case TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on August 10, 2013
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
I read the three free Kindle short-story prequels ("The First," "The Sparrow" and "The Choice") and was intrigued with the concept of the Returned: a book about large numbers of previously dead people returning to life whole, healthy, intact, and with all their memories unchanged. When I was offered the chance to get an advanced reader copy, I jumped on it! I was eager to find out what visionary dramatic experience awaited me with the full-length book. I'm sorry to say I was disappointed. I love science fiction and the supernatural...but this book never went in that direction.

I'd hoped the book would shed more light on the phenomenon. What was behind the dead returning? Were they really human? Was this a unique sophisticated type of alien invasion? In particular, what type of detailed studies did scientist run in order to try to understand it? What incredible and scary things did these scientists learn? These things interested me. But the author never went in that direction. In fact, the whole book seemed to shy away from the scientific side of the story at every chance. Readers were expected to be satisfied with the idea that what was happening was--plain and simple--unexplainable miracles, acts of God. Most characters in the book seem to have little trouble seeing these events as forming some part of the End Times...a time when "the dead shall walk upon the earth once again."

What this novel did was to focus on human loss and reconnection...
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