Less Than Two Months to Go: PSALMS FOR THE END OF THE WORLD, My Debut Novel, Hits Shelves
Updated: Jul 7
My debut novel PSALMS FOR THE END OF THE WORLD will be released on the 1st of September (31st August if you're in Australia or New Zealand). It’s difficult for me to believe this big day is less than two months away, given the fact that I began to write the book three-and-a-half years ago. 18 January 2018, to be precise, just past three in the morning. My second-born son, not even nine days old yet, was strapped to my chest. His tiny, round face filled me with such love, more than I felt I could contain…but also terror. Terror because here was something else that I might lose too soon.
PSALMS FOR THE END OF THE WORLD was shaped not only by the birth of my son and, previously, his older brother, but also the recent death of my mother and the news that my father would require a double lung transplant if he didn’t want to join her. This collision of love and grief, experienced as the world around me burned down – both metaphorically and, increasingly, literally – defined every word I wrote and all the journeys my characters take on the page. My search for meaning and hope in the madness became theirs.
The central narrative of PSALMS begins in 1962. Grace Pulansky – one of only two women in CalTech astronomy program by day, diner waitress by night – finds herself on the run across the American Southwest with Robert Jones, a regular customer the FBI believe blew up Pasadena City Hall.
The thing is, Jones has suddenly lost any memory of the past seven months of his life, which means he can’t say for sure if he did or did not plant the bomb that killed twenty-three people. It also means he doesn’t remember that he’s in love with Gracie.
As Gracie and the amnesiac ‘wrong man’ race to discover who the terrorist really is, hoping it’s not Jones, their story begins to intersect with numerous other characters’ stories in unexpected ways. These characters include (amongst others): an artist in pre-Revolutionary France who drives people mad with his paintings; a working-class boy in post-war London who is given a warning by a stranger from another dimension; a Japanese astronaut floating amongst the stars, condemned to experience the end of the world over and over again; an Australian suicide bomber working under the instruction of his pet rabbit, who finds himself while lost in time; a samurai protecting his infant child – and a family secret – from a one-armed assassin; and an identity-shifting rock star who changes how millions experience their lives before vanishing without a trace.
This mosaic of lives ultimately reveals how we are all interconnected across time and even space by love, grief, and quantum physics. In PSALMS FOR THE END OF THE WORLD, not even the dead are beyond reach, as you will find.
At the risk of sounding pretentious, in flirting with spirituality, science, and the vastness of the human imagination, I wanted to try to find my way to something that might serve as a rebuke of the world we currently find ourselves living in and the very real sense that it will soon come to a climactic end. I’ve come to realise that PSALMS is my own personal rebellion against this pervasive anxiety. It is my attempt to not only find my way back to those I have lost, but also the hope that this isn’t, in fact, the end for me, for my children, for us.
Here are what people are saying about PSALMS FOR THE END OF THE WORLD:
‘A trans-dimensional, kaleidoscopic mystery-box of a novel...wholly and riotously original. Haddon is a mad scientist of genre and his epic is a tour de force.’ – Peter Ho Davies (THE WELSH GIRL)
‘By turns mystifying, infuriating, and finally heartbreaking, Cole Haddon’s mad romp through the universe – (no, make that several universes) – mixes magic, philosophy, action, and metaphysics with the whimsical dexterity of Melville in Moby Dick. Fasten your seatbelt and maybe close your eyes. But don't look away.’ – Nicholas Meyer (THE SEVEN-PER-CENT SOLUTION; STAR TREK II)
‘A kaleidoscope of narrative strands where each one is not only completely compelling, but a fully-integrated part of the larger work. A holistic triumph.’ – Dominic Nolan (VINE STREET)
My publishers call it a 'triple-disk, concept-album of a book', which is a description I can’t help but grin about.
Below you can click on the book cover to pre-order PSALMS FOR THE END OF THE WORLD or you can click here. This link will be regularly updated, soon to include the audiobook.
Thank you for all your support and encouragement. I hope you enjoy PSALMS!