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The Divers' Game


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A startling, subversive novel from award-winning author Jesse Ball. An unsettling exploration of inequality and the devastating effect of unmitigated power.

About the Author

Jesse Ball (1978-). Novelist, absurdist. Born in New York. His many and varied works are beloved in a dozen languages.


'A young genius who hits all of the right notes.' * Chicago Tribune *
'Jesse Ball [is] among our most compelling and daring writers today.' * LA Review of Books *
'A poet by trade, Ball understands the economy of language better than most fiction writers today.' * Huffington Post *
'A dystopian tale imbued with empathy, philosophical musings, and questions about compassion, generational trauma, and humanity.' * Millions *
'A novel that increases in power and resonance like a reversed echo...The Divers' Game is tremendous, grasping towards what it is to be alive right now.' * Better Read Than Dead *
'Ball richly imagines a society where empathy is eroded at every level-a condemnation of the by-design inequalities of wealth, justice, freedom and opportunity that underpin western societies.' * Observer *
'Compulsively readable...literature like The Divers' Game is crucial-it is how fiction should be-confronting, illuminating, and challenging to our complacency.' * ArtsHub *
'Jesse Ball is a writer of formal mysteriousness and neon moral clarity...His language is spare, strange and evocative, with a tugging indeterminism...Ball maps the delusions of a society that lacks kindness but compulsively tells itself stories about its virtue...The novel's focus on empathy may open it to charges of sentimentality, but there is little in The Divers' Game to flatter the hope that people have any interest in treating each other well. Ball, instead, conveys a warm pity, or a mediated grace.' * New Yorker *
'Jesse Ball can do no wrong...[The Divers' Game is] a terrifyingly plausible take on an alternative present.' * Bram Presser *
'Ball uses the dystopian mode to deliver short, disturbing pieces of fiction, that cut to the heart of our humanity. In The Divers' Game, Ball has delivered another gem.' * Pile by the Bed *
'Jesse Ball is an audaciously confident writer. His prose is crisp, sharp, and elusive. Kafkaesque, Borgesian.' * Bookmunch *
'Ball takes aspects already present in society - fear, violence, otherness - to a socialised extreme, in a way that calls our humanity into question. His writing is poetic and exquisite, provoking both moral reflection and morbid fascination with the dark world he draws...Ball has written the 1984 for the 21st century. Read it.' * Where the Books Go *

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