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Reading Group Guide  
  For more information about a guide for your book club, visit the reading guides section of the Bantam Dell website. If you can't find the All Saints guide there now, it will be soon. (Are you part of a book club? You should really check out the contests, then.)
Reviews & press  

3 1/2 stars (out of 4)  from People. (Click on image at left.)

"a voice that is...real and endearing, bestowed with a truthful grace..." --Entertainment Weekly

"...one of the most distinctive and enjoyable character-driven novels in recent memory....It's a rare novel that both entertains you and makes you think. "All Saints" is a resounding success on both counts. Callanan's themes include faith, doubt and forgiveness, to name only a few, and his book is as perceptive about women as they come. All Saints is, in short, a splendid book. Funny, intense and intelligent, it's as unpredictable as [its protagonist] Emily Hamilton herself. Book groups in particular would be remiss in passing up All Saints. -- The Capital Times

"...caustic and funny..." --Los Angeles Times

"...enthralling....The power of "All Saints" lies in Callanan's ability to evoke in us an unsettling empathy with Emily[, the novel's heroine]." --Seattle Times

"...a haunting story of loss and awakening.... [The heroine] is no saint. But she is endlessly appealing as she unconsciously searches for deeper human connections in a world made bleak by loss." --Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

  • For more about Liam and the book, see this recent Milwaukee Journal Sentinel interview.

"Luminous ... [In All Saints] refreshing insights into teen angst are matched by midlife crisis candor.... Callanan gets into [his heroine's] head with page-turning panache and authority."
--Publishers Weekly

"All Saints proves a fascinating and often thought-provoking read, told in meticulously polished prose. In teacher Emily Hamilton, who tells All Saints from the first person, Mr. Callanan has created one of the most interesting characters in recent memory." -- Washington Times

"...Clear, sparkling prose.... Mysterious and poignantly disparate events come together in a life-affirming tapestry of threadbare hopes and dreams." -- The Oklahoman

"...wry, self-effacing...it’s the sensual tone of his writing that makes All Saints work—Callanan...is trying to identify the point where religious faith and romantic need can peacefully coexist." --Washington City Paper

Featured pick of Marie Claire's "Filter" culture column: "Refreshing."

Recommended "nightstand reading": McClatchy Newspapers

“A stunning piece of writing by a genuinely precocious talent: haunting and
smooth and wise
.”
--Christopher Buckley, author of Thank You for Smoking

“Liam Callanan is that rare thing, a writer adept and creative enough to
inhabit the mind of character entirely different from himself. He does so
completely, with absolute authenticity and emotional truth. Emily Hamilton
is unapologetically acerbic and a delight to spend time with. This book is
every bit as good as The Cloud Atlas, and that is saying a lot
.”
--Ayelet Waldman, author of Love and Other Impossible Pursuits

"A jewel of a book: bright, sharp-witted, full of the secret yearnings of everyday American life. I found myself thinking about Emily Hamilton long after I closed the book…Realizing that I'd maybe even fallen a little in love with her. Other readers will fall for her, too--and for this book."
--Dan Chaon, author of You Remind Me of Me

"All Saints is about the mystery and danger of love, all kinds of love--so intense and funny and wise. Emily Hamilton has such a complicated, appealing voice--at once guarded and full of passion, energy, irreverence. She is a great and serious character, a real triumph. I couldn't put it down."
--Susan Shreve, author of A Student of Living Things

"Liam Callanan's talent is abundant and impressive, and All Saints is both marvelously comic and deeply moving. Emily Hamilton is a quirky, impassioned, funny, haunted, and flawed narrator who grows on you, won't let you go, and stays with you, long after you've finished the last page."
--Laurie Lynn Drummond, author of Anything You Say Can And Will Be Used Against You

What is a saint?  
  Depends on who you ask -- in fact, you might start by asking what your friends, family and/or members of your book club think. Then you can decide for yourself if you agree with the following sources:
  • "The Catholic Church canonizes or beatifies only those whose lives have been marked by the exercise of heroic virtue, and only after this has been proved by common repute for sanctity and by conclusive arguments." (The Catholic Encyclopedia.)
  • "one officially recognized especially through canonization as preeminent for holiness..." (Merriam Webster)
  • "I once heard a priest refer to everyone he met as a 'saint.'..." (from the St. Anthony Messenger, a publication of the Franciscans)
  • "Saint is a term used to refer to someone who is a holy person." (Wikipedia.org)
  • Looking for more information about saints? Try these websites: New Advent, Catholic Online
     
podcasts & audio  
  Here's the Bantam Dell podcast! You can also hear me read online from various pieces, including my first novel, The Cloud Atlas, and my radio essays.