The Bee Sting

The Bee Sting

Modern & Contemporary Fiction
Hardback Published on: 08/06/2023
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Bookseller Reviews

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The Bee Sting
A truly entertaining ride through one family’s ups and many downs.
Oh my goodness, what a journey this book is — an incredible, all-encompassing, engrossing journey, full of mistakes, regrets, bad choices, and a family spi... READ MORE
Phill - Waterstones Bookseller
The Bee Sting
A staggering family epic
The Bee Sting is the story of the Barnes family in Midlands Ireland after the economic crash of 2008. Dickie, the father, runs a garage, once successful an... READ MORE
The Bee Sting
A Surprising Read
Paul Murray's 'The Bee Sting' had me sceptical in the beginning... the character's were wholly unlikeable (if not melodramatic - yes Cass Barnes I'm lookin... READ MORE


The Barnes family is in trouble. Dickie's once-lucrative car business is going under - but rather than face the music, he's spending his days in the woods, building an apocalypse-proof bunker with a renegade handyman. His wife Imelda is selling off her jewellery on eBay while their teenage daughter Cass, formerly top of her class, seems determined to binge-drink her way to her final exams. And twelve-year-old PJ is putting the final touches to his grand plan to run away from home. Where did it all go wrong? A patch of ice on the tarmac, a casual favour to a charming stranger, a bee caught beneath a bridal veil - can a single moment of bad luck change the direction of a life? And if the story has already been written - is there still time to find a happy ending?

  • Publisher: Penguin Books Ltd
  • ISBN: 9780241353950
  • Number of pages: 656
  • Weight: 840g
  • Dimensions: 238 x 164 x 44 mm

Customer Reviews

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The Bee Sting
Totally immersive
I really loved this book, which I had as an ARC through netgalley. A complicated slice of dysfunctional family life in Ireland, with flashbacks to past and... READ MORE
The Bee Sting
highly enjoyable
This reminded me of Jonathan Franzen's excellent 'Crossroads'. It shares that theme of a family at a crisis point and a story told over the course of decad... READ MORE
Gary A
The Bee Sting
The Sting of the Tiger
“The Bee Sting” by Paul Murray– a celebrated Irish author, longlisted for this year’s Booker prize – of course I had to read it! Then, being 656 pages, I h... READ MORE
Michael Burke
The Bee Sting
Staggering in size, scope and accomplishment. It is worth every minute spent on it.
Linda Bassey
The Bee Sting
I want more!
This is a truly fantastic read. All of the characters are utterly gripping and it flows beautifully. By the time I got to the end I just wanted a sequel! ... READ MORE
Charlotte  Collins
The Bee Sting
Great Read
I really enjoyed the thoughtful portrayal of each of the characters in this book. Each of the characters were interwoven showing motivations and reasons fo... READ MORE
Elizabeth L Finley
The Bee Sting
This is an intimate, skillfully crafted and funny epic of a book. It tells the story of a family in Ireland who suffer financial loss following the econ... READ MORE
Jay Sefton
The Bee Sting
In short: joyous
Let's be quick, yes? Everyone's reviewed and loved this book, and for damn good reason. I've struggled with literary fiction, on and off, over the last dec... READ MORE
Iain Martin
The Bee Sting
Brilliant brilliant brilliant
This book is masterful. As a long book with multiple narratives and scarce punctuation, it seems from the outside it could be a challenging read, but not a... READ MORE