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The Ticking is the Bomb

Nick Flynn

The Ticking is the Bomb by Nick Flynn – the critically-acclaimed author of Another Bullshit Night in Suck City – is a surprising and unflinching memoir.

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One day I hope to be able to tell my daughter a story about a dark time, the dark days before she was born, and how her coming was a ray of light. ‘We got lost for a while’, this story will begin, ‘but then we found our way.’

Set just before the birth of Flynn’s first child, a daughter, this impassioned memoir explores the fears and joys of becoming a father, whilst artfully interweaving passages from Flynn’s own childhood. Haunted by a history of addiction, a relationship with a fantasist father and a longing to connect with his mother, who committed suicide when he was a child, Flynn explores these painful memories and unsteady relationships to create an unflinching and unforgettable story. The time bomb of the title becomes a vehicle for exploring his impending fatherhood, which brings him face to face with the stark realities of humanity – among them, the terror, torture and political crimes that begin to haunt him.

Here is a dazzling, inventive memoir of profound self-discovery, of painful family memories, and of the compulsion to run from love, but ultimately to embrace it.


Nick Flynn is the author of two collections of poetry, Blind Huber and Some Ether, and the acclaimed work of non-fiction, Another Bullshit Night in Suck City. In another life he worked as an electrician, a ship’s captain, and as an educator in New York City public schools. His words have appeared over the years in The New Yorker, The…

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