A rowdy, exuberant, badly behaved blast of an adventure, Missy begins in 1862 with Dol McQueen, nineteen-year-old flash girl and opium user, heading for a boom town in the American West. On the way she prevents a man from hanging himself only to discover he is a murderous pimp.
When he turns up later at the saloon where she has found work with some stolen goods he wants her to hide, Dol grabs the chance to start a new life and takes off into the wilderness with the loot and all hell in pursuit. Her alcoholic mother is an added burden on the mad, epic journey: can Dol save herself, her mother and their poisonous relationship?
Like her literary predecessors, Becky Sharpe and Moll Flanders, Dol is a flawed but irresistible anti-heroine, and Missy is an astounding debut.
Recommend this book
Add your recommendation
Only registered users can recommend books. Please use the buttons below to either create a new account, or sign-in to an existing account.
When a brilliant, award-winning Scottish playwright produces a first novel, you don't expect to be recommending it as a perfect beach read...Funny and exhilarating - Moll Flanders on drugs - The Times
Narrated by one of the more luminous characters in recent fiction - Guardian
A gorgeously sassy opening, it is surprising how winning, and how powerful, the voice of Dol McQueen, 19th-century American 'flash-girl' actually is... Hannan has traversed the limits of history and given us a thoroughly modern woman - Independent
Hannan is comparable to no playwright working today so much as the Renaissance masters. He has a density of expression, a control of populous scenes, a sense of dramatic development and a sheer verve which few writers, living or dead, can touch - Sunday Times
An action-packed page-turner...riveting - Scotland on Sunday
Hannan mixes Mark Twain's yarn capacity with the primal qualities of Cormac McCarthy and Flannery O'Connor - Big Issue
Chris Hannan deftly mixes adventure and redemption with the gritty reality of the frontier and flips Wild West assumptions on their behind. Recommended - Ladies First
Stands with the best of contemporary historical fiction...you can practically taste the rotgut and feel the sawdust under your boots. Missy is a spectacular debut: the West has never been this wild. - http://maxdunbar.wordpress.com
Treating ourselves to sex, drugs and murder as we hang the do-not-disturb sign on the door and settle down on the comfiest sofa with playwright Chris Hanna's debut 'Missy' (due out in pb from Vintage). Who knew the Wild West could be so much fun? - Herald Magazine
Taut and credible [dialogue]...I have sat on the judging panels of two novel prizes, and I have to say that this book is far better written than many of the efforts I had to wade through. I would like to congratulate the author on a fine piece of work, and look forward to reading his next offering. - www.pursewarden.blogspot.com
Sex, drugs and barroom brawls - only an ungrateful reader could want more.' Or 'Missy is a ripsnorting, bawdy success with a wonderfully sympathetic heroine who is a winning mix of worldliness and self-delusion. - The Sunday Herald
Narrated by a classic and irrepressible anti-heroine, Missy is an enjoyable romp through the real Old West...a very impressive debut novel - www.bookgeeks.co.uk
Dol is never less than convincing as a character, and has deservedly drawn comparisons with literary predecessors such as Thackeray's Becky Sharp and Defoe's Moll Flanders. Hannan's great skill is to make her both difficult and likeable, and the reader will devour this book in a matter of hours simply to find out what befalls her - www.suite101.com
Strong and memorable female characters throughout this enjoyable novel - http://meandmybigmouth.typepad.com/scottpack/
Described as 'Deadwood meets Moll Flanders', Hannan's story is told by the vivacious, smart, streetwise Dol McQueen'.Another wonderful debut novel...I can't recommend this book highly enough, or Hannan's earthy, vital creation - The Herald
Bodice-ripping romp through the West - Times
Missy by Strong and memorable female characters throughout this enjoyable novel - http://meandmybigmouth.typepad.com/scottpack
Missy is the first novel by playwright Chris Hannan. His award-winning plays include Shining Souls, The Evil Doers, Elizabeth Gordon Quinn and The Baby;and have been staged by the Royal Shakespeare Company, the National Theatre of Scotland and Sir Peter Hall at the Old Vic. In 2001/02 he was Judith E. Wilson Visiting Fellow in Drama at the University of Cambridge. He lives in Edinburgh.