64 pages 2 hours read

Markus Zusak

Bridge of Clay

Fiction | Novel | YA | Published in 2018

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Prologue and Part 1, Chapters 1-12

Chapter Summaries & Analyses

Part 1: “cities”

Prologue Summary: “before the beginning: the old tw”

Matthew Dunbar types on the family typewriter, affectionately called the “old TW,” which he retrieved the day after his wedding. Following the instructions of an unidentified “him,” Matthew drove for 12 hours to reach a small town where people recognized him. He went to 23 Miller Street, where the house’s owner helps him dig in the back yard. They uncovered the bones of a dog and a snake before they found the Remington typewriter. Matthew took the skeletons and typewriter with him and drove home, where he convened with three of his brothers, his wife Claudia, and his daughters. Matthew then begins the story about the fourth Dunbar brother, Clay.

Part 1, Chapter 1 Summary: “portrait of a killer as a middle-aged man”

Matthew describes a February evening 11 years earlier when “the Murderer” arrived at their house in a suit. The five Dunbar boys live alone at 18 Archer Street and are named Matthew, Rory, Henry, Clay, and Tommy. The boys are wild and combative; they raised themselves following the death of their mother and their father’s subsequent abandonment. Among their menagerie of pets is a mule named Achilles that often breaks into the house. The night the Murderer arrives, none of the boys are home but Achilles is inside, shocking and confusing him.

Related Titles

By Markus Zusak