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This book seemed to me amazingly slow to start, which disappointed me as the bumph on the cover reads so well.
But, the more I got into the book, the more I was hooked. The way the book is written mirrors the narrative of the story. It is really quite clever. There is an aray of characters, seeminly with little in common, all thrown together.
Any way, a bit of the bumph, but no more.

For investigative journalist Jack Parblane, these are worrying times: it's been alomst three years since anyone tried to kill him and he fears he's losing his touch. But then comes an assignment in the Scottish coutryside that will more than make up for lost time...

Ultimate Motivational Leisure offers the latest in corporate outward bound courses, but if nothing else he gets a free weekend of shooting at PR people with a paintball gun.

Except the longer the weekend goes on, the weider things start to get. Firt somone steals the SIM cards from everybody's mobile phones. Then, when the group accidentally strays on to army land, the army starts firing back - and not with cans of Dulux. Suddenly no one can tell what's real and what isn't, wheter this is part of the game, or if everybody is fighting for their lives....

And I will not spoil the story, except I will say that I thoroughly enjoyed it, and in the end found the book very difficult to put down.

(Text in orange is from the back of my copy.)

This book started a little slowly for me, but eventually it got going. The story is told by Nicholas Van Tassel, and starts at the turn of the 20th century. At first he does win a little of the reader's sympathy, but as the story progresses, I couldn't help but think he was rather pompous, in fact, several times in the story he does say that he thinks people might find him pompous. The story is about his obsession with his wife, how he courted her, married her despite her telling him she could never love him. The story focuses on their courtship, then more expansively, on the events leading to the breakdown of their marriage.

I didn't enjoy it as much as "The Last Time They Met" as I couldn't help thinking Nicholas caused his own problems by his obsessions. (That and the moral code of the time.)

This is Jeanette Winterson's first children's book, when I bought it I didn't realise that it was a children's story, although to be honest, that wouldn't have stopped me buying it, on two counts.
1) I love Winterson's writing,
2) I am quite happy to read a well-written children's book, and call it research.

The story is told in Winterson's unique style, and had me spellbound from start to finish, with the usual short punchy chapters that readers of Winterson expect, and the repeating of phrases she utilises to keep the reader aware of the story's theme. Some of the material could be quite complex, but she has put it across in an accessible form.
But what is it about? Well, here's the Blurb from the back of the book.

The world is in trouble. Time is going wrong, moving too fast or too slowly, whisking people away into the future and the past. It is rumoured that an ancient timekeeper holds the key to this chaos. But no one knows where it is.

When the evil Regalia Mason and the menacing Able Darkwater join in the search for the Timekeeper, the resourceful and courageous Silver finds herself up against not just two nasty adversaries, but time itself, in a nail-biting race to find the Timekeeper and save the world.

As I said the book is well worth reading, and for regular Winterson readers, you can forget it is a children's story.

For a little more background and an interview with Jeanette Winterson about Tanglewreck visit the link below.

Clicking on "home" takes you to the Winterson's main website.

Right, I finished this on Sunday. It took me just short of two weeks to read it, which considering it is a huge book, that you HAVE to rest on something to read, isn't bad going.
As Sin has bought this book, I won't spoil it by saying anything other than the bumph from the dust jacket.

Two magicians shall appear in England
the first shall fear me
The second shall long to behold me
Centuries ago, when magic still existed in England, the greatest magician of all was the Raven King. A human child brought up by the fairies, the Raven King blended fairy wisdom and human reason to create English magic. Now at the beginning of the nineteenth century, he is barely more than a legend, and England with its and King and its dashing poets, no longer believes in practical magic.
Then the reclusive Mr Norrell of Hurtfew Abbey appears and casues the statues of York Cathedral to speak and move. News spreads of the return of magic to England and, persuaded that he must help the government in the war against Napoleon, Mr Norrell goes to London. There he meets a brilliant young magician and takes him as a pupil; Jonathon Strange is charming, rich and arrogant. Together, they dazzle the country with their feats.
But the partnership soon turns to rivalry. Mr Norrell has never conquered his lifelong habits of secrecy, while Strange will always be attarcted to the wildest, most perilous magic. He becomes fascinated by the shadowy figure of the Raven King, and his heedless pursuit of long-forgotten magic threatens not only his partnership with Norrell, but everything he holds dear.
Elegant, witty and utterly compelling, Jonathon Strange and Mr Norrell creates a past world of great mystery and beauty that will hold the reader in thrall until the last page.
The only other thing I will say is that although Susanna Clarke ends the book neatly, there is an opening for a possible sequel, if she feels one is necessary. Has some more information about the books


Thanks to my dear partner in crime here on this blog, I am one of the very few Americans who owns a copy of this book. It's available in the UK and has been republished by the same group who took on the task of publishing JK Rowlings 7-book series. They did so in the hopes of finding another gold mine like the Potter series.

I'm about thirteen chapters in and so far it's an interesting read, though somewhat slow. It's about a 14-year old boy who lives in a suburb of London, England and has a passion for archaeology like his father. According to the blurb on the back of the book, the main character, Will, and his best mate Chester, find a dark and terrifying secret below the streets of London. At 13 chapters into the book, Will's father has only just now disappeared which prompts Will to go in search of him, thereby making the discovery of the aforementioned secret. As I said, it's a slow plot. But I shall prevail. Perhaps something later will make up for this slow pace.

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