©Susan Hill; (P)2005 Long Barn Books
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"Makes Bleak House look like a beach read"
This is a story so dark and heartbreaking that I find it hard to write this review. The setting is extraordinary, the characters entirely believable, and the writing simply excellent throughout. Unfortunately, I felt like my heart had been ripped out at the end.
I wasn't bullied nor was I a bully, but this story arc was unbearably tragic. If you were bullied, it would be triggering.
I didn't read reviews ahead of time --- I often do not because of spoilers --- but I hoped that if the story were about bullying, the tables would be turned and the bully would get his. Sadly, that was not the case.
But Susan Hill told a powerful, excellent story full of truth and emotion without ever going over the top. I can't fault her because it didn't end the way I would have liked.
"A memorable story"
This is a book about a bully written before the topic was so talked about.
"Beware: Spoiler in review reveals ending"
A spare and stunningly conceived and written biography of bullying. However, listening to it was like watching a kitten being prepared to be boiled alive. It was literally painful at times to hear the distress of Kingshaw, the main character. I only continued to listen because Hill continued to dangle the hope that the worm might finally and irrevocably turn. In the end, the evil boy triumphs and the sensitive lad succumbs. This at least illuminates our current political situation, in which lies can overwhelm truth, cruelty overpowers kindness, and relentless and prolonged inhumanity, united with mass indifference, defeats the will to fight back. I felt utterly wrung out by the end of the book, but better informed about our political process.
A dark and broody book. I didn't know where it was heading until finally it got there all too soon.Having read other Susan Hill books i was surprised by the content and as it went on i thought it may have been a childrens book, however the reality was that this was a book about the bullies,the fears and unsureness of juveniles growing up and about the nasty relationships which are so often hidden from most of our lives.
Very enjoyable, even if the ending was a little abrupt!
I have listened and read quite a number of Susan Hill's books, mostly the Simon Serrailler ones all of which I have thoroughly enjoyed. Unfortunately I felt whilst there were excellent complexities to the characters which certainly maintained interest there seemed to be relative lack of strength to the overall storyline and conclusion.
I was tiring of the book towards the end.
I appreciate that this may only be my opinion, but that's how it is.
Do check the other Susan Hill books out, especially Woman in Black.
A wretched tale in which the underdog never wins, a study in bullying and hatefulness. A sad waste of time.
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