Book Review – The Man in the Water – Ali Sparkes

41f9YtSdjbL._BO1,204,203,200_Well now, this review is a little over due as I finished reading The Man in the Water on the 16th Dec. That was last year!!! The book took me 2 days to read and 2 weeks to get round to writing a review. I have read and reviewed Tuesdays with Morrie since then, and am probably going to finish Love all the people today if I have any choice in the matter.

The Man in the Water is a young adult book that successfully tells a strong story simply. The book is set in Jersey and follows a family on holiday. It has two main plot lines. One concerns the man in the water that uses some of Jersey’s war history to tell a well realised ghost story. It’s a bit spooky without being over to top for the target audience. The second story arc is about the family and relations with their holiday neighbours. It touches on class divides and some related themes, but to maintain my ethos of not giving away the plot in my reviews I won’t give any further detail 🙂 Suffice to say that the two main arcs come together very successfully at the end.

This book was written by Ali Sparkes for charity. I described some of the background and about the charity when I announced that I would read it. All proceeds from the sale of the book are going to help a very worthy cause ( Paediatric Intensive Care Unit at Southampton General Hospital.) I know that a huge amount of work went into creating, editing and publishing the book by everyone who was closely involved. I have shamelessly plugged this book a bit on twitter to see if my HUGE influence could contribute in some way to sales before Christmas. I’m sure that orders flooded in, but in one (or two) last ditch attempt(s), I’m sure you know a young reader who has some Christmas money or an Amazon voucher burning a hole in their pocket? This would be a very good use of their money from both a literary and charitable angle.

In conclusion, this is a very good book (did I mention that?) I enjoyed it, and I know that young readers will like it even more. Go buy it!

Rating 8/10

Link to The Man in the Water at Amazon (because it isn’t on goodreads and unusually I want you to buy this one!)


Quick Next Book – The Man in the Water by Ali Sparkes

I have a couple of friends (you know who you are) who are involved in a charity called The group is raising funds for the Paediatric Intensive Care Unit at Southampton General Hospital in the UK. One of the ways that the group is raising funds for this very important facility is via the sale of a special book. Ahhh, a book, a book, ooooh, I see why your blogging about this now!!

41f9YtSdjbL._BO1,204,203,200_The book’s author, Ali Sparkes, became a patron of the charity and wrote the book for the winning bidder at one of the charity’s events. ALL proceeds from the book go directly to the charity. So I saw my friend out in the cold a couple of weekends ago, at a Christmas Fayre selling the book. I hadn’t even thought about it before, but I offered to introduce you (my multitude of loyal followers) to the book to see if we could push some sales and do some good for the charity. I also already own the book as my son bought it so I am allowed to read it under The Rules 🙂

The Man in the Water is a pretty short children’s or young adult book. I should be able to nip through it quite quickly. I will tweet as I go as per usual, and I will review at the end. It is a bit odd that I am crowbarring this book in just ahead of Bill Hicks, That may be one of the biggest divides between between two books that I have read back to back! Watch this space to see how I get on.

You can get The Man in the Water from Amazon as a paperback and there is still bags of time for this to get to you and be all wrapped up before Christmas.

So what are you waiting for?

Book Review – Peter Pan – J.M.Barrie

So here is my first Post Consumer Book Club post, and it is a book review of Peter Pan by J.M.Barrie. The book is one of the reasons that I started the blog and a bit of a cheat because I only acquired it recently, so it is not one of the stack of books that has been languishing in my house or on my digital devices for a long time. It was also free. A free e-book, but I feel that this is worst kind of modern consumption, get it because it is free…

Well, in this case, I downloaded Peter Pan to my Kobo not just because it was free, but because I had read this article. My friend found it on tumblr and sent it round. Very interesting reading, who would have thought that Tinkerbell had orgies!! You naughty Tink! I admit that I found that revelation more interesting that Peter killing some of the lost boys… One curry later, and my two friends and I had agreed that “when we three meet again” (for curry) we should have all read the book and be able to comment on the validity of the arguments in the web article.

My take on the article

I think that “supernaturalshadowhunter” is about right. It is obvious that they are very passionate and knowledgeable about the book. I wonder though whether Sup’ hasn’t taken the whole thing a little too far. Given the fascinating background from J.M. Barrie’s childhood the reasoning may well be right, but I felt that Peter was portrayed as someone who honestly didn’t want to grow up. He knows the main things you loose when you grow up, but has no understanding of what you gain (he has obviously never had any deep and meaningful conversations with Tink!) 
Barrie manages to create a very ethereal feeling throughout the book, so even when Peter thins the larger boys and goes off to blood his sword, it is very definitely suggested that this is make believe. The fact is that make believe is real in Neverland (I feel like I need to make a Michael Jackson reference here, but I will resist. Maybe Enter Sand Man instead?) Pretend food sustains everyone, enemies switch sides as often as Peter and the boys to make the fight fun. The realism in the book seeps around Hook. He is still very much a part of the Neverland, but he is grown up. He fears getting old as much as Peter fears growing up.
All in all this book was very good. It has good pace and Barrie does a great job to expand the reality of life in Neverland by suggesting on more than one occasion that this was just one of the many stories that could be told. Thanks to for the article and all the contributors for the reason I read the book.
All that needs to be sorted out now is that second curry and some other people’s opinions!