Blueeyedboy by Joanne Harris

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Blueeyedboy by Joanne Harris

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Category: General Fiction
Rating: 4/5
Reviewer: Sue Magee
Reviewed by Sue Magee
Summary: It's difficult to give advice on this book. There isn't a character I could warm to and occasionally I wondered where the plot was going - but there are some breath-taking twists in the plot. Cautiously recommended
Buy? Maybe Borrow? Yes
Pages: 416 Date: March 2010
Publisher: Doubleday
ISBN: 978-0385609500

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BB - or blueyedboy in his online persona - is a middle-aged man who lives with his mother in the Yorkshire town of Malbry. He has a dead-end job in a hospital although his mother would have it that he's of some importance. BB has a way of escaping his rather boring life; he writes murderous fantasies on his website in company with other misfits, some of whom he knows in real life. It might be fiction on badguysrock but he and Albertine share a troubled history and BB's manipulation of friends and enemies causes his past to unravel.

It's not just his dysfunctional family and his strange relationship with his mother. There are children with synaesthesia, a blind child prodigy who sees music, deceit, revenge, a string of unsolved murders, a scandal and the disappearance of a little girl almost a quarter of a century ago. Does that sound complicated? Too darned right it is.

I want to tell you that this book has some of the most amazing twists I've met in a long time. You have to know that there are several characters who could each carry a book and an ending that left me breathless. The story is played out in postings on BB's website and this format fits perfectly – on the internet people might, or might not, be who they say they are. It's creepy, it's chilling and there's even a dash of black humour.

But – I had some problems with the book. There wasn't a single major character I could warm to and watching everything unravel was rather like watching people you don't like getting into a fight – it's difficult to care. Add to this the fact that the reader is never entirely certain of who the characters are and it becomes more difficult to not to feel completely detached from what's happening.

For quite a substantial part in the middle of the book I really didn't know what was going on. Occasionally I wondered if the author was entirely certain herself. It's clever. The writing is brilliant – occasionally I reread chapters because they were so good. I just wasn't entirely certain where the plot was going.

I'm sorry – I've not given a very clear steer, have I? Parts of the book are sublime and if the style appeals to you then you will love it. Even if you feel as I do it's still a worthwhile read, so – on balance – give it a go!

I'd like to thank the publishers for sending a copy to the Bookbag.

If this book appeals to you then yo might enjoy The Stopping Place by Helen Slavin or The Girl Who Fell From the Sky by Heidi W Durrow

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Buy Blueeyedboy by Joanne Harris at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy Blueeyedboy by Joanne Harris at


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