Half-Sick Of Shadows

[PDF / Epub] ★ Half-Sick Of Shadows Author David Logan – E17streets4all.co.uk On the eve of Granny Hazel's burial in the back garden a stranger in his time machine visits five year old Edward with a strange reuest And Edward agrees to be his friendEdward is not alone in the wor On the eve of Granny Hazel's burial in the back garden a stranger in his time machine visits five year old Edward with a strange reuest And Edward agrees to be his friendEdward is not alone in the world His twin sister Sophia is about to bring future tragedy upon herself by misunderstanding a promise she will make to their fatherWhile Sophia stays at Half-Sick Of eBook Ü home in The Manse Edward is sent to boarding school There he encounters the kind and the not so kind and befriends the strangest child Alf – whose very existence hints at universes of unlimited possibilities and who one day might help Edward free SophiaA comical tragedy a tale of childhood wonder and dismay a story of familial dysfunction of poetry the imagination and theoretical physics this novel is all these and rather.Half-Sick Of Shadows

My first novel Half Sick of Shadows was joint winner of the Terry Pratchett prize .

Half-Sick Of Shadows PDF/EPUB ↠ Half-Sick Of  eBook
  • Paperback
  • 304 pages
  • Half-Sick Of Shadows
  • David Logan
  • English
  • 05 March 2016
  • 9780857520760

10 thoughts on “Half-Sick Of Shadows

  1. says:

    Last year saw the launch of the Terry Pratchett Anywhere But Here Anywhen But Now First Novel Award More than 500 manuscripts came chasing the £20000 prize for previously unpublished novelists and ultimately it was split between two winners Michael Logan and David Logan no relationThe winning novels Apocalypse Cow and Half Sick of Shadows are different than chalk and cheese which at least are both high in calcium The competition’s reuirements boil down to alternative imaginative weird – which is a broad remitIn Apocalypse Cow Michael Logan gives us a fast paced dark comedy stuffed with violence sprinkled with sex not unreminiscent of Tom Sharpe’s work He includes witty lines and observations Pratchettesue in their pointiness We’re served an homage to zombie apocalypse movies The disparate gang of survivors in this case battling to survive the predations of zombie herds rather than zombie hordes Zombie well infected animals of all shapes and sizes attempt to first have sex with and then devour our heroesNow writing comedy is hard First you have to write well then you have to be funny One liners are good but you can’t build a novel from them You have to make characters readers will care about characters that live and grow Fortunately Michael Logan a journalist by trade has done a solid job of writing and an excellent job of being funny Without the humour this could be a decent horror novel providing you could take the zombie suirrels seriously It’s a light and very entertaining read failing only at the last hurdle when it seems to lose internal consistency and fall into a cartoonish finale Frenchmen seemingly drawn from Monty Python sketches shepherd us toward a weak conclusion saved to some degree by the very last chapterHalf Sick of Shadows is a very different beast Where Logan M gives us workman like prose and a compelling plot Logan D gives sublime prose and a general absence of plot David Logan writes magical lines he works wonders with words loops them around ideas and captures them whole for you He also deploys the child’s eye view to highly amusing effect with innocent interpretation and off beat observation The first half of Half Sick reads like literary fiction of high uality calling to mind Angela’s Ashes Frank McCourt though perhaps only because both are first person accounts starting with young boys growing in Irish poverty There are hints of supernatural but through the eyes of a strange child one might imagine them to be unreliable narration at least for the first half of the book At about the halfway point strangeness sets in credulity becomes strained characters exaggerate into caricature and yet you can’t believe it isn’t by intent – the trust in Logan’s skill built up in the opening carries you forward Strange is stacked on strange and things grow increasingly surreal I can’t claim that I ‘got’ the ending I’m not sure if there’s a concrete thing Logan intends for the reader to get or if it’s an exercise in ambiguity and mystery Either way both Logans disappointed me with their endings after delighting me in very different ways with their starts and middles In neither case though did I feel my reading time had been poorly spent I can see why these books won and why the judges were unable to agree to select one above the other Both probably had implacable champions around the judging tableThe TPABHABNFN Award’s first year has brought forth two diverse offerings one entertaining and uproariously funny in places the other intriguing beautiful and ultimately baffling Both very worthy of your attentionFor me HSoS had higher highs and lower lows than its fellow TPABHABNFN Award winner and than most other books If you have a literary bent and can enjoy each part of a book without flaws ruining the whole then this is definitely worth a read I've seen this called half a good book I'd disagree and say it's half a brilliant book Join my 3 emails a year newsletter #prizes

  2. says:

    OK that was really weird I'm not sure that I got the point If there ever was a point The one thing I know is that I didn't read the book the blurb led me to expect I might have somewhat liked it without the alternate universe travel stuff whose role was just so insignificant it might as well not have been here for starters and if the events had made sense and Well all right I would have liked it if it had been another bookMaybe I didn't get it and maybe there just wasn't anything to get I don't even care any Those six days spent reading it felt like an eternity

  3. says:

    IMPORTANTISH NOTICE To forestall any accusations of underhand inter author bumlickery I'm going to make my relationship with David clear up here David and I shared the Pratchett prize and by a strange uirk of fate share a second name We met once at the awards ceremony and spoke for five minutes Since then we have had irregular email and twitter chat With that knowledge in mind you can take or leave the following review as you see fitThe first thing to say about this book is that David Logan as Terry Pratchett says on the back cover is an excellent writer Half Sick of Shadows is brimming with big concept ideas beautiful turns of phrase gentle humour and a healthy dollop of strangenessThe story follows Edward Pike as he grows up from a callow five year old living on The Manse a remote farmhouse that seems out of time Along the way he meets a mysterious time travelling stranger his sister makes a promise that may lead to future tragedy and he becomes acuainted with an unusual child called Alf who is far than he initially seemsI’m not going to get into any plot details as that would spoil your enjoyment which should be considerable other than to say that one of the larger themes is where creative inspiration comes fromThe publisher’s statement upon David Logan winning the inaugural Terry Pratchett first novel prize that the book is a darkly atmospheric richly written coming of age novel in the spirit of Iain Banks's The Wasp Factory is only partly true Yes in many ways this is like a Banks novel dealing as it does with a dysfunctional family and dark secrets and the entire middle section could have been written by Banks when he was in his pomp However the final third where events begin to take a turn toward the strange deviates from the Banks templateOnce again I don’t want to say anything about the actual story as even small hints may give too much away While not uite as hard to puzzle out as David Lynch this is one of those books that leaves you thinking and turning your mind back to various points that may or may not provide clues as to what it all means I have my own interpretation about the ending and I’m sure many other readers would disagree with it It is the kind of book that can turn book club discussions into bloodbaths broken wine glasses being wielded to ram the point home This means the book may not be for everyone if you like your stories spoon fed to you you may leave disappointed However if like me you enjoy a book that forces you to engage and figure things out you’ll love itI only have one gripe a rather minor one and that is the voice employed in the first third I felt there was a little too much of Pike’s wide eyed innocence as a child and too many humorous misunderstandings about what words really meant The pacing was also slow at this point However I trusted the writing enough to keep going as this was clearly a writer in complete control and every page had at least one sparkling sentence Still I was very glad when Pike grew up and his voice matured – a transition skilfully handled by Logan It was at this point that the writing really came into its ownIn short this was a fascinating and beautifully written debut from an author who clearly thinks very deeply about the universe and humanity’s place within it I look forward to If this were a scale of 1 to 10 I would have given the book 9 because of this The rest of the book makes up for the slow start

  4. says:

    Sir Terry is absolutely right David Logan is a most excellent writer Despite living in a relatively warm and sunny place I felt the Dark and the Cold of the Manse It's hard to describe what I liked without giving away too much The book is than a strange family with dark secrets although it does remind me of Iain Banks My husband read this before me and wanted me to hurry up so he could talk about what it all means Now I understand what he means So many uestions so little time

  5. says:

    This book was horrible The first half is incredibly boring and then it just becomes an awful transphobic sexist incestuous plotless mess at the end The bad writing of the book and the horrible person who must have been behind makes me want to barf I have no issue with books that tackles controversial subjects but when these aspects are never challenged uestioned or put in a moral light I have to object This book is just plain sick I'm glad I didn't waste my money on this shit I have read plain stupid books before but this is probably the worst book I've ever read

  6. says:

    Half Sick Of Shadows was published after winning jointly with Michael no relation Logan's Apocalypse Cow Terry Pratchett's 'Anywhere But Here Anywhen But Now' speculative fiction prize for debut authors This makes me wonder perhaps a little uncharitably if the author had to hurry to finish his manuscript before the submission deadline for the competition because although there are many positive things to say about this novel my main criticism of it is that to me it reads rather like a first draft particularly towards its conclusionWhen I bought this book I didn't know it had won the prize in uestion and therefore I wasn't expecting a whimsical Pratchettesue romp I mention this because some reviews I've seen on sites like Goodreads and have suggested this was probably the case for a lot of people who have conseuently been disappointed as this book is most emphatically not that sort of novel I suspect this expectation has been the cause of some unfairly harsh reviews from readersNarrated primarily by Edward Pike although there are some short sections of third person omniscient narration about that later it opens with a dysfunctional family living in the Manse a rundown isolated house in what appears to be somewhere at least similar to rural Ireland burying their rather repellent grandmother At around the same time the young Edward meets a gentleman in a Morris Minor who claims to be a time traveller and Sophia his twin sister promises their bullying father that she will never leave the Manse It soon becomes clear that Sophia's promise is far significant than it might have appeared and as the story unfolds the conseuences for Sophia are grimly serious Fast forward a few years and Edward is sent to boarding school presumably a state boarding school for children who live in extremely isolated locations as the Pikes are clearly living in considerable poverty where he meets Alf Lord a boy with a particular liking for poetry and an odd tendency to disappearWhile Half Sick Of Shadows is far from riotously comical it is very funny at times in a dark League Of Gentlemen sort of way Edward himself freuently described by others as 'precocious' and academically gifted beyond his peers is also hopelessly naive and at times his inability to read social situations or grasp certain nuances of language seems suggestive of a condition akin to Asperger's Syndrome The tragicomic matter of factness with which he relates the casual cruelties and constant hardships of his childhood makes him impossible to dislike and lends a degree of warmth to the book which might otherwise be missingHowever at times Half Sick Of Shadows is genuinely bleak and borders on disturbing we can laugh guiltily at the almost Lemony Snicket like horrors of Edward's boarding school years and the black farce of some of the goings on at the Manse but the story of Sophia trapped with two older brothers one an aggressive bully the other with serious learning difficulties and her ailing parents one of which is an obvious abuser and denied any sort of education or social life is a different matter This isn't a negative as far as I'm concerned but some readers might find it soYou may have noticed I mentioned a time traveller appearing at the beginning of the review and a mysterious disappearing boy yet my review then seems to become a critiue of a book with no spec fic elements whatsoever That's because while those elements are in fact present in the novel but for the most part are heavily played down until the book is close to its conclusion As the story progresses we learn about Alf and it becomes obvious that there is a reason why nobody in Edward's world has heard of Tennyson and why some things about the novel's setting seem slightly out of kilter with what we think of as realityHalf Sick Of Shadows is an odd book at times baffling and there is no spoon feeding whatsoever from the author For example the freuent parallels and allusions with Tennyson's poem 'The Lady Of Shalott' a line from which gives the book its title are significant to the extent that if you're not familiar with it as I fortunately was you'll miss out on a large part of what Half Sick Of Shadows is about or at least what I interpreted it to be aboutI enjoyed a great deal of this book and I certainly don't feel my time was wasted by reading it but I do think it was lacking something and it's this that made me wonder if the author rushed to finish it On a technical level there are some devices which I had an inkling were desperation passed off as style the occasional jarring switch into third person omniscient narration for example and a few pages near the end in which conversations are related in a sort of script format I have no problem with switches in style if they add something to the book but these felt suspiciously like the author realising too late that his plot relied on Edward not being present at essential moments and having to find a way around this or that he needed some very 'talky' passages to explain some difficult concepts and didn't really have a better way of relating them I also felt as I read the final uarter of the book that either the ending needed to be less rushed or the middle section about Edward's schooldays needed to be shorter At it is the structure seems to lack balanceMuch of Half Sick Of Shadows is excellent full of fascinating concepts well executed characterisation and pitch perfect prose but ultimately it just didn't feel uite complete to me as if it were missing some revisions and a final polish I'll look out for from David Logan though as I felt there was so much potential in Half Sick Of Shadows and I'd like to see what he produces next

  7. says:

    Half Sick of Shadows is one of those books that left me unsure of whether I had actually enjoyed reading it or not After having read Apocalypse Cow by the other Terry Pratchett winner Michael Logan I wasn't sure what to expect only that it would be at the very least whimsical and in that sense the book does deliverThe first half of the novel is fascinating and beautifully framed The descriptions of the Manse and its cemetery interspersed with Edward's commentary on family life keeps the pages turning view spoiler I love the references to Tennyson hide spoiler

  8. says:

    That rating would have been 35 stars if possible but since it's not I've decided to round it up 3 stars would be to severeThis has to be one of the strangest books I’ve ever read even if it started straightforward enoughEdward lives in The Manse at the end of The Lane where a cemetery is the back garden with his twin sister Sophia his parents and two older brothers Edward’s home is so isolated from the rest of the world that he has a hard time imagining what that world might be like for a long timeEdward’s father is a born again Christian working as a farm labourer and a man who will turn to corporal punishment whenever one of the children break his strict rulesOn the day their grandmother dies five year old Edward and Sophia meet a stranger with a time machine A stranger who has a favour to ask of Edward; he wants to be his friend On the same day Edward’s father asks Sophia to promise that she will never leave the Manse or her mother The young old girl makes the promise not realising what it means and unaware that she condemns her own future in the processSoon afterwards the twins who had up until then been constant companions and each other’s world are separated when Edward is sent to boarding schoolIt is in school that Edward meets Alf Alf is a boy who is even stranger and isolated from the rest of the school than Edward is but he is also a philosopher poet muse and most of all a mystery Nobody else in the school seems to know who Alf is or where he sleeps and for long periods of time Edward doesn’t see Alf either At important moments in his life at school though Alf turns up at Edward’s sideWhen years later Edward finishes school and returns to the Manse in preparation of starting university life disintegrates for him Sophia and the rest of his family with Alf as the rather unexpected bystanderOn the surface and for most of the early part of the book this is a story about two children growing up in a dysfunctional family Because the story is told from Edward’s perspective the reader only slowly comes to the realisation that there are a lot undercurrents in this family than are immediately apparentThe young Edward while being a very smart child takes his surroundings and the things that happen there at face value and although the reader can sense things Edward isn’t aware of the full scale of revelations don’t become clear until Edward is old enough to understand themThere were a few things that happened in this story which left me feeling very uncomfortable and while I can see that they made the dysfunction in this family vivid I can’t help feeling that there might have been other ways to paint that pictureThere were also parts of the story especially with regard to physics and time travel that just went straight over my headMy final reservation about this book has to do with the way the story ended or as I experienced it didn’t end While the final scene was foreshadowed early on in the book it left too many uestions unanswered for my likingHaving made all those reservations I do have to add that I was fascinated with this story for most of the book and found it hard to stop reading I felt a deep need to find out how it all would end if Edward would be able to save his sister and whether or not Alf would be explained fullyI also feel that it is uite possible if not likely that I missed some of the nuances in this book So while this maybe wasn’t uite the book for me I’ve got a feeling that it may well be the right book for other less straight minded readers

  9. says:

    I'd never thought of what sort I liked; stories were stories like cows were cows But there were different sorts of cows fat ones skinny ones standing up cows lying down cows black and white cows and brown cowsEdward lives in the Manse with his twin sister Sophia his two older brothers his mother and father and Granny Hazel With the exception of the odd visit from Farmer Barry in his lorry this is Edward's world They have a cemetery for a garden and an outside toilet When Edward is five a stranger arrives in a time machine with the words Morris Minor on the front but uickly departs Whilst young Sophie is made to promise her father that she will never leave the Manse Edward is sent off to boarding school Distraught at leaving his other half behind he buries himself in books and befriends the eccentric Alf who no one else ever seems to have heard ofMy new room gave me a phobia I had no name for Perhaps there's no better name for it than small person in big brothers' former bedroom phobia Which isn't as bad as big brothers' in dead granny's bedroom phobiaEdward starts out as a rather literal young child as they so often are and his observations are full of humour Growing up in the isolation and deprivation of the remote Manse he and Sophia entertain themselves with reading the dictionary and the encyclopedia Edward's mother calls him precocious As the story progresses Edward's voice subtly changes something I didn't come to realise until the end when he sounds like an adultYet even at a young age there are hints that there is something not right in their word The story turns darker with each page turned Their father is a zealous in his religious beliefs The Manse appears to exist in a time long gone yet technology manages to creep in inch by inch Sophia's promise to never leave is ominous and Edward's education is full of sorrow Yet David Logan never gives you enough time to get depressed there will be something witty to break the atmosphere on the very next lineIndeed he stopped being The Old Bore and became The Dirty Old Sod I knew dirty old sods; Father put them on top of Granny Hazel after he buried herOut of the two offerings from the Terry Pratchett prize Half Sick of Shadows is the literary choice This isn't going to appeal to everyone The blurb makes out that the story is about time travel Whilst it may very well be about time don't expect lots of time travelling escapades The pace is rather slow especially during Edward's school years yet each page is a joy to read and contains something uotable The humour is very different to Apocalypse Cow perhaps a bit cleverer but certainly charming“In an infinite number of multiverses”“Plus one”Sophie screamed and ran out of the room waving her arms in the air and shouting “My head's exploding”I know Sophia uantum physics does that to a lot of peopleAfter a slow build the pace uickens towards the end yet it has a feeling of ending a bit too uickly after all the legwork It would be a great book group choice as it's an ending I want to discuss with people and work out if I like it or not I feel I didn't know enough about Alf even though he was a really interesting character If I knew there was going to be a seuel I would be satisfied by the end Yes I want a seuel

  10. says:

    Half Sick was joint winner of the Terry Pratchett prizeBUTit is NOT a Terry Pratchett like novelIf you like elves wizards and stuffHalf Sick is not the book for youHalf Sick is darkSophia a girl twin brings tragedy upon herself by misunderstanding a promise she makes to her fatherA time travelling muse enters her universe to bring her story back to Alfred Lord Tennysonas inspiration for his classic poem The Lady of Shalott

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