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The Suicide Club Paperback – 12 Feb 2009

17 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 400 pages
  • Publisher: Doubleday (12 Feb. 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0385614721
  • ISBN-13: 978-0385614726
  • Product Dimensions: 14 x 3 x 21.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (17 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,719,628 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Rhys Thomas is the author of THE SUICIDE CLUB and ON THE THIRD DAY.

He lives in Cardiff, Wales.

Twitter: @rhysthomashello

Product Description

Review

"Rhys Thomas shakes concepts of "normality" to the core. It is a challenge indeed for an author to capture authentic teenage dialogue, and [this is] compelling subject matter." (Independent on Sunday)

"Something of a SECRET HISTORY set among 15 year-olds, THE SUICIDE CLUB by Rhys Thomas is a riveting and often moving read centred around a group of disaffected teenagers who, under the guidance of a manipulative leader, decide to embark on a suicide pact. The narrator's voice compels the narrative - he's a hugely likeable character - and while it's yet another debut British novel about a precocious teenager, this is the best of its type that I've read in a long while. I'll be very interested to see what Thomas writes next." (John Boyne)

Book Description

A group of teenagers comes under the influence of a charismatic outsider and signs a suicide pact, in a riveting and timely debut novel about teenage disaffection and its deadly consequences.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Stefano D. C. Pachi on 19 April 2010
Format: Paperback
Rhys Thomas' debut, The Suicide Club, has got some flaws and many qualities. The style might not appeal to every reader: it is realistically narrated in first person by a teenager, which means some might find the style confused, redundant or immature. That does not, however, constitute one of the failings of the book. As the one negative review to this book mentions, it is rather hard to decide to which public this would appeal. I believe the purpose of the story is to cause the reader to reflect upon his reactions to other people in society, leading them to become more acceptant of others. If read by a bullied teenager, I reckon this book may be dangerously misinterpreted and lead to tragedy's not seen since Goethe's "The Sorrows of Young Werther". The reader of this book should be someone mentally stable who can not only emphasize with the main character but see his flaws as well.
Despite this danger, the book is a worthwhile read. Some of the scenes are brilliantly created and there are also some interesting surprises in the story.
I recommend this book to mature readers and believe it may even help some parents understand their children better. All in all, this is a strongly emotional adventure that may not leave every reader satisfied, but nonetheless offers much to those unbiased in relation to its content.
If you are a teenager, however, some caution is advised when reading this book, as its message may be lost among the conflicting philosophies of life and death expressed by its characters.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Lady Fancifull TOP 500 REVIEWER on 7 May 2010
Format: Paperback
This interesting and unsettling book is I guess firmly aimed at teenagers (I'm not one, by a long chalk, and the music culture references were completely meaningless to me) Funnily enough, it is the slight overload of these which will date the book profoundly, and prevent it from speaking to its mid teens audience in even 2 or 3 years time.

A group of highly intelligent, articulate 15 year olds at a private school, under the influence of one particularly charismatic boy, set themselves up as superior outsiders, and this leads into the romantically inspired idea of forming a suicide club, to demonstrate their 'too good for this humdrum shallow world' nature

Various parallels to this book spring to mind, from Lindsay Anderson's If.... [1968] [DVD], to Donna Tartt's The Secret History, and of course, as another reviewer noted Goethe's The Sorrows of Young Werther (Classics) Teenagers often have a fascination with death - and look how society makes icons of those who die young and violently, whether by suicide or suicidal behaviour.

It might be far fetched to think that a book like this could seduce or influence anyone to take their lives - but Goethe's book had precisely this effect at the time on several over-romanticised youths.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By walfra on 18 Feb. 2009
Format: Paperback
As shocking as Toby litt's Dead Kid Songs, but with the heart and soul of the film Donnie Darko, Thomas' book manages to press all the right buttons. The story deals with youth and all the anxieties that stem from this pivotal time in everyones life. This book ultimately masters the overwhelming emotions that youngsters feel, cleverly intertwining the story around an excellent knowledge of good music that drives and moves the young characters. If you like Damien Rice, Radiohead, My Chemical Romance or Arcade Fire, then this book captures the heart felt angst of all these artists extremely well.

This book is a modern take on many other tales told. The lord of the Flies springs to mind because of the central premise that youngsters left on their own will slowly implode. How fitting then, that Thomas' characters, although surrounded by adults, ultimately choose to disengage from 'normal' society and find their own path.

Enjoy.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By ahhbee on 9 Nov. 2010
Format: Paperback
The title of the book tells you most of what you want to know about the plot. Fairly obviously it is about a group of teenagers who make a pact to kill themselves and centers around one boy's experience in this club.

Richard and his gang of friends are lead to believe that they are of higher subsidence to the others in their school and in the world. Afraid of settling and falling into mediocrity they decide that the only way to escape this is to kill themselves and excel up in heaven. The book shows the inner tug of war going on between most of the main characters (as to whether they believe whole heartedly in the pact or not) and the sheer determination of the other who suggested this pact.

All of the characters within the text are fully believable and well written as not only is the reader drawn into their world and relationships, but is made to care about them too. What I find most fascinating about these characters is that although they are engaging and seemingly real, they are hard to actually like. Each of the main characters and especially the protagonist are highly flawed and at times during reading this book I was shocked to see which direction the characters were leading the plot. (This is a good thing!)

My only draw back about the book is that it ended too soon and is a bit anti climatic; I would have liked more detail about what happens in the final chapter.

A lot of reviews state that they don't know who the intended audience for this book is, they say that it maybe too suggesting to younger or more impressionable youths. In fact I find that this is a main theme of the book, that a group of friends are drawn into the ideas of one other person.
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