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A Castle of Bone Hardcover – 5 Mar 1992

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Hardcover, 5 Mar 1992
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Product details

  • Hardcover: 156 pages
  • Publisher: Bodley Head Children's Books; New edition edition (5 Mar. 1992)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0370317424
  • ISBN-13: 978-0370317427
  • Product Dimensions: 21.4 x 14.4 x 2.2 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 2,512,836 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description


"Penelope Farmer's finest acheivement" (Jill Paton Walsh) --This text refers to the Paperback edition.

Book Description

CASTLE OF BONE is a brilliant novel about the transformation and the borderline between fantasy and reality. --This text refers to the Paperback edition.

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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 24 Aug. 2001
Format: Paperback
The story is about a boy called Hugh who has a new cupboard, but whenever he puts something inside and closes the doors when he opens them the item will have transformed into something earlier in its life, eg. a leather purse turns into a pig, etc. The book is very, very strange. It describes Hugh's feelings very well, and successfully manages to blur the lines between fantasy and reality. It's a quiet sort of book - even the ending focuses on feelings and thoughts instead of action - but this works quite well, thanks to the theme. It's not a book for someone who likes a fast-paced adventure, but it does change the way you look at things and makes you think.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By One Who Knows on 19 Oct. 2007
Format: Paperback
I read this story over 30 years ago and I still remember parts of it well. Many aspects are dreamlike, mythical, and I guess that's why. It's a story about growing up. It brings sci-fi elements and myths like the Arthurian legends and elements of Greek or Egyptian mythology (eg the story of Isis). I wouldn't be surprised if the writer wasn't a member of one or other 'schools of the soul' that use these kinds of myths in their teachings. The cupboard reminds us of 'The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe', of course, but the story's more modern than CS Lewis and the children are more 'ordinary'.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 2 reviews
10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
Wonderful Children's Fantasy 17 April 2004
By AnnainCA@aol.com - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Library Binding
"It couldn't happen--yet it did. A pigskin wallet, placed in the old wardrobe cupboard that Hugh had just acquired secondhand for his room, turned into a large white pig that fell out, terrified, the moment the cupboard was opened. Hugh, his sister Jean, and Penn and Anna, their next-door neighbors, all gave chase to it. Then they experimented--and it was true. Anything left in the cupboard was returned to some earlier stage of its existence. But there was no telling how far back the change would take things.
For Hugh, sleeping in the same room as the cupboard, the nights became a series of haunting dream-adventures all centering around a strange castle. These he kept to himself. And then, by accident when they were roughhousing, Penn fell backward into the cupboard--and came out as a very small boy. The children's panic mounted, finally becoming terror, as they strove to return Penn to his rightful self and at last went into the cupboard with him."
The above is a short summary of "A Castle of Bone" by Penelope Farmer, a suspenseful fantasy novel perfect for young readers intrigued by strange worlds beyond our own and the magic that can happen in ordinary life. It bears some comparison to "The Chronicles of Narnia" and "The Indian in the Cupboard" but is a wonderful original novel in its own right. This inventive and imaginative book would appeal to readers who enjoy fantastic adventures with a good dose of suspense!
A forgotten children's cult classic 19 April 2014
By Gridiron - Published on Amazon.com
Verified Purchase
A forgotten children's book from more than 40 years ago -- perhaps too reminiscent of The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe because it involves two sets of siblings and a magic piece of furniture where clothes are stored but travel to an alternate world is brief and merely a means of resolving the conflict, not the basis for the entire story-- which is about a cabinet that transforms things that are put into it (what the British call a cupboard). The four teenage kids (Hugh and Jean, Anna and the unfortunate Penn) seemed more realistic than the heroes of C.S. Lewis's Narnia opener. It would have made a pretty good movie, and might be reprinted and updated some day.
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