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"Billy Elliot": Level 3 (Penguin Readers (Graded Readers)) Paperback – 26 Feb 2008


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Product details

  • Paperback: 64 pages
  • Publisher: Penguin; 2 edition (26 Feb 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1405881763
  • ISBN-13: 978-1405881760
  • Product Dimensions: 12.9 x 0.4 x 19.7 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (16 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 606,932 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

Amazon Review

It's not just fans of the film Billy Elliot that are going to love this book. The choice of Melvin Burgess to novelise the hugely successful Billy Elliot screenplay by Lee Hall is inspirational and yields its own rewards beyond the obvious one of revisiting, with compulsive detail, the story of Billy's ballet passion as seen on film.

Burgess is already a much-admired author of several significant books featuring disaffected youth and gutsy teenage drama like Junk and Bloodtide. His interpretation of Billy Elliot, written with additional character insights and advice about unused film scenes as supplied by Lee Hall, has the effect of it almost reading like a sequel - there's so much more to read about, so much more of Billy's motivation and family background on display.

The story of Billy Elliot told in the book is sometimes brutal, with its aptly gritty dialogue, yet it is also engrossing, emotional and well-told. It was all of these qualities to the beat of a foot-tapping soundtrack that made the film a massive international hit. Set against the backdrop of the mining strikes that gripped Britain in the early Eighties, Burgess reveals Billy to be an honest northern lad who doesn't like his politically-obsessed, bullying elder brother, nor the fact that his mam died of Cancer two years previously. He especially doesn't like the way his dad won't let him do ballet instead of boxing.

Billy's good at something for the first time in his life and he won't give it up easily, despite his immediate family's perilous financial woes. The strike is biting and his dad goes bonkers when he finds out about Billy's private dance tuition -- so the air is understandably filled with tensions aplenty. His mates are ribbing him at school about his dancing. His brother is at his father's throat because they disagree about how to settle the strike. His nana, who could have been a professional dancer, is going increasingly senile. There's lots to resolve if Billy's life is to start running more smoothly.

Burgess tells the story of the film to great effect from his trademark multiple viewpoints. He gets under the skin of each character in turn and lays them bare as they each get involved more deeply in the unfolding story of Billy's passion. From anybody but Melvin Burgess, a novelisation of Billy Elliot might not have been a book worth paying a whole lot of attention to. As it stands, its an indispensable slice of teenage life that's definitely worth reading, and keeping, and which will probably stay around at least as long as memories of it's big screen inspiration. (Age 12 and over) --John McLay --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

Review

"Floats like a butterfly and stings like a bee!" -Sarah Bailey, "Elle" "Poised to sweep the world off its feet!" -Michael Rechtshaffen, "Hollywood Reporter" "If you're making up a ten best list of films this year, you'll only need nine more!" -Brandon Judell, "Detour" --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

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First Sentence
A pair of hands carefully slides a record from its sleeve and puts it on a battered record-player. Read the first page
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Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Gareth J. Evans on 27 Sep 2002
Format: Paperback
This book is loosely based on the screenplay by Lee Hall and tells Billy's story from the perspective of most of the main characters.
It does contain storylines that are not featured in the movie and although written for a more junior market, this is a great read for all fans of the film. You can easily picture Jamie Bell as Billy on each page.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By AMT on 6 Dec 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Got this book because I really enjoyed Billy Elliot the musical. I think the quality of the book was very good for the used condition and it was delivered three working days later for free.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Delzx7r on 23 Sep 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
So I didn't read it but she tells me that it is a great book and so I guess I'll just have to take her word for it!
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Jo on 16 Jun 2011
Format: Paperback
I thought Billy Eliot was a fantastic book I really enjoyed reading it, and couldn't put it down. Outstanding (5 STAR). BEST BOOK I'VE EVER READ! I would definitely recommend it to all ages above 12 even if you don't like reading, (I don't, much!). Billy Eliot A MUST READ.

Henry age 12
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By sharon steadman on 8 July 2014
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
More detail than the film...literally did "read between the lines" Had great fun with the accent, would have liked it to have gone further into Billy"s career .
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By steve on 2 July 2014
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Ok, not great!
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By Ruby on 25 Feb 2014
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Bought it for my son for school as this story is being used for his junior cert exam next year
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By Sarah8823 on 31 July 2014
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Loved reading this. It gives so much in-sight to the characters and as a fan of the movie I'm really glad I bought this book. It was funny in just the right places and the writing is excellent.
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