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Blueeyedboy [Abridged, Audiobook] [Audio CD]

Joanne Harris , Dan Stevens
3.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (98 customer reviews)
RRP: £17.35
Price: £12.49 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details
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Book Description

2 April 2010

'Once there was a widow with three sons, and their names were Black, Brown and Blue. Black was the eldest; moody and aggressive. Brown was the middle child, timid and dull. But Blue was his mother's favourite. And he was a murderer.'

Blueeyedboy is the brilliant new novel from Joanne Harris: a dark and intricately plotted tale of a poisonously dysfunctional family, a blind child prodigy, and a serial murderer who is not who he seems. Told through posts on a webjournal called badguysrock, this is a thriller that makes creative use of all the multiple personalities, disguise and mind games that are offered by playing out a life on the internet.


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Product details

  • Audio CD
  • Publisher: Corgi Audio; Abridged edition edition (2 April 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0552153680
  • ISBN-13: 978-0552153683
  • Product Dimensions: 13.4 x 19.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (98 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,130,808 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Joanne Harris is an Anglo-French author, whose books include fourteen novels, two cookbooks and many short stories. Her work is extremely diverse, covering aspects of magic realism, suspense, historical fiction, mythology and fantasy. She has also written a DR WHO novella for the BBC, has scripted guest episodes for the game ZOMBIES, RUN!, and is currently engaged in a number of musical theatre projects as well as developing an original drama for television.
In 2000, her 1999 novel CHOCOLAT was adapted to the screen, starring Juliette Binoche and Johnny Depp. She is an honorary Fellow of St Catharine's College, Cambridge, and in 2013 was awarded an MBE by the Queen.
Her hobbies are listed in Who's Who as 'mooching, lounging, strutting, strumming, priest-baiting and quiet subversion'. She also spends too much time on Twitter; plays flute and bass guitar in a band first formed when she was 16; and works from a shed in her garden at her home in Yorkshire.


Photo © Kyte photography

Product Description

Amazon Review

Joanne Harris is, of course, best known for Chocolat -- a novel that brought readers quite as much pleasure as the substance after which it was named (and which became an equally successful movie). But is Joanne Harris’ authentic voice as an author the one that we hear in that book? Almost certainly not -- with Blueeyedboy, the second of Harris’ psychological thrillers, it is becoming clearer that the dark, threatening world she conveys in her second series of books is more provocative and disturbing than anything Chocolat might have led us to expect from her.

As in its predecessor, we are back in the Yorkshire town of Malbry, and in the company of a young man whose behaviour verges on the sociopathic. BB is in his 40s, still living with his mother and making his living with an unrewarding (in every sense) hospital job. His ‘real’ world is a virtual one. On a website which he has called ‘badguysrock’, he has an avatar -- and as the blueeyedboy of the title, he deals in deeply unsettling violent scenarios which feature people from his own life. As we enter deeper into this murky world, we learn other equally disturbing facts. BB has an unhealthy relationship with his mother, whose violent, controlling behaviour is some kind of a pointer to the unhappy man he has become as an adult. What's more, he appears to be the only surviving brother of a group of three. His dead brothers were named after the colours in which their mother dressed them, and had died in mysterious circumstances. There are so many off-kilter aspects to this world that readers will quickly discern it is only a matter of time before something very nasty happens.

Like Iain Banks’ The Wasp Factory, Harris provides us with a narrator we cannot trust -- the only thing certain is that chaos and destruction lie at the heart of this queasy narrative. Harris’ book demands patience and does not render up all its secrets immediately, but those who respond to unusual, transgressive fiction will find it worth persevering; Harris has a mesmerising tale to tell. And be assured -- Chocolat this isn't. --Barry Forshaw --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

Review

"Delivers an almighty twist in the tale late on... brilliantly atmospheric and at times heartbreaking." -- "The Times""We all loved Chocolat, and Joanne Harris' new thriller, which follows the lives of three brothers and their dysfunctional families via a series of web journals, has the same beauty with a modern edge. A dark, intricate tale." "--Company""An ingenious, gripping read... it terrified the living daylights out of me." "-- Daily Express""Brilliantly written, plotted and insightful... beware unreliable narrators along with a huge plot twist at the end." "-- Mirror""Engrossing psychological thriller... a novel of unusual complexity... Harris, best known for Chocolat", "again shows her skill and versatility." ""-- "Mail on Sunday""From the Trade Paperback edition."

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
107 of 110 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A dark and twisted tale 5 April 2010
By Boof TOP 1000 REVIEWER VINE VOICE
Format:Hardcover
This is probably one of the most difficult reviews I have written in a long while, for two reasons: 1) I am a HUGE Joanne Harris fan; I have read nearly all her books and just adore them - except for this one 2) I really had no idea what was going on for most of this book.

How do I even explain? Let's give it a go: The story is narrated by B.B., a loner who spends most of his time on the internet either writing his own personal diary and telling the story of his life as he sees it and also writing fic (stories) on his badguysrock.com - a website that he created himself and attracts a whole array of misfits with their own problems. What is apparant from very early on is that B.B. had a particularly unconventional childhood with a very bizarre family around him. Switching between his private journal and the fiction he writes on badguysrock, we get to see B.B's life played out before us in all its murderous glory.

Sounds simple enough, right? The thing is, I just didn't get it. I read somewhere, before I picked this book up, that Harris started writing this and had no idea where it was going and how it would end up, and I'm afraid to say that that is the same feeling I got while reading it. I didn't get any sense of a plot or purpose for much of it and at times it felt like I was watching someone vent their spleen about.....well, everything. It felt cynical, dark and even bitter but even then I got the sense of it being on the part of the author more than the protagonist.

There were other characters in this book, one of whom - Albertine - also shares her diary entries with us and they give this books some of the unexpected twists that appear more towards the end.
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29 of 30 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Tangled Web 9 April 2010
By Diacha
Format:Hardcover
You are viewing a review by Diacha posting on badboysbook.@amazon.com

Posted at: 23:11 on Thursday 8

Status: Public

Mood: Unsettled

Listening to: Frankie Schubert and the Poxboys : String Quintet in C

This is a flawed but nonetheless compelling psychological novel. It is too long and has the potential to lose its readers. But for those who persevere through its heartbreak hill the home stretch is worth it.

On the Internet, nobody knows you are a dog - but they would do well to suspect it. Harris relates her story through the postings of two unreliable narrators on the badguysrock website, In keeping with the general ambiguity of the book, "rock" may be either a noun or a verb. Both protagonists are damaged from their childhoods. Blueeyedboy is fortysomething and lives at home with his Ma; Albertine is slightly younger and has known BB all her life. Neither is who they seem. Their web entries are either "restricted" in which case they are private journal entries that seem to be truthful, or "public " in which case they are likely to be fantasies or works of fiction ("fics") posted to entertain other members of the web community. A Greek chorus of the latter appears at the end of these entries essentially to grade them, for example: "chrysalisbaby: wish I could be there too (cries)." Fortunately these web-props are not very obtrusive and the chapters themselves are written not in trnk8d txtspk but in old-fashioned, long-hand literary prose.

In her commentary on the novel (see the author's website), Joanne Harris discusses her fascination with how many people now find their real "communities" in the virtual rather than the real world.
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36 of 40 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Harris's darker identity 10 April 2010
Format:Hardcover
Joanne Harris began her career with two works of dark fiction that in many ways define her style better than the crowd-pleasing 'Chocolat'. She has always been interested in the masks we hide behind, and in 'blueeyedboy' is able to give full rein to these ideas. The most fascinating aspect of social networking is that it allows for identities to be reshaped and shifted by those who take part. While it's important not to give away the climactic surprises of the story, suffice it to say that she uses concepts like the unreliable narrator, fantasy VS reality and the masking of emotions to reveal truths about people we only think we know.

'blueeyedboy' has the ring of dark truth for anyone who spends time social networking. It also seems like a natural extension of the styles she has explored in 'Gentlemen & Players' and before that, in 'Sleep, Pale Sister'. It's a cautionary and very modern story with killer twists, and if it appears to involve characters who seem motivated by something more cynical than usual, it's because the baroque formalities of the blogosphere can hide a multitude of sins. This one deserves to encourage readers who may only have explored her France- set fiction.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Startlingly insights. 1 Mar 2012
Format:Paperback
I recently finished reading this book, which I found extremely interesting and at times confusing. I recommend it. It's different.

I could identify with it in several ways, which made me smile and added to my enjoyment. For example: as a mother of three sons myself, I also used to colour code their clothes. When you have a husband and three sons, believe me, you have to do something with the socks and pants, otherwise you end up with a sock mountain in the airing cupboard, which nobody will touch. In my case, it was brown for dad, navy for son 1, red for son 2 and beige for son 3. In the case of the three brothers in the book, it was black, blue and brown. It coloured their lives and gave them identifies. Interesting! I don't think it did that with mine, but maybe it did. I must ask them.

I want you to read this book. It will take you into a different, scarier world (if that is possible). The main character is BB, his mother's blue eyed boy, but he is damaged. He suffers from terrible migraines, brought on by strong smells and stress. I get those too for the same reasons so I sympathised with him. He lives mainly in his imagination. He writes fiction on his web journal and he fantasizes about a girl called Bethan, alias Albertine. He plots murders, trying to escape from his hum drum ordinary world. Sometimes it is hard to draw the line between fact and fiction in this novel. I guess Joanne H. planned it that way.

I admire Joanne for pushing the boundaries. Read the book. See what you think.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
1.0 out of 5 stars I hate giving up on a book before finishing it and ...
I hate giving up on a book before finishing it and I really did *try* to understand this one. It was all incredibly confusing. Read more
Published 1 month ago by Zoe
5.0 out of 5 stars Superb dark psychological thriller
Reviews > Blueeyedboy

Blueeyedboy by Joanne Harris
Blueeyedboy
by Joanne Harris
26116517
Lynn Matheson's review Jun 30, 14 · edit
5 of 5... Read more
Published 2 months ago by Lynn
2.0 out of 5 stars Not the best of Joanne
I didn't really enjoy Blueeyedboy. I quite like Joanne's writing, I like that she brings other ideas to her work such as music, colours, tastes. and smells. Read more
Published 3 months ago by I. Oxton
4.0 out of 5 stars I literally don't know what to say
But I shall try my best to say something, because I'm a strong believer in reviewing the books you've read so others also stand a chance to know whether they'll enjoy it or not. Read more
Published 4 months ago by Hannah
2.0 out of 5 stars Not for me
Joanne Harris is an excellent writer, I enjoy her writing style and have loved some of her previous books but unfortunately this wasn't one of them. Read more
Published 4 months ago by Amazon Customer
1.0 out of 5 stars Yawn
I would be interested to know if there are any Joanne Harris fans out there who enjoyed this book because I found it so awful I still have a hard time believing she wrote it! Read more
Published 4 months ago by Whatif
5.0 out of 5 stars utterly addictive and terrifying
Fantastic book couldn't put it down with a good balance of activity and narrative, really brilliant writing and original idea
Published 5 months ago by ALYSON Phelan
4.0 out of 5 stars All is not as it may seem
I have read many of Joanne Harris's books, but this one had somehow escaped my attentions. Then the author came to our local literary festival and our book group decided to read... Read more
Published 5 months ago by DubaiReader
2.0 out of 5 stars Very disappointing
I have enjoyed all of Joanne Harris's books until this one. The dialogue was confusing and the story depressing. It reminded me of a Ruth Rendell plot but not as well executed. Read more
Published 6 months ago by Jenny
1.0 out of 5 stars B-o-o-o-o-r-i-n-g.
From the first, reading Chocolat, I have loved Joanne Harris's books. None have been quite as delightful as that first - but all have been good.

Then came Blueyedboy. Read more
Published 10 months ago by L. Signy
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