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British Summertime (GOLLANCZ S.F.) [Hardcover]

Paul Cornell
3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)

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Book Description

20 Jun 2002 GOLLANCZ S.F.

Alison can read anything: body language, the shape of a city, the odds on a footballer scoring a goal. She hates it, because what she¿s reading now is the End of the World.

Wing Commander Leyton is a pilot from the future, thrown back in time from an interstellar war to the City of Bath in the early years of the 21st Century.

Douglas is a vicious killer, a master of disguise, who¿s been operating on his own brain to try and make himself into the perfect postmodern citizen.

Frederick Cleves is the Chairman of the Joint Intelligence Committee, the master of British espionage.

Jocelyn is Leyton¿s navigator. She¿s a head without a body.

The paths of these five map out a quest for Alison¿s best friend, stolen by the Golden Men, who some call Angels. This quest takes in the search for a chip shop, the score from CABARET and the composition of the Book of Revelation. It reaches back to the New Testament, and forward to the end of time: an end which Alison and her friends will have to make terrible sacrifices to prevent.

Product details

  • Hardcover: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Gollancz (20 Jun 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0575073683
  • ISBN-13: 978-0575073685
  • Product Dimensions: 23.6 x 16 x 3.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 3,737,938 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

Book Description

When a space craft from the future crash-lands in Somerset, the world itself turns inside out

About the Author

Paul Cornell is the author of six Doctor Who novels, several children's books and six non-fiction TV tie-in books. He has written extensively for television, including CORONATION STREET, CHILDREN'S WARD and SPRINGHILL, and has just been commissioned for an original series for Channel Four.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
19 of 20 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Top notch, old chap 9 July 2002
British Summertime is a remarkable read. There are a lot of "time travel changes the world as we know it" adventures out there, but Cornell's is certainly an original spin.
Brimming with his trademark leftie, hippy optimism and weird, horrific violence, the beautiful prose style masks the fact it's a hugely complicated, sprawling space opera. Dan Dare meets Judas Iscariot, and that's hardly the half of it.
As he's done before, Cornell throws a load of variously unhinged or unhappy characters into a cosy, recognisably English setting and then has progressively wild things rip up the scenery. Not one of the characters is safe. Every one of them's going to get hurt somehow.
Anything can happen and it does. Decapitated heads with Received Pronunciation accents pilot nippy spaceships in the intergalactic war against bits of tubing. A girl fluent in body language and human geography - able, inately, to find chip shops among streets she's never visited before - discovers her High Church, super-famous pop-star alter-ego. The master-of-disguise working for British Intelligence regulary drills holes into his own head.
It's Cornell's deft writing style and the genuine affection we have for the lead characters that enable him to get away with such insane, unliklely happenings. Less outlandishly blasphemous than last year's Something More, it explores many of the same topics and themes. British Summertime is wonderfully weird and unusual, continually suprising, often shocking and really good fun.
When's the next one out, Paul?
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Defining Chipshopness 25 Jan 2003
By A Customer
British Summertime is Paul Cornell's second novel to combine time, space and religion into a mainly coherent whole.
Alison dreams of watching the Crucifixion from Judas Iscariot's point of view; can find chip shops in a strange place; and has a friend who uncovers a deadly secret whilst working in a Peak District cave.
When a pilot from 2129 arrives in 2001 and meets Alison, both of their worlds are changed forever. We discover the meaning of Angels, the secret of the first Navigator and what a man's life is really worth.
Complex plotting, delightful wordplay and skillful narration, with enough hidden secrets to keep you guessing, this is an entertaining and enjoyable work.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Stunner 20 Dec 2004
By Paul
A cracking read, probably the best time-travel tale I've ever read, certainly the most complex, and without doubt the most fun, and genuinely moving, and a few other best in class type things, but I expect your getting my point.
Read it, or your missing out.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I recognise the styles of a number of contemporary writers here: Lesley Glaister; Clive Barker; (early) Joanne Harris; (late) Douglas Adams. But patches of Cornell are a shade darker than any of these, I think (not for kids, this, unfortunately) and he brings his own particular spin to things.
Cornell plants his feet in that slice of British culture who live split between the bright lights of the big city and the marvels of the natural world, and who are unafraid to imagine what could be on this crazy ball of rock we call home. From here he conjures a host of remarkable characters and dumps some of our more contemporary concerns on them.
This is remarkable stuff and a cracking read. It defies genre by drawing on several and beating them soundly into new and interesting shapes with cleaner lines. It's ambitious - but it knows it's ambitious. What is art unless it's daring now and then? Cornell's writing takes on some really difficult scenes head-on (I won't spoil them) and comes out largely unscathed. Wish I could write like that.
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