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Cracks (Film Tie in) Paperback – 4 Dec 2009


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Product details

  • Paperback: 176 pages
  • Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing PLC; Film tie-in ed edition (4 Dec. 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1408808323
  • ISBN-13: 978-1408808320
  • Product Dimensions: 12.9 x 1.1 x 19.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 519,676 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Review

'Hauntingly good, delicious and dark. With sensuous shimmering imagery, Kohler tells a story of teenage tribalism, awash with dreamy eroticism ... the language is poetic, elegant and brilliantly visual' Elle 'Written with a real atmospheric nostalgia that conjures up the wildness of the veld, and the passion and drama of adolescence ... an unusual, and peculiarly satisfying novel' TLS 'Sultry and elegant, delicately decadent, it is permeated with heat and languor, and alive with complex currents of passion' Patrick McGrath 'Picnic at Hanging Rock meets Lord of the Flies' Scotland on Sunday

About the Author

Sheila Kohler is the author of two previous novels, THE PERFECT PLACE and THE HOUSE ON R STREET, and a collection of short stories, MIRACLES IN AMERICA. From South Africa, she now lives in New York.

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4.3 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

36 of 39 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 10 May 2002
Format: Paperback
I read this book in one sitting; it really is so compelling. The writing is deliciously fluid, the words easily and perfectly chosen. The prose is spare and not one word is superfluous. The author's descriptive abilities are so well honed that you feel like you inhabit the pages; you can smell the dry, parched landscapes and feel the rising heat of the land. You experience the open space of the South African countryside and you are drawn into the closeted hothouse life of the girls' school. Sheila Kohler captures the adolescent confusion of growing up and trying to be grown up, of burgeoning sexuality and repression perfectly. The chain of events which befall the girls takes on a life of its own and rattle along at a fast pace.
The book is at times shocking, but completely believable and no details are spared regarding the girls' competitive brutality. She portrays their friendships in ripe detail, and I am sure that female readers in particular will be able to relate to the intensity and the many oddities of these young friendships. Their interaction with the unusual and charismatic teacher who is catalytic to events is well captured. I will not give any of the plot away, suffice it to say that you are kept reading until the very end for the denouement to reveal itself.
It is a book of contrasts, of immense joys and disappointments. Ultimately it is about coming to terms with our pasts and the secrets which haunt lives and bind people together.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Kingfisher on 1 Jan. 2011
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I watched the film Cracks at the cinema. Beautifully shot at a girl's school in County Meath, Ireland, the story unfolds of a newcomer who has an enormous effect on the behaviour of the girls and teacher already at the school. I later read the book and was surprised to find that the original story was set in South Africa, where the heat and conditions at the isolated school added to the tensions of the relationships between the characters. We learn more of their characteristics and backgrounds in the book, although the shocking secret kept by the girls is unexpected when revealed. Even after seeing the film and thinking that I knew the story, I was unprepared for the events leading up to the climax, re-lived at a school reunion when the girls (now women) are bound by unspoken secrets. Sheila Kohler's beautifully conceived story is both shocking and mesmerising as the reader is immersed in boarding school life where the introduction of the strong-willed foreign girl to the school changes their lives forever. Read it!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Sara on 8 Jun. 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is probably one of my favourite books. I couldn't put it down. You can almost feel the thick heat of the South African veld, the smell Miss G's cigarettes and the feel of the girl's scratchy uniforms at the back of your neck. Kohler really draws you into the girls' day to day life at the boarding school, and the curious events that took place. But don't think that this is your usual "The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie" boarding school innocence novel, not at all. This is a very dark novel, right from the beginning, and a great ending. It's written in first person plural from the girls' point of view, looking back as adults, but there is no named narrator, except that one of the girl's is named Sheila Kholer, and is said to have 'wrote it all down for us.' It's refreshingly different.
I think this is a love it or hate it kind of book judging by reviews online, but it's really worth giving it a go. I enjoyed every page of it and have re-read it many times. I also recommend the film (which is what prompted me to read the book) although it is very different, they've really captured the feel of the book and the plot line is pretty much the same.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Sheila Kohler's writing style was not for me. She chooses her beautiful words very carefully BUT her characters lack emotional depth and realism. All, (except maybe the persona of Fiamma), are like empty caricatures.The story is also very strangely structured... Couldn't enjoy it. Maybe it's just MY fault, can't say...
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