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Disputed Land

Disputed Land [Kindle Edition]

Tim Pears
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)

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Product Description


"Packs a real emotional punch...Pears, who could not write an ugly sentence if he tried ... His portrait of a family at a time of change is also a lament for a country which is losing its environmental way." (Mail on Sunday)

"Beautifully understated...A low-key family gathering in the Welsh Marches blossoms into an elegiac meditation on our relationship with the land we inhabit." (David Robson Sunday Telegraph, Books of the Year)

"'Delightful ... Pears has terrific fun with his cast and is highly skilled at drawing out foibles and grudges" (James Urquhart Independent)

"Very sympathetic, intelligent and moving ... Pears's depiction of enduring married love is beautifully done ... Pears is so adept at the illuminating detail, writes so beautifully of the pleasures of life ... it is a warm and affirmative novel, one which offers incidental joys on every page. It is perhaps the finest book he has written yet." (Allan Massie The Scotsman)

"A thorough examination of nostalgia itself." (Daily Mail)

Book Description

The breathtaking new novel from Tim Pears, author of Landed

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 391 KB
  • Print Length: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Cornerstone Digital (3 Mar 2011)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S. r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B004NBZG2E
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #219,876 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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More About the Author

Tim Pears was born in Kent in 1956. He has written novels and short stories, and occasional essay-length articles on sport. In the Place of Fallen Leaves was awarded the Hawthornden Prize in 1993; Tim received a Lannan Award in America in 1996; In a Land of Plenty was made into a ten-part series for the BBC in 2001. Tim enjoys teaching creative writing, which he's done a good deal of, including for Ruskin College, The Arvon Foundation and the University of Oxford International Summer School. He lives with his wife and children in Oxford, where his favourite pastimes are managing one of the teams in Summertown Stars football club, playing tennis, and walking wherever there are trees.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Back of the net. Again 7 May 2011
By Justin
I must admit to being totally biased when it comes to Tim Pears. I love his meditations on science and nature. Life's sensuality and our relationship with the Earth are always to the fore. You "feel" a Pears book as much as read it and this is no exception. Strained family relationships, grotesquely knowing kids, economy-destroying businessmen, emergent sexuality and planning for death. All this and more can be found within...
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars a work of true art 14 April 2011
I felt touched and inspired by this book, which makes the point of our common responsibility for humanity's future in a very subtle way, like a gentle stroke of breeze on your cheek.

Grandmother Rosemary, whose behaviour is affected by an illness, hectors her family about the excesses of our unsustainable civilisation, effectively shutting out any meaningful discussion. She presents her arguments intellectually, with a great dose of bitterness about our failures. Despite the clarity of her analysis and proposed solutions, ultimately, however, hers is not the voice we hear or are likely to learn from.

The author juxtaposes Rosemary's angry rants against her 13-year old grandson's subtle observations of life in the countryside and love in a family, which allow us to make up our own minds on the same issues. Through Rosemary the author tells us where we went wrong, but we are unable to take this in because of the way in which the points are made. Through the 13-year old Theo's love for his grandmother and empathy for all that surrounds him, however, we see the same lessons clearly, and are allowed to draw the conclusions by ourselves.

The book is very deep and multi-dimensional, the above being only one of its many aspects.

Although this may not have been the author's original intention, Disputed Land is for me one of the strongest and clearest contemporary statements about ecology and the need for transition from exploitative, extraction-based and untrammeled growth-obsessed civilisation, to an ethically-oriented, sustainable and resilient human development. A work of true art. Thank you Tim Pears.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Didn't get it. 4 Feb 2012
By R. A. Davison TOP 1000 REVIEWER
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Disputed Land by Tim Pears is frankly, to me, a bit of an oddity of a novel. It begins with a man intent upon recording some aspect of his family's history for his children, who seem bemused by this.
At this point I anticipated a story set in the 1970's about the man's past in connection to the current present. However, when we flashback we are in 2008 our "present day". Theo, the story's author and main character is a teenager and is meeting up with his relations, a rare occurrence, for Christmas at his grandparents home. It transpires that his Grandmother has cancer and has brought them all together so that they can divide her possessions prior to her death. There is bluff selfish businessman Uncle Jonny his obnoxious twins Xan and Baz and his beautiful wife Aunt Lorna. Theo's Aunt Gwen who has newly become a lesbian, her partner Melony and her daughters Sid and Holly with golden child and favoured grandson Matt set to follow on.

What bugged me is that with the reveal or twist in the closing pages of this novel, like Theo's children I wondered what precisely the point was of this particular story he told. It didn't seem to bear any relevance or importance to the lives which his children and grandchildren now led, and would seem in many ways likely to anger them with the laissez faire arrogance of the past and the almost fairytale like plenty. The truly interesting story for me was Theo's present in relation to his past, of the past there is plenty but of the present there is next to nothing.

What remains is essentially the story of your average middle class privileged Christmas with everyone trying to be civil and get along.
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5.0 out of 5 stars A Family Tale 30 April 2013
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
"Disputed Land" is Tim Pears's seventh novel and, as in "Landed", he has chosen the countryside around the Welsh border, specifically Shropshire, for its setting (the epigraph is from Shropshire's own lad, Housman, "On Wenlock Edge"). A family gathers for Christmas at the home of the narrator's - 13-year-old Theo's - grandparents. We are soon made aware that some sort of closure is imminent - all the adult children are instructed to label any items of furniture they may wish to inherit. Each character, as always with Pears, is carefully and skillfully drawn, warts and all, and the grandparents particularly so. This is fitting, as one of the novel's themes is how the past always manages to pervade the present. Pears again excels at describing nature and the surrounding landscape, and despite the rather bleak future that seems to await us, according to what the narrator, a much older Theo, tells us from time to time, this is a wonderfully warm novel, confirming yet again that Pears is one of England's finest writers.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Who wants what? - and at what price! 1 Jan 2013
By Isola
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
'Disputed Land' was a Book Club selection which was thoroughly enjoyed by our members; so much so that we all chose to read the author's previous novel, 'Landed' as an additional read. I am awarding 4 stars for 'Disputed Land' because although 'Landed' tackled a darker subject, it had that extra 5 star edge. Incidentally, the artwork on the covers of both novels is amazing. Tim Pears, or 'tinned pears' as he became known, was an unfamiliar author to our group, but has now become a firm favourite.

Set some 50 years in the future, amongst the rolling landscape between Birmingham and the Welsh borders, Theo, the novel's middle-aged narrator, reflects upon a series of personal & social events which took place over the Christmas period of 2008 when he was thirteen years old. His grand-parents had summoned the family together, inviting them to place stickers on any items they wished to inherit. What an explosive topic!

Unlike others, I felt that Pears had produced a fabulous cast of family characters and was adept at drawing out the foibles and grudges among them. He has a sharp eye for the poignant domestic detail and his feel for the family home and surrounding countryside through time and change is both skilful and atmospheric.

In this most engaging novel, Pears asks, 'If a single family cannot solve the problem of what it bequeaths to the future generation, then what chance does society have of leaving the world intact?'

This is a very worthwhile read.
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