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Fire and Water [Paperback]

Hayley Long
4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
RRP: 7.99
Price: 6.27 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over 10. Details
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Book Description

1 Oct 2004
High Fidelity for post-student women coming to terms with their men and their bands A quirky battle of the senses for Ally, narrator with attitude and an unfortunate crush on the lead singer of Mr Big Homage in prose to the ultimate seventies band Free The Novel opens as the train door closes and Ally's day-long journey from Aberystwyth to Felixstowe begins. The narration moves from present to past as Ally remembers details of her thirteen-year stay in Aberystwyth. She arrived as a student to read English and now thirteen years later, she is leaving for the last time. "So what do you do? I'm in a band. Your Jonny's in a band. Everyone I ever see you with is in a band...Do you play anything?" "I drank some of my snakebite to buy myself time. Reaching the bottom of the glass, I plumped for Pamela Morrison's preferred job description. It hadn't done her any harm, unless you counted her heroin-related death a few years after Jim's." "I'm the ornament."


Product details

  • Paperback: 156 pages
  • Publisher: Parthian Books; illustrated edition edition (1 Oct 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1902638522
  • ISBN-13: 978-1902638522
  • Product Dimensions: 1.5 x 16.7 x 21.4 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,765,734 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Hayley Long was born in 1971 in Ipswich, Suffolk. At 18, she moved to Wales to study English at Aberystwyth University and has been backwards and forwards to Wales ever since. In 1997, she became an English teacher, teaching first in London, then Cardiff and now Norfolk. She has written several books and teaching resources and is the author of the popular 'Lottie Biggs' series, published by Pan Macmillan. 'What's up with Jody Barton?' was shortlisted for the 2012 Costa book awards and was the winner of the 2013 Essex Book Award. Her next novel, 'Downside Up' is out in July 2013.

Product Description

About the Author

Hayley Long is a dedicated vinyl collector. She was born in Ipswich, studied bands and men in Aberystwyth. She lives in Cardiff.

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Customer Reviews

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4.8 out of 5 stars
4.8 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Long = Hornby? 22 Feb 2005
Format:Paperback
I was given this book to review with the line "it's similar to Hornby's High Fidelity" I was sceptical, as a die hard Hornby fan I didn't think I would like it. On reading I was delighted to find that it was really good in its own right. There were similarities to High Fidelity (it is a story about a girl who loves music) but Long takes a tried and tested idea makes it her own. With other music based books the tendency is to write to people who love the music such as 'High Fidelity' or 'Cool For Cats'. Fire and water doesn't assume musical knowledge, you could be (heaven forbid) a Westlife fan and still really enjoy this book.
Long has a wonderful way of describing people and the characters are dynamic and easy to relate to. What makes it even better is the simplicity of the story meaning Long concentrates more on description and looking at the emotional side of her characters. Too many modern books feel the need to shock or sicken the reader by talking about morbid subjects of death or drugs, Long doesn't do this meaning her book is more 'real'.
This is one of those books that has the power to make you laugh on one page and cry on the next. I would advise you to read alone as I got some worried looks when I started giggling outside the Bute building. Also as you do get involved with the characters you wont want to put it down so set aside a few hours.
If you are looking for a complex story, fast paced action and plot twists this book probably isn't what you want. If you want an eloquently structured and beautifully written character study Fire and Water is near perfect.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Do Latvian lovers really have cold flats? 11 Dec 2004
Format:Paperback
This book is a masterpiece of life and music (if, indeed, the two can be separated.) It focuses on the protagonist's metaphorical, emotional and literal journey through life, moving from Aberystwyth to Felixstowe. It was inspired by Free's 'Fire and Water' album (which really is 'a very good album') and the novel has a narrative voice so strong it feels as if the main character is one of your very best mates. If you love music, if you know that vinyl is medicine for the soul and if you enjoy reading books that make you laugh out loud, then why haven't you bought a copy yet? Everyone should have Hayley Long's Fire and Water in their collection - so buy one. In fact, buy two.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Look out for Frank. 5 Dec 2004
Format:Paperback
Hi, This is the first of Hailey Long's books that I have read. It is about a girl who goes out with a pub rock band singer while away at university. I enjoyed it as I was in a pub band when I was at Uni, although I didn't go to Abber, The book is structured around the Free album Fire and Water and it contains a lot for fans of 70s rock music. I found the style very personal, as if reading the authors diary some times, Some of it must have been based (however loosely) on real events.
Anyway, you will enjoy the book, especially if you live in Aberystwyth or love 70s music, or are in a band, or are going out with someone who is in a band, or drive a badly painted Mercedes, or just collect rubbers that smell of sic. Oh, and look out for Frank, she's my sister.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Do Latvian lovers really have cold flats? 14 Dec 2004
Format:Paperback
This book is a masterpiece of life and music (if, indeed, the two can be separated.) It was inspired by Free's 'Fire and Water' album (which really is 'a very good album') and the novel has a narrative voice so strong it feels as if the main character is one of your very best mates. If you love music, if you know that vinyl is medicine for the soul and if you enjoy reading books that make you laugh out loud, then buy a copy. In fact, buy two.
Comment | 
Was this review helpful to you?
5.0 out of 5 stars Do Latvian lovers really have cold flats? 14 Dec 2004
Format:Paperback
This book is a masterpiece of life and music (if, indeed, the two can be separated.) It was inspired by Free's 'Fire and Water' album (which really is 'a very good album') and the novel has a narrative voice so strong it feels as if the main character is one of your very best mates. If you love music, if you know that vinyl is medicine for the soul and if you enjoy reading books that make you laugh out loud, then buy a copy. In fact, buy two.
Comment | 
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