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Grimbold's Other World [Hardcover]

Nicholas Stuart Gray
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 158 pages
  • Publisher: Faber & Faber; 1st edition (1963)
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B0006BU8B4
  • Product Dimensions: 20.6 x 14.2 x 2 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 2,005,319 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Magical world ,mysterious creatures.. 22 April 2004
I first read this book when I was 10, and am now reading it to my 7-yearold. Like me, he is enraptured. The story has elements of other classicfantasy, a powerful ring, an alternative world, talking animals and thepower of magic for both good and evil. What makes this book special andpoignant, however, are the ever-present themes of loss, the separation ofchild from parent, the isolation of being different, being caught in thewrong world . The characters are outrageously and vividly drawn, memorableexamples being Heliotrope, the ineffectual spectre who gets things "caughtin his lining", the chorus of faintly camp sheep, and the fantasticGrimbold himself. He is a sardonic prince amongst cats, and moves sleeklythrough the world of humans and the shadows and shades of the night world,unravelling the plot and leading the magical journey of Muffler, thedreamy boy who finds his poetry and kindness valuable assets on the otherside of the gap.
There is a theatrical quality to the book which makesit enjoyable and amusing to read aloud, and a sparkle of wit sharp enoughtto keep a jaded adult happy and to delight even a child accustomed to xboxand Powerrangers. I hope my sonwill remember this as fondly as I do, areal classic, and a great discovery.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Grimbold's other world 4 Jun 2006
Format:Mass Market Paperback
I remember reading this when I was about 8 years old and it was great to find it still available. I have just read it to my 8 years old grand-daughter who was soon hopelessly captured by that Prince among Cats and the poor goatherd who was able to move between worlds and see the mystery of the night world. Good adventures with talking animals, unicorns, sorcerers, princes, horses who could fly ..... a feast for the imagination! All aspects of human emotion are encountered as there are some poignant moments and lessons to be gathered. A cracking story for children of all ages.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Neglected classic 3 Oct 2013
Nicholas Stuart Gray is inexplicably overlooked by the search for lost children's classics, and this is one of his best. (Try to get hold of the edition illustrated by Charles Grey). It tells of the adventures of Muffler, a foundling boy who is part goatherd, part poet, given the gift of travelling between the ordinary world and that of magic by Grimbold, a magnificent bad-tempered cat. Most of the chapters are short stories (and in fact Muffler has one other adventure recounted on Mainly by Moonlight, a wonderful collection of short stories) in which magical things happen. A dragon blunders into our world, and the farm hob is blow away; a dog goes missing, and a lost Prince is sought. Humour, bad verse and some beautiful prose get mixed up to produce a book with a very unusual atmosphere. Gray was one of the few children's writers who really creates a feeling of magic as something mysterious, slightly dangerous and attractive. Faber republished this in the early 1980s but it should be reissued for new generations.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Perfect book 8 April 2013
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Completely love this book, with its down-to-earth magical characters and unpredictable humourous story.
I would say it is perfect for children aged 5 and up up up to the oldest of Grannies.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 4.9 out of 5 stars  14 reviews
11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A great collection of short, inter-related fantasy stories. 28 July 1998
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
One of my favourite books ever, this humorous and quirky collection of short stories about one boy and his relationship with the world of faery is written with intelligence and wit. Grimbold is a large black cat who guides Muffler, the foundling child raised by farmers, on many midnight adventures through the "night world", where everything becomes, physically, what it is spiritually, or mentally. Cats are huge, fearsome and fast, and dogs are small, cringing things full of fear. (Great for cat people: I felt very vindicated.) I highly recommend it for bedtime reading, as it is harmless and not frightening at all, and each chapter can be read on its own. Grimbold is full of dry, sarcastic humor, and Muffler is an endearing character for children and parents alike.
Nicholas Stuart Gray is a very talented, underappreciated artist who wrote other children's fantasy fiction. Notably, he wrote a story called "Seventh Swan", about the last of the ! "swan prince" brothers from the fairy tale. The premise of the novel is, what happened to the poor prince who was left with one swan's wing at the end of the story?
11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Grimbold is Great 4 Feb 2000
By pinlighter - Published on Amazon.com
My Dad has told to sit down and prattle on about Grimbold and Muffler in the hope that the publishers will put Nicholas Stuart Gray books back into print again.
Dad read us Grimbold's Other World,and this is what I think of it:
Muffler,brought up by farmers, meets Grimbold the cat, who takes the boy into the Night World, where cats grow enormous and dogs quiver like mice,and where Sable,the merciless sorcerer, lives in Red Tower, with his mischeivous son, Gareth. Gareth always defys his father,and gets into rather serious trouble, but Muffler and Grimbold help him.
Muffler also meets the Hob,who lives in the barn and is the luck of the farm,and Madam Nettleweb, Sable's scatty sister.
This is a fabulous book,full of magic and mystery. I recommend it for any age from 7 and upwards.
10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Glittering Grimbold's adventures in the world of night 27 April 2004
By Liz Lacey - Published on Amazon.com
I had this book read to me by my mother when I was seven, and fell in love with it... an enduring affair it seems, as I have just finished reading it. to my own seven-year-old son. He was even compelled to leave his xbox and stop slaughtering Orcs , to beg for a nightly chapter of the adventures of the not-quite-all-there goatherd, Muffler, in the world of night.The nightworld is configured in the same fashion as our own, but more mysterious, elemental, and enchanting. Cats are twice their usual size, with powers of magic some of us have always suspected they possessed. Nicholas Stuart Gray was a renowned children's writer, child actor,and playwright. His style combines sinuous story-telling with seductive wit, making the dialogue a joy to read, unlike the often leaden exchanges of fantasy fiction. Old themes are explored, the sense of being different, the yearning to belong but not conform, and , most poignantly, the pain of loss, of abandonment, separation, ageiing and death..I haven't made it sound all THAT jolly yet , have I? There is even a ring of power, and a sorcerer who, if not exactly evil, displays a fine temper and a nasty turn of phrase. Above all, this is a funny book, displaying a feline wit. The characters are gloriously drawn, and outrageous. A camp , damp ghost called Heliotrope, ineptly materialising and scaring itself silly, assorted talking horses and other friendly beasts, and the cool, glamorous Grimbold himself, the sleek ringmaster of this nocturnal circus, make this book a deep delight for the imaginative of all ages.
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An unknown classic 25 Jun 2006
By Dreamking47 - Published on Amazon.com
This book straddles many lines: it's a book that can be read to young children; it can be read by young adults making their first forays into book-length fiction; and it can be read and enjoyed by adults looking to recapture some of the magic of childhood. There is a lot of wisdom contained in its pages, far more than in most "adult" novels.

At the same time, Grimbold is a very manageable read. The book is not long and stands alone -- this is no multi-volume series of 500+ page tomes. Further, it is divided into chapters that form an overall story in sequence yet stand alone as episodes, providing easy stopping points for daily/nightly reading. The vocabulary is not difficult, and the fact that paragraphs are short should make reading it less daunting than, say, a Harry Potter book, whether it's being read aloud or internally.

The praise heaped on many "young adult" books today is that they're helping young adults accept and enjoy reading as a form of storytelling, alongside more visual forms like TV and movies. That's well and good, but Grimbold's Other World goes beyond that. It doesn't just tell an interesting story, it tells it well. It's a book that can help people learn to enjoy written stories as an art form -- it can help foster an appreciation of language in itself, rather than seeing it as just a medium to transmit stories. It's simply the most well-written, well-told young adult story I can remember reading: a classic of the genre that deeply needs to find its way back into print.
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A charming fantasy in the flavor of CS Lewis's Narnia tales. 2 Jun 1997
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
An orphaned child, the realms of magic, dragons, wizards, and a large, talking cat... Grimbold's Other World has all the earmarks of an enduring fantasy novel appropriate for genre-lovers of all ages.

When Muffler, hero of the tale, discovers his gift of speaking to animals both commonplace and magical, his adventures are just beginning - and his affiliation with Grimbold, a black cat with mystic powers, leads him into the wild lands of the "Night Worlds" to become the unwilling champion of a powerful wizard's son, the defender of dragons, and a word-magician in his own right. His journeys through the worlds of spells and incantation lead him on a hero's quest where the ultimate prize is one he did not seek - his own true identity, and his destiny in the world of men.

It baffles me that this book ever fell out of print... the chapter involving dragons alone will have children of all ages howling in delight! I highly recommend it to fantasy fans of the old school, loving the old magics of CS Lewis and Tolkien.
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