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Hallam Foe [Paperback]

Peter Jinks
4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)

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Book Description

1 April 2002
Voyeurism, taxidermy and a hero for our times.

Hallam has an unusual teenage hobby - voyeurism. He spies on everyone: on the gardener's sex life, on his father's ridiculous plans for a underground village, on his wicked stepmother, whom he holds responsible for his mother's suicide - until he is set up, and set adrift. He moves to Edinburgh, where voyeurism is more dangerous, particularly when Hallam has revenge on his mind...

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Product details

  • Paperback: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Headline Review; New Ed edition (1 April 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0747267480
  • ISBN-13: 978-0747267485
  • Product Dimensions: 1.5 x 12.8 x 19.5 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 810,608 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

Amazon Review

Peter Jinks' debut novel, Hallam Foe, throws up an unlikely and somewhat unpleasant anti-hero in the title character. Forget the notable comparisons with Hamlet; there is something rather rotten in young Hallam's state of mind: his obsessive if not perverse habit is excessive voyeurism. Not that we should be too cynical according to Jinks who suggests that Hallam is merely "the product of a wider cultural movement, although of course he belonged to a different league entirely from the slack-mouthed telly-watchers and Internet-browsers below".

Master Foe's compulsive behaviour lands him in serious trouble with his wealthy father and, banished from the family estate, Hallam finds himself taking a room and a job in Edinburgh. Caught up in a business-emotional relationship with his boss and distracted by a reunion with his estranged sister, he watches the lives and loves of those closest to him unfold as his spying takes on a suddenly personal slant. This is sufficient to make him reconsider his way of life but never enough to prise him away from the rooftops and windowpanes.

Hallam often finds himself in dangerous scenarios that beggar belief but Jinks keeps his man just within range of reality and the emotion and anxiety that accompany his missions contribute to some tensely enjoyable sections. The plan-coming-together latter stage is a deliciously executed act of revenge that would not seem out of place in a Roald Dahl fantasy. With the end in sight, however, Hallam sways between inertia (with it the first steps to a "normal" life) and the draw of completing his masterpiece, ultimately to fulfil his "destiny". --David Thwaites --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.


'Effortlessly creepy and extremely entertaining...this little gem deserves to achieve cult status' -- THE TIMES

'One of the most distinctive and compelling protagonists of recent years...this gloriously dark novel is original, witty and full of surprises' -- MAIL ON SUNDAY

'Quite an achievement...quirky and even charming' -- Independent on Sunday

'Quite the oddest fictional debut of the year, and none the worse for it' -- Guardian

'Rightly compared to Iain Banks' THE WASP FACTORY...paints a compelling picture of troubled youth' -- BELFAST TELEGRAPH

'So terse and tense, so utterly packed with atmosphere, and potential to scare or excite, that you simply marvel at what Jinks can do' -- SCOTSMAN

'Superb... unusually exciting [and] amusing' -- SCOTLAND ON SUNDAY

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Customer Reviews

3 star
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4.7 out of 5 stars
4.7 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Readable, exciting but ultimately an anticlimax 25 Sep 2001
By A Customer
The author builds up the characters and their relationships well and keeps the interest building through most of the book towards what you think will be an explosive climax.
Forget what it says about taxidermy on the cover, this just amounts to a badger skin, however the main character does have an abnormal habit of engaging in the serial voyeurism of everyone he knows and you sense that he is one of life's innocents but ever so slightly mad. His mind state does seem to deteriorate but just when you expect the worst its all "happily ever after" in a twist at the end. There's still enough to keep you guessing though.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Voyeurism - it's in the eye of the beholder 22 Aug 2002
By A Customer
A teenage boy who gets his kicks spying on girls... Maybe not the most original premise, but this was a surprisingly good read.
Hallam is not your average teenage boy. Using his maze of childhood treehouses as a vantage point to spy through the windows of scantily clad girls and looking down on frolicking couples, he observes his "victims" and keeps extensive notes. This brings a whole new meaning to the term birdwatching.
From getting beaten up by thugs who think he is gay, to blazing rows with the wicked stepmother to moving away and finding a whole new array of subjects to snoop on, this is certainly an interesting read.
The plot is full of dark humour and makes for an excellent read. It'll certainly leave you feeling glad to be normal!
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Best Book. EVER. 21 Jun 2011
Honestly, an instant favourite!
Never will you find a book like this again! And naturally, the quality of the product is as promised :) brilliant.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 4.5 out of 5 stars  2 reviews
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Entertaining Read, Unique Story 23 Oct 2008
By Rama Lama - Published on Amazon.com
I picked this up when I heard about the movie (which has yet to be released here in the states). It is an odd coming of age and love story about a troubled youth who is good at heart, but expresses himself in odd ways (i.e. voyeurism). As a twisted love story, it reminds me of the movie Secretary. I found this book to be funny, charming, and somewhat touching. Even though the main character's actions aren't always directly relatable, he is likable you can empathize with his emotions. I feel this is well written, easy and enjoyable to read.
5.0 out of 5 stars a very good book. 5 Jan 2013
By lambert caput - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Book in good condition ; captivating story and fantastic setting.The movie is excellent too.Great novel,writer,film-maker, and actor.I recommend both the book and movie.
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