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Head of Words Kindle Edition

5 out of 5 stars 7 customer reviews

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Length: 315 pages

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Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 6181 KB
  • Print Length: 315 pages
  • Publisher: AMMFA Publishing; 1 edition (14 Jan. 2014)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00CBDD73Q
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Not Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars 7 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #593,193 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Kindle Edition
Sometimes, you see where a novel is going and guess the surprise twist well before getting to it. Sometimes, if the writer is really good, it doesn't take away from the enjoyment of the novel.

In the case of Head of Words, I felt like a co-conspirator with author Chris Ward. I guessed what he was going to do with the story line, and I kept going for two reasons: first, because this new novel is such a good read; and only secondarily because I wanted to make sure that I was right.

I was, and I loved the novel.

The plot
Head of Words is narrated by Daniel Barker, a university drop-out who's set up a "doss house" in a very small apartment in Bristol. For my readers on the western side of the Atlantic, that means he takes in as roommates just about everyone he meets. At the opening of the novel, there are thirteen people living in the one-bedroom flat, plus a small dog: Daniel himself; the angry and dangerous Shane; Stevie, who dreams of being a rock singer; Aunt Rita and Uncle Rick; the cynical Clive, Dan's oldest friend who's endlessly playing chess with Uncle Rick; the bickering, indecisive twins, Ernie and George; Polly, the exotic pole dancer; Angelo, the great seducer; Bernard from Jamaica, who has an inexhaustible supply of weed; the eccentric tinkerer Franz; and the latest addition, Lisa, the talented artist.

The book chronicles the adventures, stresses, arguments and compromises inevitable among such a large group in a small space. Aunt Rita establishes some kind of order, cooking meals that somehow stretch one income to feed thirteen people and a dog.
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Format: Kindle Edition
Dan Barker's life is slowly descending into chaos as more and more people move into his tiny flat. Eventually every available space is taken and tempers begin to rise. The only way to escape the tension is to climb up onto the roof. Odd as this scenario is, it becomes even more peculiar when you realise that Dan's relationship with the outside world is very strange indeed. What is really going on?

Once again Chris Ward has hooked me with his exploration of the weird. One by one we learn about the other inhabitants of the flat. Their personalities range from sweet to warm and outgoing to downright psychopathic. As the story progresses there is a rising feeling of paranoia. Something somewhere is going to give.
I would agree with previous reviewers that the reader begins to understand what is happening fairly early on in the story, but this does not detract from the enjoyment.
Chris Ward is always a delight to read. He is a writer of consummate skill and I would read him for the beauty of his prose alone, but I am also fascinated by his plots. He consistently writes outside the square and even when you think you understand where a story is going you can never be completely sure.

Another winner!
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Format: Kindle Edition
The book started well, with a nice pull-in for the reader. The characters are well developed, quite distinct from each other and very believable, which is not always easy to achieve. I thought I'd spotted some basic writing errors, but as the plot unfolded I realised that I hadn't. It was simply very clever writing. I lost my way a little in the middle, but that might just be me - short attention span. The twists and turns at the end hooked me back in.

This is not the sort of genre I usually read, so it was doubly nice to find something different that I enjoyed. I'll certainly read some more of Chris's work.
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Format: Audio Download
Head of Words is a book of two parts. It is Daniel Barker’s story who lives with 13 other people and a dog in a tiny apartment in Bristol in the UK. The listener is introduced to this eccentric group of residents in short vignettes that show how Daniel met them, what these people do (or more likely, not do) and what their personalities are like. To Daniel, they are his family. But with so many different individuals crowded together, there are obviously arguments and a lot of tension. Then one day, a tragic event changes Daniel’s life and leaves him separated from his family and totally confused. That’s where the second part of the story and the “action” starts. And this part is much darker and quite mysterious, as Daniel tries to come to terms with the loss of his family (well, kind of).
I’ve been having a bit of a run lately with books that have been unusual and this is another one of those. I had never heard of this author before, but thought the book description sounded quite intriguing, and it certainly turned out to be a very unique story.
The writing is really straightforward, and Daniel’s narration as he introduces the listener to his family and his life is very entertaining and fun to listen to, especially if you are familiar with life in Britain. I loved his slightly sarcastic tone and was smiling through a lot of the first part. Then the tone really changes in the second part, and there are some great twists and a rather lovely ending. Very cleverly constructed.
First-time narrator, Tim Bick, did a great job of portraying Daniel as a believable, sometimes conflicted character. The narration was straightforward and natural but interjected sufficient emotion in the right places. I would certainly listen to other audio books narrated by Mr. Bick in the future.
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