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Hexwood [Paperback]

Diana Wynne Jones
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (27 customer reviews)

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Book Description

Sep 2002
Hexwood is like human memory. It does not need to take events in their correct order. Hexwood Farm is full of machines that should not be tampered with and when one is, the after-shock is felt throughout the universe. Only Hume, Ann and Mordion can prevent an apocalypse.
--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Product details

  • Paperback: 464 pages
  • Publisher: HarperTrophy (Sep 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0064473554
  • ISBN-13: 978-0064473552
  • Product Dimensions: 17.2 x 10.6 x 2.7 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (27 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 5,609,354 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Diana Wynne Jones is recognised internationally as a major writer of fantasy and in 2007 received a LIFE ACHIEVEMENT AWARD at the World Fantasy Convention. She has also won the Mythopoeic Fantasy Award (twice) and the Guardian Award for CHARMED LIFE. Her books have been translated into more than eighteen languages, and her novel HOWL'S MOVING CASTLE was made into an animated film by Japanese director Hayao Miyazaki. Diana lives in Bristol with her husband, a professor of Early English literature.

Product Description


“…Her hallmarks include laugh-aloud humour, plenty of magic and imaginative array of alternate worlds. Yet, at the same time, a great seriousness is present in all of her novels, a sense of urgency that links Jones’s most outrageous plots to her readers’ hopes and fears…”
Publishers Weekly

--This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

From the Back Cover

"All I did was ask you for a role-playing game. You never warned me I'd be pitched into it for real! And I asked you for Hobbits on a grail quest, and not one Hobbit have I seen!"

When Controller Borasus receives a strange letter from Earth he is both curious and alarmed. Someone has activated an ancient machine – and is using it for most trivial purposes! Surely no one would dare to tamper with Reigner seals in this way? Yet the effects of such interference should resonate throughout the universe, so he decides to go to Hexwood Farm to investigate…

On Hexwood Estate, Ann watches the mysterious comings and goings with interest. Hexwood is like human memory; it doesn't reveal its secrets in chronological order. Consequently, whenever Ann enters Hexwood, she cannot guarantee on ending up in the same place or even the same time. She knows something deadly is going on – or is Hexwood simply altering her too?

--This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

Inside This Book (Learn More)
First Sentence
THE LETTER WAS IN Earth script, unhandily scrawled in blobby blue ballpoint. Read the first page
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Browse Sample Pages
Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Back Cover
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Customer Reviews

4.5 out of 5 stars
4.5 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
19 of 19 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Simply magical 14 Dec 2005
The first time I read this book, I didn't understand it. It was confusing, almost contradictory, and absolutely nothing was what it seemed - and I loved it. The multi-faceted characters were wonderfully portrayed, and it was brimming with that Diana Wynne Jones magic that pervades every one of her books. And, of course, I fancied Mordion instantly.
I'm pretty sure I understand it slightly better now, but on every re-read there are quirks, plot twists and surprising realisations that I'm sure I have never seen before - certainly, it's a book that demand several readings to be appreciated fully. The non-chronological structure, rich mythological references and multiple confused identities might in any other book make for a tedious read. However with Wynne Jones's magical flair they make this tale even more full of wonder, and it sparkles even on a baffling first read.
If you simply enjoy reading a book once, or switching your brain off while you read, this isn't the book for you, but if you happen to be a fan of 'challenging' books, or love to think while you're reading, or even just enjoy rich fantasy, I would say this book is an utter must-read. This book may be more complicated than some of the others, but it is my favourite Diana Wynne Jones book, and an essential for all fans.
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Unique 5 Mar 2001
By A Customer
A friend of mine returned this to me, saying in a distusted voice "It's a cross between a fairy tale and something else." Well, it is like that kinda but I love it. Hexwood is always the first book that I lend to people when introducing them to diana-wynne jones. It is a highly interesting book requiring lots of attention and re-reading to get a really grip on the story. And really wholesome characters and plot, some books just make you feel empty at the end, this one definitely does not.
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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
By A Customer
I bought this book today, and have just read it straight through without stopping. It's absolutely wonderful. And it's a crime that it's only in the children's section of my local book shop, because it fits quite well up alongside many of the science fiction and fantasy classics which I have read. READ THIS BOOK!
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A literary jigsaw puzzle 11 April 2011
The events of this book are told out of sequence, and yet they are laid out in chronological order. Sounds odd? This is a decidedly odd book, in a fascinating and absorbing way.

Early in the story we meet Ann, a teenager recovering from a long illness. Bored of lying in bed, Ann adjusts her bedroom mirror so she can see the goings-on at the Hexwood Farm Estate opposite her street. And the goings-on are very strange indeed. All manner of peculiar people go in - and none of them come out. As soon as Ann is feeling better, she goes to investigate.

She finds that Hexwood is much bigger than it ought to be, and nothing there is as it appears to be either. She makes regular visits to 'Hume' (short for 'Human'), a boy who was created from blood and magic. She is also fascinated by the mysterious Mordion, a powerful but melancholy wizard whose real identity is unclear.

The events within the wood are generated by a mysterious machine known as 'the Bannus' - the best generator of role-playing games imaginable. Nobody is ever as they seem - or even who they believe themselves to be. Nothing happens quite when it ought to. But this elaborate charade is quite necessary in order to overthrow the ruthless 'Reigner' organisation, who have controlled Earth and every other world for a thousand years.

Reading this book is like doing a literary jigsaw puzzle. All the pieces are there, but it's intriguingly hard to figure out how they fit together. Plot twists and surprising revelations come thick and fast as the book nears its end. I was riveted by it and read it in a single day. Truly original and highly recommended for any reader who enjoys the strange, weird, imaginative tales with a twist of mystery.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Complex, head-scratching and rewarding 15 May 2003
A much more demanding read - but worth every moment. Nothing in Hexwood is what you think - and noone is who you think (or for that matter who they think). Keep your wits about you and you will get a lot out of this book - as with anything by the wonderful Wynne Jones.
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant 14 Aug 2001
I love this book! It really captures your imagination, and the way you jump to different times, if not a little confusing, is really brilliant. If you dont like being confused then this isn't for you, Just as i thought i had go what was going on it changed again. I sat reading hexwood in a minibus while touring the rockies, i looked up at my friend was laughing at me, confused, i asked her why, she was laughing at the stupid face i had been pulling while trying to get my head around the ever changing plot. This is a fabulous read.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Clever and altogether beautiful 1 April 2012
By Ged
I have just finished reading this for my children and, oh boy, did we all enjoy it. If you have read any Diana Wynne Jones you already know her writing is clever and altogether beautiful. We have been fans for a while and I have to read her books out loud so that we can enjoy them together. The craftsmanship in Dianne's writing is evident as her sentences roll off the tongue in a way that makes us all hang on each chapter desperate to know what is going on and what wonderful journey she is taking us on. This is an unusual book in structure but stick with it - everything makes sense in the end and sooner if you follow the clues. It is a satisfying read and enough of a brain teaser to keep even adult readers guessing. Although it is a complex book and you don't really know what is going on at the beginning you enjoy getting to know the characters and there are subtle payoffs sprinkled throughout the whole story. Reading some children's books is a chore but I open the first page of a Diana Wynne Jones book with the same eager expectation as my young listeners.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
3.0 out of 5 stars Far too 'messy'.
I don't normally give up on a book, but halfway through this novel I just couldn't be bothered with it any more. Read more
Published 1 month ago by SpookyRex
5.0 out of 5 stars I love this book
I read and reread this book as a child and loved it. I absolutely recommend it, although I will say it's a bit hard to follow the first time you read it but it's worth pushing... Read more
Published 2 months ago by MISS E FITZGERALD
4.0 out of 5 stars Confusing but enjoyable
Hexwood was one of the most confusing Diana Wynne Jones books I've read, and it is difficult to comment on the plot without giving away the central idea. Read more
Published 9 months ago by Ms Louise Wilford
5.0 out of 5 stars Hexwood
A beautifully written book with a dizzying number of twists and turns, doubling back in time and projecting forward. Myth, sci-fi and political thriller in turn. Read more
Published 10 months ago by V
3.0 out of 5 stars A good yarn
I read this again as I had good memories of it from childhood. Second time around I found the plot confusing, but obviously
the atmosphere had stuck with me all these years so... Read more
Published 17 months ago by Ursula
3.0 out of 5 stars Hexwood
This book took a long time to be delivered, and when I received it, to my horror it was an ex library book. I've had a guilt complex ever since. Read more
Published 17 months ago by Ms A J Girvan
4.0 out of 5 stars Almost perfect
This book is brilliant. It's very complex, so you'll need more than one read through to fully understand and appreciate everything, and it's very different (though no less... Read more
Published 23 months ago by Miss L. Bruce-Kerr
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent read.
This is the first diana wynne jones book i have read - i have already ordered more! While this could be read by the younger reader i think it has enought to recommend it to even... Read more
Published on 13 April 2012 by Flix
4.0 out of 5 stars Very good.
4.5 stars or 5.5/10.

This book will be enjoyable to adults, although it is written to be understood by younger readers. Read more
Published on 5 April 2012 by John
5.0 out of 5 stars Awesome!
Sitting down to read a Diana Wynne Jones book is like absorbing a soothing balm. It's a delicious story full of meat and romance (did you fall in love with Mordian or what?)! Read more
Published on 24 Nov 2011 by Sophie O
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