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Holes [Paperback]

Louis Sachar
4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (747 customer reviews)
RRP: 6.99
Price: 3.85 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over 10. Details
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Book Description

2 Oct 2000
Stanley Yelnats' family has a history of bad luck going back generations, so he is not too surprised when a miscarriage of justice sends him to Camp Green Lake Juvenile Detention Centre. Nor is he very surprised when he is told that his daily labour at the camp is to dig a hole, five foot wide by five foot deep, and report anything that he finds in that hole. The warden claims that it is character building, but this is a lie and Stanley must dig up the truth. In this wonderfully inventive, compelling novel that is both serious and funny, Louis Sachar has created a masterpiece that will leave all readers amazed and delighted by the author's narrative flair and brilliantly handled plot.

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Holes + Holes [DVD] [2003] + Small Steps
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Product details

  • Paperback: 240 pages
  • Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing PLC; New edition edition (2 Oct 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 074754459X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0747544593
  • Product Dimensions: 12.9 x 19.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (747 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 397 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Louis Sachar was born in New York. He was inspired to write children's books after working as a teacher's aide to gain extra credit. After graduation he worked in a sweater warehouse in Connecticut and wrote at night. He was soon fired from that job and moved onto law school where in his first week of study Sideways Stories From Wayside School was published. In 2000 Louis Sacher wrote Holes which became both an instant classic and a film starring Sigourney Weaver. Holes was his first book to be published in the UK and continues to prove popular among younger readers. Once Louis Sachar begins writing a new book he refuses to talk to anyone until it is finished and entry to his office is barred apart from his two dogs. The Cardturner is his new book which publishes in 2010.

Product Description

Amazon Review

"I'm not going to run away," Stanley said. "Good thinking, " said Mr Sir. "Nobody runs away from here. We don't need a fence. Know why? Because we've got the only water for a hundred miles. You want to run away? You'll be buzzard food in three days." Stanley could see some kids dressed in orange and carrying shovels dragging themselves towards the tents. "You thirsty?" asked Mr Sir. "Yes, Mr Sir," Stanley said gratefully. "Well, you better get used to it. You're going to be thirsty for the next eighteen months."

If you are looking for a truly remarkable novel, something to get your teeth into, something to make you think, and something to make you feel that you have just touched real class, then look no further than Louis Sachar's extraordinary, award-winning novel Holes.

Camp Greenlake is a place for bad boys, where the belief is: "if you take a bad boy and make him dig a hole every day in the hot sun, it will turn him into a good boy." When Stanley Yelnats, accused and found guilty of a crime he did not commit, is sent to Camp Greenlake he really doesn't think it can be so bad. Stanley and his family try to pretend that he is just going away to camp like the rich kids do, and he promises to write to them every day. But the harsh realities of the camp, and the evil Warden with her lizard-venom impregnated fingernails with her own reasons for making the boys in her charge dig so many holes, sometimes make dying seem like a great idea. When Stanley leaves the camp to go in search of his friend Zero, their journey towards freedom becomes a battle with hunger, thirst and heat in the shadow of Big Thumb--a mountain so entwined in Stanley's own family history that he knows if they can reach it they will somehow find salvation.

A complex story, riddled with the harsh imagery and barren despair, Holes is a perceptive and intricate homage to family and friendship which never shies away from the harshest of realities yet injects the story of a seemingly hopeless boy with a sly, sideways humour that crackles against the backdrop of the arid wastelands of the desert. A must for anyone, young or old, who relishes an intelligent, courageous and dynamic read. (Age 11 and over) --Susan Harrison


'A miracle of a book - a fast, involving read that conceals an incredibly clever structure packed with surprises' -- TBK magazine, Spring 2009, Issue 24

`A truly life-affecting read, I get everyone I know to read it'
-- Waterstone's Guide to Kid's Books, February 2009

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
26 of 26 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars AMAZING ! 24 July 2007
This isn't my usual sort of book at all but I was far from disappointed. This is an extraordinary story from start to finish with not a boring page or even sentence to struggle through. Without being repetitive (Amazon reviews and the Synopsis tell it all) this is a teenager/adult book starting with a curse on a family which reaches its climax over a hundred years later with the two "stars" of the story, Stanley and Zero. After saying this is a teenagers book, I have passed it to my husband, mum and other friends, all of who agree that it is a captivating story for adults as well as teens. I'm sure most readers (of any style of book) can't help but love this one for the very clever story that it is.
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74 of 76 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A great story. 7 Jan 2003
By A Customer
I love this book! It's style is very simple, but somehow it holds you from beginning to end. It's basically three stories taking place in three different times all in one book. All three are beautifully intertwined.
The main story is about a very unlucky boy called Stanley Yelnats (notice the palindrome?) who is sent to a detention camp for a crime he didn't commit. Every day he has to dig a large hole, under the blazing Texas sun, without much water. He is told that it is character-building, but he soon realises that the camp owner is searching for something hidden in the dried-up lake-bed. Stanley finds tiny clues along the way and eventually works out why he and the other boys are being made to dig every day, and how this ties in with his own family's past, and future.
This is a fantastic story and very well-written book. Read it!
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30 of 31 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Holes 15 Oct 2004
By A Customer
I think Holes is a brilliant book. We did it for a reading book in school- I didn't think it would be very good but once I started it I couldn't put it down the flashbacks are brilliant. I love the way it kept reflecting back to the past and the main story line was brillian too.
I love the way the story has lots of different characters and I especially liked Zero. It's a brilliant book!
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A great read! 16 Nov 2006
I read this as an adult and really enjoyed it, I would say its a fast and fun read and if you're an adult looking to get a present for anyone from 10 - 14/15 y/o depending on level of maturity and literacy I'd recommend it. The story is set in a secure youth offenders unit in the US with sadistic jailors - covers issues of literacy/lack of education, justice and injustice, bullying, friendship, loyalty and abuse of power. All sounds a bit serious when put like that, but its very funny and moving and clearly a bit of a fantasy as well as including the above issues.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
I read this book on the recommendation of my 13 year old daughter and was enthralled by it, as was my husband who read it after me. Stanley is an instantly sympathetic character, and the reader is pulled into his unfortunate situation from the outset. The plot is intriguing and unfolds carefully, whilst the threads of the past are casually thrown in and then unexpectedly drawn together at the end. I found this a delightful tale, told with humour and pathos, suitable for all ages and not just children.
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18 of 19 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Dig in! 31 Jan 2006
Imagine being wrongly accused of a crime you didn't commit. Imagine being forced to dig a five-foot hole everyday, in the boiling hot desert. Imagine the idea of doing this everyday for the next eighteen months. And then you might just be able to understand how Stanley Yelnats (the fourth) is feeling.
Stanley is always in the wrong place at the wrong time, which his family blames on his no-good-rotten-pig-stealing-great-great-grandfather. When this lands Stanley in Camp Green Lake, a camp for bad boys, he finds that there may be more to his family's history than he knows, and it has something to do with an onion picker, a kissin' outlaw, an old lady named Madame Zeroni, and the thumb of God.
With the deadly yellow-spotted lizards, the Warden and Mr Sir all there to make his life a misery, Stanley's time there is hardly enjoyable. But when he finds a gold-coloured tube while digging his hole he discovers even more holes to fill.
The book is fast-paced and contains many lives which all tie into each other. The parts transfer so smoothly that it's difficult to get lost, and the book is so addictive that it's hard to put down. It allows a deep look into friendships, hardships and relationships. You can immediately sense a character's personality, although it's easy to see that there's something more complicated there. You can feel you know the characters for years after a single chapter and quite simple it's a book you will not forgot in a long time. It shows life from different points of view and manages to do it all with a touch of humour. It contains the forbidden love of a school teacher and a Negro and two curses: one on the town of Green Lake and one on the Yelnats family.
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16 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Holes- a reveiw 6 Dec 2006

Louis Sachar

When Stanley Yelnats is accused of stealing a pair of trainers from a famous Basketball player and asked to chose between the punishment of going to jail or going to camp green lake he responds by saying "I've never been to camp before." When he arrived at camp green lake he meet Armpit, Z-ray, zero and the rest of the gang. Camp green lake is positioned in what used to be a lovely thriving town that had a lake and everything else a town could want. Now it is a desert where it never rains, the lake is all dried up and boys who have broken the law are sent to dig holes all day to build character, or so the warden says. One day Zero runs away and later Stanley goes after him. They get stranded without food or water and are both convinced it's the end of them both, but then something miraculas happens...

Louis Sachar does a great job introducing his characters and building on their personalities and relationships throughout the book. Also he leaves you with more and more questions every page of the book. This story is well thought out and a great read for anyone. I would highly recomend it to everyone.

Read the book to find out the answers to these questions

Is there really a curse on the Yelnat family?

Is it really to build character that the boys are foced to dig holes every day?

What is on top of god's thumb if anything?

Will Stanley and Zero make it through the desert and survive with the deadly yellow spotted lizards?
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Read in a flash
My daughter, aged almost 9, whizzed through this book and absolutely loved it. I think I might have a read myself!
Published 14 days ago by Mrs
4.0 out of 5 stars 0Right
The only way I find it was a good idea to kill the boy scouts and the deathly Hallows the boy was in minecraft how much of the rings online at least one that is the boy scouts to... Read more
Published 14 days ago by Kirkland Smulders
5.0 out of 5 stars Love it
read it in school a couple of years ago loved it then love it now. recommend to anyone such a good book
Published 15 days ago by amber wren
4.0 out of 5 stars very good
I think it was very interesting and it is very good to read at school. It is good to start a discussion
Published 21 days ago by Kishan
5.0 out of 5 stars Holes
The book is very interesting and is very well written. I had a lot of fun reading the book and look forward to reading another book from the other Louis Sachar. Read more
Published 23 days ago by Rhys Simpson
3.0 out of 5 stars Better than the title sounds!
I gave this three stars as I think it was written for teenagers really, but I did read it through. It is quite a short book and easy to get through. Read more
Published 26 days ago by Mas
5.0 out of 5 stars Great storyline
REALLY GOOD STORY!! Anyone that loves a twist in a story and
A story that all connects really well together will absolutely LOVE Holes! Read more
Published 28 days ago by fun app amazing time killer
5.0 out of 5 stars Holes
Ultra epic! Dig into this book! Absolutely loved it. Amazing. Couldn't put it down. Hope you love it too. 5 stars
Published 1 month ago by Rishi Shukla
5.0 out of 5 stars Brill
amazing I love louis sachar I have read most of his books and this one's the best I loved it
Published 1 month ago by florence maskell
5.0 out of 5 stars BRILLIANT!!
A fantastic book, really easy to read, a wonderful and clever story line
A great book for all ages. One of the best!
Published 1 month ago by epicj33
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is there any parts of the Book Holes that arn't in the film? 0 12 Jan 2014
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