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Holes [Paperback]

Louis Sachar
4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (779 customer reviews)
RRP: 6.99
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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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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 (779 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 396 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.

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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
27 of 27 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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75 of 77 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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31 of 32 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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11 of 11 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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10 of 10 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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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars one of the very best! 1 July 2002
Stanley Yelnats is quite a fat boy, who doesn't have an easy life. His family is rather poor, because of a strange bad luck that runs in the family, which is always blamed on the 'rotten, no-good, pig-stealing great great grandfather'. Stanley is not left out on this streak of bad luck- he is bullied by smaller kids and is wrongly accused of a theft.
So Stanley is sent to Camp Green Lake- which, in fact, does not have a lake- a camp for 'bad boys,' where the kids have to dig a 5 foot deep and wide hole each day under the burning sun. Stanley becomes aquainted to the boys, who are not as bad as people say, and to the mysterious 'Zero.' Digging holes is supposed to make the boys see their mistakes and become 'good.' But is that the real reason for their digging?
We are introduced to other characters from the past, and the curse that was set on the town which preceded Camp Green Lake, and it is up to Stanley to find out the past- his family's past- and to correct the curse that was set upon them.
This is one of the best books i have ever read. I was pleased after the first reading, but that is nothing compared to the 2nd time. this book contains little details that make all the difference, and twists that startle you. I recommend this book to anyone over 12 years of age who knows how to appreciate litterature.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Holes By louis Sachar 2 Nov 2003
By Shorty
When I first saw the front cover I didn't really know what it was about!! But I did think it might be about lizards and holes. Something not very good but it was totaly the opposite.
The book was mainly about a boy called Stanley Yelnats who had been sentenced to 1 years of jail or camp. Stanley chooses camp not knowing it was going to be as bad as it was. When he got there he found out that for the next 1 years he would be digging HOLES! During the story there are a few sidetracks but they relate to each other later on in the story, which gives it a really good twist. While at camp Stanley meets a boy called Hector Zeroni (Zero) they get up to lots of mischief. Mr Sir (one of the men in charge) didn't like the trouble they caused and made sure they knew that.
The part I liked the best was when Stanley found Zero. I bet your thinking what the earth is she talking about, so I'll tell you.... When zero hit Mr Pendanski he ran away and as Stanley was such good friends with Zero he was thinking should I go after him or not? In the end he did go but when he went he made sure everyone knew about it. After a long time of walking or so it seemed to Stanley he saw a object In the distance when he got there it turned out to be a boat and under the boat was Zero a bit ugly and dehydrated but he was so glad to of found his friend alive.
The part I least liked was......... there wasn't one the whole of the book is so good but there is one thing that I would change and that would be what happened on the last two pages as it was boring and needed to be told in a different way!!
The main characters were Stanley and Zero. Stanley was a fat boy who was bullied at school but when he was sentence to digging holes he became skinny, confident and wasn't scared of any one.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant
This book is totally amazing I loved it . Yellow spotted lizards really freak me out . I highly recommend it!!!!!!!!
Published 7 days ago by Claire P.
5.0 out of 5 stars Didn't want to put this book down.
A great book. The story was well thought out with links throughout, making it an extremely interesting read. Read more
Published 11 days ago by LC
5.0 out of 5 stars wonderful.
such a clever book, threads woven seamlessly and gathered,wonderful.
Published 19 days ago by mushu
4.0 out of 5 stars A must reader
This was a very enjoyable read and I finished it within seconds of starting it because I just couldn't put the book down the reason I gave it four stars not three stars is because... Read more
Published 23 days ago by Frances Hutchings
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
A great book
Published 1 month ago by katrina mecalfe
5.0 out of 5 stars Amazing book
this book is really good. I watched the movie before so I vaguely knew the story. it says adult edition but I am nine and I understand it perfectly. Read more
Published 1 month ago by By Mara Stevens
5.0 out of 5 stars Great book
It's an amazing book and it switches between times in the book very well and I have love reading it!
Published 1 month ago by a guy
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
An original read. Very spare on detail but rich in story and atmosphere. Have downloaded the follow up.
Published 1 month ago by mrs p baddeley
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent.
The book arrived in the post extremely quickly. Excellent.
Published 1 month ago by Marilyn Stringer
5.0 out of 5 stars Amazing
Great book to read hard to put down and it has an excellent plot to it so I would recommend
Published 1 month ago by Anonymous
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