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Holes [Paperback]

Louis Sachar
4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (772 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 (772 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 316 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
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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10 of 10 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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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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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Holes (Great book) 26 Oct 2003
By Caz
Format:Audio Cassette
I have read holes many times and have also seen the film i love the book and would reccomend it to anyone.
Louis Sachar has done a great job on this book and many others i have read such as:
Dogs don't tell jokes,
The boy who lost his face and
there's a boy in the girls bathroom.
I would like to see Louis Sachar and more books in the future.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Read It! 5 Nov 2002
Holes by Louis Sachar is, without a doubt, an absolutely superb text and I could not put it down. The last fifty pages are fantastically crafted and you really engage with the characters. The ending is unexpected and thrilling. Buy it...
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
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 day ago by mrs p baddeley
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent.
The book arrived in the post extremely quickly. Excellent.
Published 2 days 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 2 days ago by Anonymous
4.0 out of 5 stars He said " great book, really well written
My son aged 13 read this book in two days. He said " great book, really well written, so much so that you think it's a true story."
Published 5 days ago by sarah & patrick wheeler
5.0 out of 5 stars Read this book!!!
Gripping and unusual. Coudn't put it down!
Published 7 days ago by Joanna D.
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Thank you x
Published 8 days ago by Miss D Slawson
5.0 out of 5 stars For all ages
I've read this book at different ages and it never fails to enjoy. Entertaining, clever, touching. Sachars sequel is very good as well.
Published 11 days ago by Ludwig
5.0 out of 5 stars Must read
This is a book that once you pick you can't stop. This is the best book for 9-15 year olds out there
Published 14 days ago by connor
5.0 out of 5 stars she thoroughly enjoyed the book and is looking for more by
purchased for my 11 year old daughter, she thoroughly enjoyed the book and is looking for more by Sachar
Published 28 days ago by happybuyer
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant
I'm reading this as an adult and loved it, my niece is 11 and loved it too! A definite buy for any age group well written easy to read with a great story line thoroughly enjoyed it
Published 1 month ago by lilmonster_86
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