- Paperback: 32 pages
- Publisher: Red Fox; New Ed edition (5 Mar. 1998)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0099461811
- ISBN-13: 978-0099461814
- Product Dimensions: 22.5 x 0.5 x 29.5 cm
- Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars See all reviews (33 customer reviews)
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 11,297 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
How To Live Forever (Red Fox Picture Books) Paperback – 5 Mar 1998
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More About the Author
"The story of a missing book, a child who holds the secret of everlasting life and a library that comes to life at night . . . Children and adults will relish it" (Financial Times)
From the Back Cover
'You've come for this haven't you?' said the man holding out a small book. Peter took it and read the faded words:
HOW TO LIVE FOREVER, or IMMORTALITY FOR BEGINNERS...
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Top Customer Reviews
It is a magical story about a library that comes to life at night, and a young boy's quest to find a book that has been missing for 200 years.
It is a truly excellent book, and a modern day classic. Adults and Children of all ages are sure to love it. We did, and our ages range from seven to eighty two!
In fact, I've enjoyed it so much that I'm going to buy the hardback version too.
The Thompson books are built around illustrations drawn in a similar style, although the ones here seem grander and more expansive. They feature full two page spread drawings; at least in hardback that makes each drawing about 11 by 17 inches. They are loaded with the same dense, busy, inventive, bizarre, and amusing bits as are the puzzle illustrations.
That said, sometimes Thompson books are carried entirely by the drawings, with just a minimal storyline to tie them together. Sometimes the point of the story is hard to decipher. Not so here. This book has a strong narrative - our hero is searching for the one book that teaches a person how to live forever, and, when he finds it, our hero has to decide whether to read it. The knowledge it contains has serious and life altering consequences. This is heady stuff, but it is handled gently and in a thought provoking manner.
This struck me as mostly a sit-and-look-at book. You could read it out loud, but without the illustrations the actual narrative lacks punch. However, as a sit together on the sofa and look at the drawings book, well, this is just superb. There are literally hours of looking built into the pages, and you could go through the book over and over again without exhausting its appeal.
So, if you have a little one who likes detailed, clever, funny art, or is at all drawn to visual story-telling or even just amusing pictures, this book, (and pretty much any Thompson illustrated book), could be a very nice choice.
There are a couple of pages that stand out for being a bit different - one page, describing a scene set in the Orient, is an excellent representation of Chinese Willow Pattern design - however these pages are different because it fits with the story.
The story itself started off excellently - a library that comes to life at night, with people and animals coming out from the books (which themselves turn into houses) and the main character Peter resolving, with his pet cat Brian, to find the book so they can both live forever . Sadly though, at about halfway through, the pace of the book seemed to slow down considerably . The ending of the book was particularly disappointing - not the ending itself, so much as the way it was written, which was incredibly vague and lacking the rich detail of the earlier pages in the book . My daughter had started to get bored of hearing the story towards the end and had wondered off, which I suppose speaks for itself.
Overall, I felt quite let down by this book - the early pages had seemed so promising, and the illustrations throughout were gorgeous. It's just a shame it lost pace and ended poorly.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
This is an amazing book which I bought years ago for my children and now buy for friends. the pictures alone will keep you and your child engaged for hours but the story is really... Read morePublished 8 months ago by Mrs Sandra Tester
Not too sure about the story line but my children love looking at the illustrations and we tend to do that and make up our own stories. Read morePublished 12 months ago by Nell
Fantastic book. The pictures are superb. Have used in primary class for many thoughtful discussions. Read morePublished 13 months ago by AD