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IRONBARK [Kindle Edition]

Steve Venables
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (23 customer reviews)

Print List Price: £9.99
Kindle Price: £4.04 includes VAT* & free wireless delivery via Amazon Whispernet
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Product Description

Product Description

A damp funeral in the heart of industrial South Wales in 1972, leads to unexpected discoveries that spring from an old biscuit tin full of memories. A tin left as a life by the buried man to his friends, its contents spark a quest for his history; his world, his loves, his crimes, his treasures. A hidden friend they knew nothing of. Unexpected discoveries usher them through worlds of hardship, crime, intrigue, brutality, and racial tensions. Worlds where life is cheap. Two brothers, one woman, a tin box full of tantalising truths, secret truths which drive their search from 1919, across four continents, and beyond 1972 to the present day. The truths are uncomfortable, shocking and dangerous. ‘The Elephant’, Banjo, Dykka, Malakye, Eloise; each have their stories, each have their horrors, each have their lies. All are connected. The tin box releases the people they touched, the people they destroyed. The legacy of men from worlds apart and the woman who scarred them all. A story of desperate measures in desperate times, of need and desire, of lives lost and lives stolen. A story that spans a century. A story of the sea, of war, of passion. Your story. Everyone’s story.

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 957 KB
  • Print Length: 432 pages
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B0099QE9NU
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (23 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #347,185 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Exceptional read 23 Oct 2012
By Reedy
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Don't let the wooden title of this book put you of; it's exceptionally well researched and a thrilling read. I became quickly immersed in the fascinating characters and particularly liked the historical grounding of the book.It will bring a smile to those who are familiar with the villages of South Wales and beyond. A book to be recommended.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent storytelling 16 Oct 2012
By Richard
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Ironbark is a superb piece of storytelling. A series of beautifully constructed scenes covering decades, like the photographs in an old family album, weave a mystery around an old tin. Stephen's dry, cynical, observational wit is truly captivating and brings the characters to life. I particularly liked the scene in the bar after the funeral; it was so realistic, so much like similar events that I've attended in the past that I could have sworn that I'd been there. I thoroughly recommend Ironbark.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Story telling of the first order 4 Jan 2013
Really loved it, which is probably all I need to say but when you can's stop telling people about it you know you're reading something special. A novel full of rich characters kept me hooked all the way. A beautiful read that is so full of wonderful imagery I can easily see this becoming a great film one day. The story sweeps you through times of war, peace and across continents and is so full of very 'real' people I feel like I've actually met them. A cracker of a story (Apologies, I read it over Christmas!)It is in turn funny, brutal,mysterious and altogether brilliant!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Winning combination. 18 Nov 2012
Format:Kindle Edition
Ironbark has the winning combination; an original and fresh plot spanning decades and continents combined with extremely powerful characters. The historical background is extensively researched and this gives it that extra depth. Nothing could beat this wonderful and clever mix. It is well worth every penny and a second read, and I'm rather picky when it comes to choosing what I read, time is very precious.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Ironbark by Stephen Venables 2 Oct 2012
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Just finished reading the brilliant first novel Ironbark by Stephen Venables and would like to take this opportunity to thoroughly recommend this great read. As the story progresses the characters keep you captivated as they come to life in this intricately woven masterpiece.The author has widely researched the historical background which serves to give credence to the plot as it weaves its magical spell across the continents and across the decades.The story is full of twists and turns with a sense of wry warm Welsh humour. The story line keeps you engrossed right up to the last page.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Great story 18 Dec 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
It was brilliant how the many threads in this story were created and finally brought together. However, some serious proof reading is required on this version.
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5.0 out of 5 stars An Epic Tale 27 Aug 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Steve Venables has written an extraordinary tale and pulls no punches with his highly descriptive and often visceral writing style. I urge readers to ignore the confusing opening that flits to different characters, time zones and eras. The author deserves incredible praise for developing fully rounded characters and his desire to show them to us warts and all. Here we have a talented author with a fabulous grasp of the English language and a unique way of telling a story. If you like a well written, thumping good read, then this is the book for you. Highly recommended.
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4.0 out of 5 stars A marvellous and compelling story. 26 July 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
What to say about Ironbark? Sprawling comes to mind, but there is an epic quality that cannot be denied. From the beginning, the immensely detailed descriptive passages of localities, people and customs had me believing every word, investing in every character, becoming embroiled in every corner of the plot, sometimes with difficulty, as if I were reading a history book written by an artist.

The research in this book is remarkable and I had a distinct impression that some of it was autobiographical, but that may simply have been the skill of the author leading me up the garden path. Yes, there are elements of Dylan Thomas in there, and some of William Faulkner, in an odd way, but the writing is by turns idiosyncratic and sublime and carries its own impetus, its own stamp.

The downside? A good heavy proofread and edit would benefit this ebook. There is no excuse for formatting, spelling and grammar faults, particularly in a book like Ironbark, which deserves so much better. The occasional glitch is present in every book, but not in such quantity. I almost stopped reading it at one point; only the glorious prose pulled me kicking and screaming through the tangle of errors.

But I'm glad I persisted.

Ironbark is ultimately rewarding. This is storytelling by an ebullient enthusiast for the written word, who perhaps forgets about the niceties in the urge to tell what is a marvellous and compelling story. Not a simple narrative construction, book lovers with intelligence should read this work. I suppose that means I had an excuse not to do so, but trust me, even at my level of comprehension I enjoyed Ironbark enormously and would willingly read it again.

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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Flashes of genius in this fresh, original tale
It took me a while to get into this book, written in a fresh and original style, with different eras and threads. Read more
Published 16 months ago by Alexx
5.0 out of 5 stars Loved it!
This was one of those books that took me a little bit of time to get into and then when I did, I could not put it down. Read more
Published 17 months ago by Angela Ramsay
5.0 out of 5 stars Ironbark
Ironbark is a magnificent debut novel spanning both a century and continents. The characters come to life as you follow their livers and their connections and the description of... Read more
Published 18 months ago by rep
4.0 out of 5 stars great read from start to finish,i found it hard to put down.
good read and held my interest from start to finish. australian scenes very much brought to life, in fact all areas in book very much real.
Published 19 months ago by Amazon Customer
1.0 out of 5 stars Really?
It is very rare that I will put down a book once I have started reading it but I gave up after 17%, conceding that there were better things to read already loaded on my Kindle. Read more
Published 19 months ago by mmos9
2.0 out of 5 stars ironbark
it was not the book i thought it woul be very disapointed perhaps someone would like it but it was not my type
Published 19 months ago by maureen debnam
4.0 out of 5 stars IRONBARK
I found it abit hard to get into at first. then when I got the jist of the story I couldnt put it down. I liked the way the Auther went back and forth. Read more
Published 20 months ago by Rose
5.0 out of 5 stars Cracking Read!
Before opening the book I did wonder if this would be just another pastiche on Welsh valleys' life but I couldn't have been more wrong! Read more
Published 20 months ago by bevjoneswriting
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