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One for Sorrow, Two for Joy [Hardcover]

Clive Woodall
3.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (18 customer reviews)

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Book Description

Jan 2005
The surprise bestseller from the Sainsbury's supermarket worker that hit the national newspaper front pages, now available in a stunning mass-market edition Welcome to Birddom - a land where Magpies rule. Dark forces are at work. An evil intelligence is masterminding their inexorable rise. Dominance has been achieved by systematic genocide and slaughter. In Birddom, blackbird and sparrow have been exterminated. The magpie has replaced the pigeon in the city and the starling in the garden. For small birds throughout the land, survival is everything. Birddom needs a hero. A bird to fight in the darkness, and bring light back to the land. But what can one bird do in the face of such evil?
--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Ace Books (Jan 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0441012655
  • ISBN-13: 978-0441012657
  • Product Dimensions: 20.6 x 13.2 x 3.3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (18 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 2,155,777 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description


"'Should we believe the hype? Yes' Sunday Express 'An assured performance' Times Educational Supplement 'An epic tale in the tradition of Watership Down and Lord of the Rings' --AlanYentob" --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

About the Author

Clive Woodall is a supermarket worker whose life has been transformed following the publication of his first novel, ONE FOR SORROW, a UK bestseller, soon to be a Disney film, with translation rights sold in twenty countries. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Inside This Book (Learn More)
First Sentence
KIRRICK sat high in the ash tree, concealed from open view by the foliage and relatively safe. Read the first page
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Heartbreaking & uplifting 11 May 2014
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I don't usually read books about animals because they upset me. This book however is well worth reading, especially if you enjoy bird watching and nature etc.
The characters come to life. The plot revolves around good and evil and power corrupting etc. The author clearly understands the nature of birds and each character is realistic.
Although there are sad events, the author cleverly keeps the reading hopeful.
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8 of 11 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars A let-down 16 Mar 2006
By Chantal Lyons VINE VOICE
I had really high hopes for this book when I read its blurb and its praise. How disappointing it turned out to be.

For a start, the description is so meagre that the book's practically a skeleton. Sure, we get told that Kirrick, the main character of the book, flies over trees and hills, but where is the quality of description that most other books have?

The author tells us so many times about Kirrick's "long and arduous journey" that you begin to wonder if he suffers from amnesia, and that he hasn't realised that he's already told us about Kirrick's arduours in all the other pages before.

The book also has some other annoying things, such as the use of the phrase "they had all the aces in the cardpack": would a magpie use that phrase, seeing as this is a supposedly mature novel in which humans do not interact with the characters? The author rushes headfirst into cliches too: after the book's beginning, Kirrick flies to a river and there meets a grebe (introduced as "a grebe called Anisse") who immediately tells him that the answers to his problems lie with a great, wise old owl who lives in the wood nearby, how convenient!

In fact, the only properly written parts were the descriptions of some magpie individuals, and how they become so merciless and savage through bloodthirsty murdering. Then that raises the question of how this book could therefore be classed as children's fiction.

A very poor novel. At least I only borrowed it from a library, rather than wasted money on it.
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5 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful and different 28 Mar 2004
I first picked up the book unsure of what to make of it and was pleasantly surprised to find it such a joy to read. A really descriptive book, suitable for older children and anyone who liked lord of the rings or any of those fantasy epic adventures although not as epic itself it was an enthralling read and really made me care for the characters. a recommended read to anyone who can.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars The worst book I have EVER read. 4 Sep 2008
A Kid's Review
Basically, the magpies are killing off all the small bird species in Birddom. Kirrick, who is the last robin, is given a mission from a wise owl to persuade powerful birds to come to their aid.

The only reason I kept on reading this was so I could write this review! For this to be compared to Watership Down and Lord of the Rings is absolutely ridiculous. I just can't understand how they could be mentioned in the same breath.

The characters have no character at all, the owls are wise, magpies are evil and Kirrick is nothing in particular.

What annoyed and bored me the most about this book was the way you are not shown anything. You are told what a character is rather than coming to the conclusion yourself by their thoughts and actions. At every opportunity you are told how brave Kirrick is yet I saw nothing so exceptional about him. Because of this I didn't care about any of the characters at all, as they were boring and clearly not real. There are magpies ripping birds apart everywhere and I didn't feel horror, sadness or anything except disgust at the descrptions of it.

Everything is too black and white as well. The good characters are perfect, the bad characters are torturing and murdering everywhere, and Traska [who is often described as 'that evil bird'] rapes another magpie. I just found it a bit over the top.

I mainly read books above my age level. Yet I do not want to read about all this gore and that rape scene. I wouldn't mind if there was something to back it up like a good writing style, good characters or a decent plot, but there is none of that. The ending is so cheesy that I wanted to laugh, cry and be sick all at once. The only upside was that this is a really short book.

If you truly enjoyed Watership Down, then you won't like this at all.
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6 of 9 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars One for Sorrow, Two for Joy - a brilliant read 18 Aug 2004
By Dogz4
This book is a fantastic read. The plot - a lone robin saving the land of Birddom - is truly imaginative, and don't let the reviews from people such as jun_pineda (see above) put you off. Kirrick, the robin, is a courageous brave young bird, and you will become thouroughly embroiled in the many layers of tension and suspense hidden within this book. Read this book if you enjoy a great exciting adventure into the lands of imagination!!
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5 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Somewhere to Alight 13 April 2004
By A Customer
A compact yet epic novel. The sorrow element is more than you might have expected, and it is this with the complexity of the character's troubles that make its lighter edges shine. The influences are clear, but this is more contemporary and evolved than its predecessors. It deserves to become a classic book.
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3 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Birdingly brilliant 20 Mar 2004
By A Customer
Un-be known to me Clive Woodall's impressive debut novel 'One for Sorrow' consists of two connecting short stories, but don't let you put this off.
Far from it, Woodall has constructed a fast-paced, dark and dramatic book in which he juxtaposes good versus evil, hope with despair, trust with dishonesty and perhaps most importantly of all the abuse of power with harmony. With Woodall's extensive knowledge of birds coupled with a basic but exceptionally powerful story its only a matter of time before the author becomes a household name.
Without giving too much away, One for Sorrow is set in Birddom, a place where a lone and resolute robin is assigned the near impossible task - to instigate a most unlikely alliance - in the hope of defeating the powerful, blood-thirsty and ambitious magpies.
While all the main protagonists are perfectly endearing, adequately portrayed and cleverly inter-linked, my only real criticism is that unlike Tolkien's Lord of the Rings, One for Sorrow would have benefited from greater imagery and detail. For instance the epic battle of birddom could have been more drawn out although it could be argued that there is a beauty in its simplicity.
Although One for Sorrow has been published with adults in mind, Woodall, despite the regularly occurring violence, has not failed to omit its widespread appeal to a younger audience.
Disney's decision to purchase the film rights and transform it into an animated film will no doubt propel Woodall to greater fame and fortune and in my opinion deservedly so. I await Woodall's sequel 'Seven for a Secret' with baited breath.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
2.0 out of 5 stars has a lot of promise, let down by poor structure
The cover blurb says that this is "an epic tale in the tradition of 'Watership Down' and 'Lord of the Rings'. That was clearly written by someone who has read neither book. Read more
Published on 3 July 2010 by D. R. Cantrell
5.0 out of 5 stars One For Sorrow, Two for Joy
As the title suggests this is about Magpies, in the book they and the other Corvidae are attempting to take over Birddom, but hope lies in a single Robin, and his courage. Read more
Published on 14 Aug 2009 by Jboweruk
1.0 out of 5 stars Avian Racism
I don't care much for the Watership Down style of anthropomorphism at the best of times, but this is disgusting. Read more
Published on 1 Oct 2008 by Ms. M. K. Juby
2.0 out of 5 stars Watered down
Fans of animal literature aren't spoiled for choice and when a new angle appears in a novel it can generate quite a bit of hype. Read more
Published on 25 Jun 2008 by Mr. G. Battle
5.0 out of 5 stars stunning
ignore the reviewers who call this book poor and unrealistic. do not be put off that it is written by an ex-supermarket worker, it is exciting and stunning. Read more
Published on 19 April 2006 by SamJ
5.0 out of 5 stars Red in beak and claw
This is an impressive book, and far from being a let-down or over-hyped it makes a good read, both for children and adults (it's not too gory for kids - at least, not for kids... Read more
Published on 10 Mar 2006 by Louise Stanley
5.0 out of 5 stars It's a genuine page turner.....
I was amazed to read the negative reviews on this book - was I reading something different? its beautifully written and the characters are endearing. Read more
Published on 8 Nov 2005 by Janet Thomson
2.0 out of 5 stars disappointing
Having been likened to 'Watership Down' and 'Lord of the Rings' this book falls well below the mark.
It shouldn't even be mentioned in the same sentence. Read more
Published on 18 May 2005 by Zoethout
2.0 out of 5 stars Too violent for kids, too simple for adults?
In the new-fashioned over-hyping hysteria that has taken over the nation, I have heard this author heralded as if a new JK Rowling. Read more
Published on 16 May 2005 by G. Thulbourn
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