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In the Place of Fallen Leaves Paperback – 18 Jul 2005

4.4 out of 5 stars 25 customer reviews

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£8.99 FREE Delivery in the UK on orders with at least £10 of books. Only 2 left in stock (more on the way). Dispatched from and sold by Amazon. Gift-wrap available.

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Product details

  • Paperback: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing PLC; New edition edition (18 July 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0747578362
  • ISBN-13: 978-0747578369
  • Product Dimensions: 12.9 x 1.8 x 19.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (25 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 187,002 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

Review

'Highly atmospheric ... It had an intoxicating, magical quality which completely beguiled me' Jeremy Paxman, Independent 'Constantly delightful and constantly surprising ... This novel is something completely new and exciting ... Comic and wry and elegiac and shrewd and thoughtful all at once. Please read it' A. S. Byatt 'The writing is so genuine. Nothing is posturing or romanticised. The characters really touched me. There's so much talent here' Barbara Trapido 'A remarkable first novel, which renders domestic detail fascinating and makes it quite possible to believe in magic' Sunday Times

From the Publisher

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WINNER OF THE HAWTHORNDEN PRIZE AND THE RUTH HADDEN AWARD

'Constantly delightful and constantly surprising…This novel is something completely new and exciting…Comic and wry and elegiac and shrewd and thoughtful all at once. Please read it' A.S. BYATT, Daily Telegraph

'The writing is so genuine. Nothing is posturing or romanticised. The characters really touched me. There's so much talent here' BARBARA TRAPIDO

'Reminiscent of Faulkner and Garcia Marquez, the writing retains a very English scale…A triumph…Sensitive, heart-warming and hallucinatory' MAX RODENBECK, Financial Times

'It is most beautifully written, hypnotic as Proust, very funny and full of love that doesn't cloy…It is a dreamy, easy, wonderful read - and quite remarkable for a first novel' JANE GARDAM

'A remarkable first novel, which renders domestic detail fascinating and makes it quite possible to believe in magic' Sunday Times

'Highly atmospheric…It had an intoxicating, magical quality which completely beguiled me' JEREMY PAXMAN, Independent

'By turns elegiac, moving and extremely funny, Pears is also unafraid to muscle up his formidable powers of Proustian evocation. An extraordinarily promising debut' Time Out

'Long in abeyance, the English rural novel flourishes again in Tim Pears' story of a 13-year-old Devon farmgirl's confrontation with sex, death and the weather… an unusually welll-made novel which, through being less English than one would expect, produces a very English kind of magic' GILES FODEN, Independent on Sunday

'It is tricky coming across a novel you want to praise to the skies. Cool dispassionate criticism is much safer. But Tim Pears' "In The Place of Fallen Leaves" is more perfect than any first novel deserves to be' JENNIFER SELWAY, Observer

'An engaging, well-written and original novel. Pears could write about doing the washing up and make it interesting' PHILIP HENSHER, Guardian --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
"In the Place of Fallen Leaves" is set in a small Devon village during the summer and autumn of 1984. Although it is a work of fiction, it bears little resemblance to the traditional novel, lacking any strongly defined plotline. It is told in the first person and bears a greater resemblance to an autobiographical memoir of childhood, although the events described in it are narrated not by the author himself but by an invented character, thirteen-year-old Alison Freemantle.

Tim Pears takes some liberties with the background to his story, describing 1984 as the hottest and driest in year in living memory. In fact, although the spring and summer of that year were indeed unusually warm and dry, if not quite as hot as the summer of 1976, the autumn, especially September and October when most of the book takes place, was unusually wet. Nevertheless, the countryside described here is a place of fierce heat, baked and parched dry by the sun, a place of lassitude, lethargy and idleness. That idleness is sometimes enforced- when the normal time comes for Alison and the other children to return to school they are unable to do so because of a teachers' strike.

Unlike some writers about English rural life, Pears does not concentrate on descriptions of nature and the beauties of the countryside. He is more interested in human life and concentrates more on descriptions of people and how they act, as seen through Alison's eyes. Like most of the villagers, Alison's family are farmers, and many of her reminiscences are of them. The most tragic member of the family is her father, who has sunk into a state of near imbecility, his mind and memory rotted by alcoholism.
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By A Customer on 11 May 1999
Format: Paperback
This book deals with the familair theme of childhood, but in such an original way that it really makes one even look at their own childhood years in a new light. The characters are brilliantly deep and gentle, and the reader cannot help but marvel at them. The strange thing is that everything in the book seems so rare, yet the author is writing about relatively ordinary matters; nothing new, but in such a different and enchanting way you can't help reading on and on, until the end. This is the first book in such a long time that I have taken great care to read word by word, virtually worried of missing even one adjective. Every single word has such an important function for the plot and general feel. There are no uneccesary sentences, everywhere there are traces of a great talent. Nothing is exaggerated or understated; there are no cliche paragraphs that one finds even in the best of childhood memories. I haven't read a book like this in ages.
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By Mr. Joe HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWER on 13 Jan. 2011
Format: Paperback
"The afternoon was at its height: the sun had just begun its slow descending curve towards Cornwall and was slumbering on the wing. A drowsy hornet drifted by. The harsh air rasped my throat as I inhaled, and my eyelids felt heavy as velvet ... In the hedge to our right I spotted a ripe blackberry, and as daddy reached over to pluck it another appeared, then another. Soon his lips and tongue were stained purple. He lay down in the shadowed verge and fell asleep, and I joined him." - from IN THE PLACE OF FALLEN LEAVES

In his novel, Notwithstanding: Stories from an English Village, based on rural life in the English county of Surrey, author Louis de Bernières calls IN THE PLACE OF FALLEN LEAVES by Tim Pears a "beautiful book." And, indeed, it is.

IN THE PLACE OF FALLEN LEAVES is set in the rusticity of Devon, a south coast shire further to the west of Surrey and one short of that of Land's End, Cornwall. It's the end of a stifling hot summer in the year 1984, and the main character is thirteen-year old Alison, who lives with her two older brothers, Tom and Ian, her older sister Pamela, and her parents and grandparents on a generations-held farm somewhere near the mouth of the Teign River in the triangle of land formed by the towns of Exeter, Torquay, and Newton Abbot.

Alison serves as the narrator of/participant in contemporary events of that September and October and as chronicler of past family history before her time. From the tenor of her narrative, the reader can almost feel the heat that oppresses the region and taste the dust that swirls off the parched land.
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Format: Paperback
This book is set in Devon in the 70's - a young girl reaching maturity. Because it was set very close to where I live, the setting was recognisable and the social life reminiscent of its time. The characters were wonderful and captivating but I found the lack of plot rather tiresome making it a 'slow' read. However as a piece of fine writing it is a great example.
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By A Customer on 22 Jan. 1999
Format: Paperback
Please read this book. Because of it's lyrical language you'll think you're reading something gentle and subtle, until it makes you weep uncontrollably or guffaw at the antics of these unique, breathing characters. Then you find you are actually reading something extremely potent.The best books, I believe, are the ones that make the ordinary extraordinary. Tim Pears does this better than too many of the authors I've read in recent years.I loved this book.
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