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I Start Counting Paperback – 1969

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Product details

  • Paperback: 251 pages
  • Publisher: Fontana; 1st edition (1969)
  • ISBN-10: 000611864X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0006118640
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,346,949 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By F. Lane on 17 July 2009
Format: Hardcover
A fantastic book of its time. I read it years ago, as a teenager, in an abridged form and thought it was great. This time I was not disappointed. Written from a fourteen-year-old's viewpoint, this mystery of a strangler on the loose in a midlands town, has a dark message of 1960's Britain in decay: slum clearance, tower blocks, drug taking and even incest. Yet, unexpectedly, it always feels "cosy" and familiar. It was made into a film, starring Jenny Agutter, which has been much underrated.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 3 reviews
9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
one three five seven eleven 6 Jan 2010
By Diane - Published on
Format: Hardcover
I don't know quite why I love this little suspense so much to the point of having to call it one of my all time favorites. Maybe it is because I grew up with it. It first come to my attention in condensed version before I was lucky enough to stumble on a rare version of the complete book. Now it is more readily available. Written by English screenwriter Lindop, the characters are so outlandish and thoroughly enjoyable that I can never put it down whenever I pick it up to reread. The protagonist is a 14 year old orphan who doesn't have anything figured out, but she is so loyal and such a decent person. Unfortunately she is short on common sense as are most girls her age. The book is about a serial killer, but there is nothing repellent about the story, which is humorous and heartwarming. I think its twists and turns make it a good suspense. It has you guessing until the end. Some people may find her crush on her older "not brother" somewhat hard to take, but I found the story interesting and unusual, certainly not a "stiff upper lip" English tale. Lindop's depiction of relations such as Granddad and Aunt Rene Tindall are laugh out loud funny. I haven't seen the screen adaptation yet, but I doubt that I will like it as much as the book. From a brief viewing of YouTube, the film version seems to have much of the original humor written out of it, and I think the characters are every bit as important to this story as the plot. My recommendation: read the book.
8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
This is a great old mystery book 2 Jan 2011
By T. Watson - Published on
Verified Purchase
I first read this book in middle school in the 1960's in a Reader's Digest condensed book. It features a young, adolescent girl with all the typical trials of that age group. It is based in Great Britain and has a 'Beatles' vibe. It is a mystery and it details 'coming of age' very well. I purchased the entire book from a seller on Amazon and it did not disappoint. I still enjoyed it as an adult.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Start Reading! 14 Oct 2012
By Louisa M - Published on
"I Start Counting" is a classic. Although written forty years ago or so, and hard to find today, it is still worth searching out because once you begin reading, you will be hooked. Smart, at turns funny and scary (in all the right ways)and with wonderfully drawn characters, this book is perfect for a rainy Sunday afternoon, In fact, that is how the story begins...

Wynne Kinch is a 15-year-old girl, who lives with her rather unconvential but loving family in 1960s England. Her world is that of a typical, clothes, friends, telly, and, oh yes, trying to attract the attention of her older, man-about-town, step-cousin George, with whom she is madly in love. All is well, until an unknown strangler begins preying on local young women, and due to a series of coincidences, Wynne becomes convinced that the killer is a member of her own family. Is it George? Is it her high-strung "wanna-be" pop star cousin Len? Do George and Len suspect each other? How can she protect them...and herself? The identity of the guilty party will keep you guessing until the very end.

Even if you are not normally a fan of mysteries, please read this book just to appreciate the unforgettable people whom you will meet. In addition to those already mentioned, we have Grandad (an absolute treasure) Aunt Rene Tindall (of the smeary glasses and ill-timed platitudes) and Wynne's best friend (?) Corrine, who tells one lie too many, and sends the murder investigation in a new and unexpected direction.

The damp and rainy English countryside is brought vividly to life, and you will find yourself in the creaky abandoned old house on the Commons with Wynne, all five senses on highest alert, waiting for what will happen next.

As mentioned by the other reviewer, I also first read this book in a Readers' Digest Condensed Version. Now I have my own copy, held together by rolls of tape, because I am still reading and rereading it today. I hope that someone who may stumble across this review quite by accident, will enjoy the book as much. In "I Start Counting," you do not know who you can trust...but please, trust me on this one! I loved it as much as Wynne loved George...and hope you will too! Thank you!
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