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The String Diaries [Unabridged] [Hardcover]

Stephen Lloyd Jones
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (107 customer reviews)
RRP: 14.99
Price: 10.34 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details
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Book Description

4 July 2013

Selected for the Radio 2 Book Club.

Read. Believe. Run.

The rules of survival are handed from mother to daughter. Inherited, like the curse that has stalked Hannah and her family across centuries.

He changes his appearance at will, takes flesh that is not his, speaks with a stolen voice and hides behind the face of a beloved, waiting to strike. Generation after generation, he has destroyed them. And all they could do was to run.

Until now. Now, it is time for Hannah to turn and fight.


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The String Diaries + I Am Pilgrim + More Than This
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Product details

  • Hardcover: 416 pages
  • Publisher: Headline; Unabridged edition (4 July 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1472204662
  • ISBN-13: 978-1472204660
  • Product Dimensions: 23.6 x 16.2 x 4 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (107 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 35,651 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Stephen Lloyd Jones grew up in Chandlers Ford, Hampshire, and studied at Royal Holloway College, University of London. He now lives in Surrey with his wife, three young sons and far too many books. The String Diaries is his first novel.

Product Description

Review

So gripping you'll want to read late into the night; so terrifying you shouldn't (Simon Mayo, the Radio 2 Book Club)

Original, richly imagined and powerfully told (Guardian)

Will keep you awake late into the night (SFX)

Book Description

If your greatest fear could take the form of your closest friend, who would you trust? An engrossing and terrifying supernatural thriller.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
18 of 19 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The String Diaries 6 Aug 2013
By S Riaz HALL OF FAME TOP 10 REVIEWER VINE VOICE
Format:Hardcover|Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
This fast moving novel straddles many different genres - it is part thriller, part supernatural fantasy and also touches on historical fiction. What is certain is that the whole is more than the sum of the parts. We are immediately thrown into the action, meeting Hannah Wilde, her injured husband Nate and nine year old daughter Leah when they are fleeing for their life. For some time we are unsure about why they are on the run and, more to the point, who (or what) they are trying to escape from. However, their sense of urgency and fear is palpable and you find yourself being swept along into the story.

There are three timelines by which we learn about what is going on. One storyline, concerning Hannah and her family, is set in the present. There is also the tale of Hannah's parents, which largely takes place in 1970's Oxford. Lastly, there is a third, which takes place in Hungary in the 1870's. It is difficult to discuss these various strands of the novel without giving away the plot, so suffice to say that gradually the mystery of why Hannah is running is revealed. A tragedy, beginning in Hungary, so long ago, has followed Hannah's family through the ages. For generations, Hannah's family has relied on escape; but now she faces the final outcome, as events conspire on a collision course which will end in either disaster or freedom from the curse which she has lived with all her life.

As other reviewers have quite rightly pointed out, there are moments when you do need to suspend disbelief and simply go with the flow of the book. What is without doubt is that this is a huge novel which I found almost unputdownable. It really would be a fantastic holiday read, or on a long plane journey. This is an extremely self assured debut novel and I look forward to reading more from this author.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
By joc66 TOP 500 REVIEWER VINE VOICE
Format:Hardcover|Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
This is an unusual thriller set in three different time periods. In the present, Hannah, her injured husband and daughter are running from some unspecified (and hard to recognise) evil. We also learn the story of Hannah's parents, set in the 1970s. Part of the story is further removed in terms of both place and time, being set in late 19th century Hungary and drawing heavily of folk myths from Eastern Europe. There is a supernatural element to this story, with the threat to Hannah and her family stretching all the way back to the Hungarian strand of the story. This was a really unusual story, imaginative and quite a page turner. The Eastern European folk myths strand reminded me slightly of Elizabeth Kostova's The Historian so if you liked that, you might well enjoy this as well.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A narrative spread over three time lines 20 Aug 2013
By Sussman TOP 500 REVIEWER VINE VOICE
Format:Hardcover|Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
This book is very easy to get into and rather difficult to put down.
The narrative is spread over three time periods; the wide scope of the story spread does converge together later on. I liked Hannah's character she seemed well rounded, we see her struggles to balance the danger from her families past with her almost matriarch responsibility to her husband and daughter. Readers who like this novel will be willing her on despite the difficulties she was facing. The end of the book was very edgy and yet satisfying. What was refreshing here, is that this is a stand-alone novel without the need for you to be invested in sequels, which makes a pleasant change.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
By gadget girl VINE VOICE
Format:Hardcover|Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
page turner!!!!
really liking this book and it actually achieves a story that seems fresh and new, not like so many that follow a weel trodd4en path, it twists and turns and covers different time lines and as my dad always said "trust no one".
i dont see the need to go into the plot as it would spoil the plot but if you are in anyway intrigued by the book jackets taster then you are going to love this book, really love this book a classic ,now what about the movie??????
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
By JK TOP 100 REVIEWER VINE VOICE
Format:Hardcover|Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
The opening chapters of The String Diaries were strong enough to hook me right into the novel with strong themes of pursuit and gore set against a background of modern day Snowdonia (Wales). However; from this fast, suspenseful opening the plot slows down considerably and there'a a lot of scene setting and back history as Stephen Lloyd Jones begins a lengthy and detailed path into the heart of his Hungarian based mystery.

The String Diaries travels between time from the 19th century up until present day and involves a family dynasty with 'unusual' abilities. We learn of a crime committed in Hungary by a member of the 'elite' and from that point the plot spins out into a long, cat and mouse chase as it becomes the sworn duty of certain family members to track the perpetrator down through time. However; the perpetrator has their own own agenda and is also hunting - but what for/who for?

What evolves is something of an epic, over 400 pages, in which you're spun through time and confronted by a large variety of characters in different time zones and locations ranging from a masked ball to a modern day, armed, hideout. There are far too many twists and turns in the plot to outline all of them and I was certainly never bored.

If I'm being totally honest I didn't enjoy the historical aspects of the novel as much as the modern ones. The current day characters and story lines are darker, punchier, sharper and written with a stronger hand than the historical which become bogged down and unbelievable in places. There are slight horror/supernatural themes but they're written with a light touch and The String Diaries is more of a dark adventure than a thriller in the traditional sense.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars A RIP ROARING READ
A fast paced, interesting supernatural thriller with well developed characters! I especially enjoyed how it moves between countries and periods in history. Read more
Published 12 days ago by Niamh Donnelly
5.0 out of 5 stars Great read
Really enjoyed this book. It was a great story and quite unusual - different from anything else I'd read recently. Read more
Published 1 month ago by Virginia Phillips
3.0 out of 5 stars Good start but.......
Good first half, but seemed to run o uh t of a bit of steam towards the end. Thought the book deserved a more unpredictable ending.
Published 1 month ago by MR D F WRIGHT
4.0 out of 5 stars Run .. Verify .. he could be here
A very compelling debut book. The time lines work very well and although when each time line ends, on a mini cliffhanger, you feel you didn't want the shift at that time, it... Read more
Published 1 month ago by Ben
3.0 out of 5 stars Ok
It's a good read but to me it was lacking that special something, and the the ending was a bit too perfect.
Published 1 month ago by Northen Bloke!
4.0 out of 5 stars A good story that grabs you from the start
A good read with the story covering several countries and centuries using myths and legends to add to the plot
Published 1 month ago by Hot rocks
4.0 out of 5 stars very absorbing
I read this book in one sitting. The story was intriguing and gripping. I thought the characters were well rounded
Published 1 month ago by joanna witherstone
4.0 out of 5 stars Don't trust. Verify...
A multi-generational tale spanning modern day Snowdonia, 1970s Oxford and 1870s Hungary.

An interesting premise well presented; it’s not afraid to mix thriller,... Read more
Published 2 months ago by Ruby
4.0 out of 5 stars A tense unusual story
How different from the type of story I usually read. I found it tense and exciting and un-put down able! Read more
Published 2 months ago by Helga
5.0 out of 5 stars gripping story line
I heard about this book on the Simon Mayo show and as my son is a friend of the author. I thought i would give it a go. Read more
Published 2 months ago by Theresa Thorne
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