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Tanglewreck Paperback – 2 Nov 2009

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Product details

  • Paperback: 416 pages
  • Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing PLC (2 Nov. 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1408801280
  • ISBN-13: 978-1408801284
  • Product Dimensions: 12.9 x 2.7 x 19.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 66,396 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Jeanette Winterson was born in Manchester and read English at Oxford, during which time she wrote her first novel, the Whitbread award winning Oranges Are Not The Only Fruit. Tanglewreck, Jeanette's first novel for children, was published to great critical acclaim in 2006. In the same year she was awarded an OBE for services to literature.

Product Description


`If you want true literary genius, read Jeanette Winterson's young-adult novels, a stunning new facet of her career which began with Tanglewreck. They're too clever for me to summarise' --Guardian

From the Inside Flap

The World is in Trouble! Nobody knows what to do when the Time Tornadoes start. Some days are long, some are short. Time stops then jerks forward. People are getting caught in Time Traps - locked in the past, then pushed into the future. Far from the city, in the strange old house Tanglewreck, Silver lives with her bony, bad-tempered aunt, Mrs Rockabye, and hears strange stories about the Timekeeper - an alchemist's watch that could steady Time again, if anyone could find it.

When the sinister Abel Darkwater arrives at Tanglewreck in search of the watch, Silver realises she must begin a journey through Time and Space in search of the Timekeeper, during which she meets a loyal friend, Gabriel, and together they face many dangers and excitements. Can Silver and Gabriel survive the tasks ahead, and reach the Sands of Time before anyone else? And if they do - will the Timekeeper still be there? --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

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Customer Reviews

3.7 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

14 of 15 people found the following review helpful By Annabel Gaskell VINE VOICE on 14 April 2009
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
There is much to like in Winterson's novel for older children (upwards) I thoroughly enjoyed it and hope it might have a sequel some time.

This fast-moving Fantasy/SF novel (it's a bit of both), about the power to control time, owes a lot to Philips Pullman's His Dark Materials trilogy. It has a sparky young heroine, a Mrs Coulter-esque chief baddy who experiments on children, and most importantly, the Timekeeper - the powerful time controlling device that everybody wants. Mix in a dash of quantum physics, teleportation, time travel, an underground world beneath London, an Egyptian temple and a strong supporting cast including a giant rabbit, and you have all the ingredients for a heady adventure full of excitement, thrills, spills and some rather scary moments too.

Silver, our heroine, lives in her old family home - Tanglewreck, with weird Mrs Rokabye as her guardian; her parents and sister had vanished previously. Weird things are beginning to happen with time - it's warping, and time tornadoes have started to suck up and spit out people from different times and places. When Silver and Mrs Rokabye are approached by Abel Darkwater, a clock specialist who is searching for a old clock called the Timekeeper that Silver's father had been custodian of, Mrs Rokabye sees her chance to make a fortune - if only Silver could remember where the clock is ...

As an adult reader, I enjoyed the novel immensely, spotting all the references and influences and chuckling at the way the author warped space/time to work the plot. I think younger readers may be confused with the SF side of things reading it on their own, but it would make a great adventure for reading together; older readers will get the gist and will probably know a little about many of the historical characters mentioned.
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16 of 18 people found the following review helpful By TeensReadToo TOP 500 REVIEWER on 11 Feb. 2007
Format: Paperback
Time is not behaving itself. Trains stall in time, then rush ahead as if to catch up, pyramids appear in London, a school bus gets sucked into a Time Tornado and vanishes, and there have been woolly mammoth sightings in the park. Most people can't make any sense of it, and it's getting worse. And the people who do understand it, well, they might be the most dangerous of all.

Silver is an eleven-year-old orphan, alone in the world. Well, not completely alone. She has Mrs. Rockabye, the aunt who mysteriously appeared after the death (or maybe disappearance) of Silver's family. Silver thinks that she'd rather be alone than with Mrs. Rockabye, but it doesn't look like that's going to happen any time soon. For now Silver's greatest comfort is her house, Tanglewreck. It comforts her, soothes her, and even speaks to her. She knows about the strangeness of time, but as long as she can stay at Tanglewreck, she doesn't seem to be too concerned.

Abel Darkwater knows about time, and he understands why it's behaving strangely. Abel is sure that time can be controlled, and that whoever controls time will control the universe. Abel intends to be that person. He's sure that all he needs is the Timekeeper. And he's positive that Silver knows where it is. After all, Silver's dad was bringing it to Abel on the day the family died.

Silver is in a race against time, literally, to keep the Timekeeper safe. If only she knew where it was. Or what it was. With the help of her strange, new, old friend, Gabriel, Silver will have to travel to unknown places and times on a quest for something she's never seen.

I've always loved time travel stories, and this one is no exception.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful By D Jackson on 9 Jan. 2008
Format: Paperback
Looking for something other than Jacqueline Wilson books for my 10 year old daughter to read I came across this.
She was reluctant to tackle it alone so we decided to take it in turns to read a page each and now she can't get enough of it! It helps that the 'heroine' is an 11 year old girl called Silver so she can easily identify with her.
If you're lookng for something a bit different to Tracey Beaker and cutesy animal stories you can't go far wrong with this. Thoroughly recommended.
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By J. Pease on 22 Feb. 2011
Format: Paperback
I bought this for my son's 11th birthday on the strength of a recommendationin the bookshop. He's quite hard to buy fiction for as he'd rather read encylopaedias or other factual books. He really enjoyed the book and when he'd finished, he lent it to me. Were he writing the review, I think he'd award five stars.

The first thing that stuck me was the high quality of the prose: "Riding the river as though it were a road was a phalanx of chariots and horsemen" I thought the prologue was very well written, expertly drawing the reader in. The book is hugely imaginative and ambitious; combining Egyptian mythology, quantum physics, time travel an underground race of beings and a preocupation with a youthful appearance to name but a few.

I loved the character of Silver and thought Winterson adept at conveying her loneliness. Regalia Mason was another great character, albeit an unlikeable one. Some of the other characters were a bit two-dimensional and like other reviewers, I found that the resolution of certain tricky situations weren't really explained properly. I felt that Winterson wanted to keep the pace of the story at break-neck speed, to the detriment sometimes, of a proper resolution. Having said that, if I'd read this book as an older child, I don't think I would have even noticed so gripping is the storyline.

All-in-all, a very good read, marred by some lazy shortcuts which should not be expexted from a writer of Winterson's calibre. Although the book is richly imaginative and very enjoyable, Beth Webb's Ring Fire (Fleabag Trilogy) is in my opinion, the better book of the two for children 10+ years.
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