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The Crane Wife Audio CD – 1 Jun 2013

119 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Audio CD
  • Publisher: Whole Story Audiobooks; Unabridged Audiobook edition (1 Jun. 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1471236080
  • ISBN-13: 978-1471236082
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (119 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 4,632,410 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Patrick Ness is the author of the Chaos Walking Trilogy - The Knife of Never Letting Go, The Ask and the Answer, and Monsters of Men - for which he has won numerous awards, including the Guardian Children's Fiction Prize, the BookTrust Teenage Prize and the Costa Children's Book Award. He has also been shortlisted for the Carnegie Medal. He lives in London.

Product Description

One night, George Duncan is woken by a noise in his garden. Impossibly, a great white crane has tumbled to earth, shot through its wing by an arrow. Unexpectedly moved, George helps the bird, and from the moment he watches it fly off, his life is transformed. The next day, a kind but enigmatic woman walks into George's shop. Suddenly a new world opens up for George...

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Customer Reviews

4.0 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

19 of 19 people found the following review helpful By MisterHobgoblin TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 28 April 2013
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
The first edition of the Crane Wife had a beautiful cover with rich, deep colours and a striking image. It screamed to be read.

It is difficult to categorise the novel. For much of its part, it is a standard novel of an everyman (George) who runs a print shop in London, his troubles with his irritating employee Mehmet, and a parallel story of his socially awkward daughter Amanda and her work colleagues Rachel and Mei. It's a standard offbeat drama with a small cast of slightly eccentric characters and everyday issues of disappointing love lives and horrible bosses.

But there's more. There's a magical realist vein as George rescues a crane with an arrow through its wing. This may or may not be related to a woman, Kumiko, who comes into George's print shop with some artistic feather cuttings. By an amaaaazing coincidence, George likes to indulge in paper cutting and the two hit it off in a big way. Together, George and Kumiko produce a set of tiles, depicting a Japanese story of love between a volcano and a crane. This is brought to life in a series of vignettes that intersperse the main text. They are, for the most part, opaque and pretty weird.

As the novel progresses, the surreal gradually starts to take over the mundane. At times, it can be hard to follow, particularly when dream sequences add a third dimension of reality. But Patrick Ness pretty much holds it together. The strength is in having extraordinary things happening to very ordinary people. As much as George's life transforms, he remains true to himself and continues to act like a well-intentioned Bromley print shop proprietor.

There is a love story at the novel's heart, but this is not some slushy romance. Men need not be afraid.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By R. Lawson VINE VOICE on 21 Oct. 2014
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
This is a difficult book to revue; I find my feelings towards it are ambiguous, but then again ambiguity is integral to the book itself. The skeleton of the book is that George finds a crane having fallen to the ground, shot with a huge arrow. He saves it and the next day meets a strange lady called Kumiko who (ambigously) may or may not be Japanese. Between them they create unique works of art. The book charts the development of their relationsip and how it affects George's family. The unfolding story resonates between literal and metaphorical, inhabiting an uncanny space between the two. There is no simplistic resolution. Love, freedom, forgiveness, sadness and transience are all found together, not as as alternatives, but as integral parts of each other.
The blurb tells us that this is a retelling of a Japanese folk tale; maybe there is a Buddhist influence of loving kindess, with imperminance, kindness, love and lack of attachment at the core. Though the author admits this is a retelling it has a newness and feshness about it, and is intriguing and thoughtful. In many ways it ought to be a five star book but in keeping with the themes of ambiguity, for some reason there is something not completely satisfactory in its totality. Nevertheless I will be looking out for more by Patrick Ness.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Red Rock Bookworm TOP 1000 REVIEWER on 10 Nov. 2013
Format: Hardcover
THE CRANE WIFE by Patrick Ness is part fantasy, part romance and part cautionary tale. Parables and symbolism depict the destructive effects of curiosity, anger and jealousy as well as the happiness and love derived from understanding ourselves and accepting life as it is.

Each of the characters in this novel is a little more interesting than the last. George is a forty-eight year old print shop owner whose "go with the flow" attitude is attractive to some and a turn off to others. Amanda, George's daughter is an outspoken, angry, divorcee and mother who longs for acceptance by others but has created a protective wall around herself that is next to impenetrable. Her co-worker Rachel is another "wounded bird" lurking beneath a shrewish, manipulative exterior. Finally, there is George's assistant in the print shop, Mehmet whose general apathy and deliberate sabotage of customer orders makes one initially wonder why George continues to employ him. The lives of all of these characters are affected by the unexpected appearance of Kumiko, the human embodiment of the crane George rescues in the opening pages of the story. The human Kumiko enters Georges life via her feather art, in which she feels there is something lacking. She demonstrates to George how the inclusion of his "paper cuttings" in her art tiles completes them. It is with the tiles that she visually relates her allegory of the volcano and the lady - a separate tale that is interposed between chapters in the novel. The effect of the dual tales is initially a bit jarring, due in some part to the different writing style and presentation, but the reader soon becomes used to it.

Just as curiosity killed the cat, George's incessant search for the truth about Kumiko becomes a destructive force in their relationship.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Bill HALL OF FAMETOP 10 REVIEWER on 17 Sept. 2014
Format: Paperback
This is a beautifully written book. I'm new to the work of Patrick Ness, and chose this book because it came highly recommended by Ottakers bookstore in Witney. George Duncan is a lonely, divorced, 48 year old male who runs a small printing firm. He's also a book lover and an artist, who creates pictures by cutting text and images out of books and gluing them together. His ex-wife, Clare, is a civil service solicitor. The two of them remain friends. George's 25 year old daughter, Amanda, is divorced from a Frenchman, Henri, and is raising her son Jean Pierre (JP) as a single mum, spending her free time with single office colleagues who are on the prowl for men. One night, a crane bird falls into George's back garden, having been shot through the wing by an arrow, and George rescues the creature, removing the arrow, so that it can fly away. The day after the visit of the crane bird, a beautiful woman, a teacher aged in her thirties named Kumiko, who's possibly Japanese, walks into George's printing firm, and very soon they start dating. She too is an artist, who creates beautiful images using collages made of feathers. She is cautious, secretive, refined, enigmatic. George is swiftly besotted, notwithstanding his daughter's reservations. You soon start pondering, what's the connection between the crane bird and Kumiko, and indeed, is there one? Who and what is Kumiko? Is she a human, a ghost, a goddess, or something else? At certain points, the book is a bit confusing, which is the only reason why I've knocked one star off the rating, but it's still a rewarding read. The author's prose style is creative, elegant, vivid in its depictions of character and life, not formulaic or prosaic, and it's always beautiful.Read more ›
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