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The Dark Inside Hardcover – 30 Jan 2014


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Product details

  • Hardcover: 368 pages
  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster Childrens Books (30 Jan 2014)
  • Language: Unknown
  • ISBN-10: 1471118916
  • ISBN-13: 978-1471118913
  • Product Dimensions: 13.2 x 2.7 x 20.5 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 185,588 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

About the Author

Rupert Wallis read Theology at Cambridge University and holds an MFA in Screenwriting and Writing for Television from the University of Southern California. He now lives in Cornwall.

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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By N. Roe on 30 Jan 2014
Format: Hardcover
I loved this book! If you've ever read Angela Carter's take on fairy tales or like modern takes on similar classic stories, you'll really enjoy this. But this isn't an adaptation of a fairy tale; it's a highly original story which really makes the reader think. It's a pretty dark, too. I can imagine reading this again pretty soon to see what I missed, and just to re-read some of the beautiful prose and storytelling.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By S on 8 Jun 2014
Format: Hardcover
First impressions: There's something about this one that's so intriguing and I can't quite put my finger on it. Debuts are always interesting; I think the potential to discover a new favourite author always pulls me towards debut writers. Maybe it was that, or maybe it was nostalgic feel the summary gave me. Either way, despite a huge TBR pile I picked this up and devoured it as soon as my copy arrived.

Story: James is struggling with the loss of his mother and lives a miserable existence with his stepfather, who has been left to care for him after his mother passed away. We quickly learn that James's home life is disruptive and abusive and leaves him at the mercy of his stepfather's internal rage every time he drinks. Which is often. To cope, James hides out in an abandoned house and draws on the walls as a way of passing the time. But one day he realises he isn't alone, he's sharing his fortress of solitude with a mysterious, injured man. And it's after meeting Webster that James life changes forever.

We see the pair go on an adventure that takes them across country, to gypsy camps and the moors, meeting a whole host of characters along the way. This isn't a light-hearted adventure novel, though, the tone is set from the outset and it's this bleak, wistful feeling that encircles the story that makes it so powerful. There's this aching for James to come to terms with the loss of his mother, and for Webster to accept his past and the darkness that dwells within him.

This novel isn't just about the darkness within Webster, though, it's about the darkness inside all of the characters. And by reaching out from the pages, grabbing the reader and refusing to let go, it's about the darkness inside all of us as well.

Writing: There's a lot to The Dark Inside.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Shazjera TOP 1000 REVIEWER on 13 Feb 2014
Format: Hardcover
From the moment they meet in the House on the Hill, James and Webster are accepting of each other. Webster is physically injured and James himself has bruising. Webster protects James from an incident in the house although it’s not clear as the story continues, who is protecting who.

They both have their own inner demons. Both are scarred from experiences. Add to that the curse that Webster carries, their quest for healing takes them down some very strange paths.

The travellers running the fair (located on the village green) have a central part to play in the plot. The scenes involving the mother are quite spellbinding and spooky.

At one point I couldn’t make up my mind whether Webster’s curse was a result of a troubled mind. Having served in Iraq, there is one experience that haunts his dreams. As the deadline draws closer, I needed to turn those pages to find out the truth!

I enjoyed the figurative language. For example in my proof copy, in St Hubert’s searching for the key:

“And, for a moment, there was nothing but grace as the vicar smiled, and the pews ticked, and the sunlight moved noiselessly over the stone walls.”

I loved this sentence:

“The engine noise caught between the gaps in his bones and made him shudder.”

With 13 year old James on the run, this is perfect for leading up to what happens next.

Finding acceptance, coming to terms with and understanding for each of them comes through sacrifice, grief, honesty and love. A long road to travel (not in time, their quest starts on 8th June and ends 3rd July) but in the quest for healing which they ultimately find by looking into ‘the dark inside’ of themselves to reach the end. A very poignant story.

I would like to thank the publishers for providing an uncorrected proof in exchange for an honest review.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Priscilla Short on 30 Jan 2014
Format: Kindle Edition
This is a wonderful book. It had me gripped from the outset. I fell in love with the two main characters and wanted to follow on their journey with them to find out how things would work out for them - I couldn't put the book down once I had started. The story is wonderful, and the ending really touched me so deeply that I ended up in tears. The book tackles themes of love, grief, loss, hope and friendship in a way that is accessible to young and old alike. It is beautifully written and now my two teenage boys are reading it and both loving it and my mum has also just bought a copy. I can't recommend it highly enough.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Sarah (Feeling Fictional) TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 30 Jan 2014
Format: Kindle Edition
James is a 13 year old boy who is struggling to come to terms with the death of his mother. He doesn't have the best home life and is stuck living with a step-father who drinks too much and can become violent. Everything changes for James when he meets Webster, a homeless man who is staying in an abandoned house that James spends time in when he needs an escape. Webster is running from something and claims to have a dark curse hanging over him but can James help him find a cure?

I have to admit I wasn't too sure what to expect from The Dark Inside, it's not the kind of book I would usually pick up but after hearing a reading by Rupert Wallis at a Simon & Schuster blogger event I just had to try it and I'm glad that I did. Sometimes it's nice to step out of your comfort zone - especially when you find a gem like this book! If I had any fears that I wouldn't be able to relate to a 13 year old boy they were quickly proved unfounded and within the space of a couple of chapters I was fully invested in James's story. He is such a sweet boy and he reminded me of my younger brother at that age, they have the same curiosity about the world and eagerness to find adventure. Even though James has been through a lot and has been let down by the people who should protect him he is still the kind of boy who sees the good in people, he wants to help Webster even if he isn't sure what to believe about Webster's curse.

One of the things that is done particularly well in this novel is the paranormal element. Nothing is ever completely laid out so although you are given strong hints about what happened there is enough ambiguity for the reader to be able to make up their own mind about things.
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