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The Evil Seed Hardcover – 11 Sep 2008


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Product details

  • Hardcover: 448 pages
  • Publisher: Doubleday; Library Ed edition (11 Sept. 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0385614950
  • ISBN-13: 978-0385614955
  • Product Dimensions: 12.8 x 3.7 x 20.3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (41 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,671,924 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Joanne Harris is an Anglo-French author, whose books include fourteen novels, two cookbooks and many short stories. Her work is extremely diverse, covering aspects of magic realism, suspense, historical fiction, mythology and fantasy. She has also written a DR WHO novella for the BBC, has scripted guest episodes for the game ZOMBIES, RUN!, and is currently engaged in a number of musical theatre projects as well as developing an original drama for television.
In 2000, her 1999 novel CHOCOLAT was adapted to the screen, starring Juliette Binoche and Johnny Depp. She is an honorary Fellow of St Catharine's College, Cambridge, and in 2013 was awarded an MBE by the Queen.
Her hobbies are listed in Who's Who as 'mooching, lounging, strutting, strumming, priest-baiting and quiet subversion'. She also spends too much time on Twitter; plays flute and bass guitar in a band first formed when she was 16; and works from a shed in her garden at her home in Yorkshire.


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Product Description

Review

"A dark, gothic romance filled with mystery, jealousy, and violence...an interesting and a thrilling read" (Style Magazine) --This text refers to the Paperback edition.

Book Description

The revised and updated reissue of Joanne Harris's first novel, an absorbing, dark, chilling story. --This text refers to the Paperback edition.

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Customer Reviews

3.4 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

42 of 43 people found the following review helpful By Brida TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 24 Oct. 2008
Format: Paperback
Joanne Harris is perhaps better known for her novel, CHOCOLAT, than for this title, which is her debut. As explained in her author's note to THE EVIL SEED, it was largely due to pressure from her fans which saw to the book being reissued. Her brief discussion of the book is in itself quite interesting - to hear what an established author thinks about their first attempt at literature is nearly always to be fascinating, and this is no exception. With huge honesty, Harris herself acknowledges that the book was never a masterpiece as she had not found her own voice. But what it does do is suggest at the kind of writer she would later turn into.

THE EVIL SEED is a gothic novel about vampires, although this phrase is never used within the story itself. Alice, a young woman living in Cambridge, is devastated to discover that a man she once loved has now found someone else he loves. Alice cannot stand his new girlfriend, Ginny, but for the sake of Joe, she tries to make friends with her. But as she gets to know more and more about Ginny, Alice dislikes her even more as she seems to lie to Joe about everything.
Alice then discovers an old journal, written by a man called Daniel Holmes just after the Second World War. As she reads Daniel's journal, which describes how he and his friend Robert fell under the spell of a beautiful young woman called Rosemary, Alice fears that the past has resurfaced.

That is the basic plot. The story is told by alternating chapters going from the past to the present. The fact that this was a debut novel does show. Parts of the story are not really thought out very well, while other parts are dramatically over-written.
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38 of 39 people found the following review helpful By kehs TOP 1000 REVIEWER on 30 Dec. 2007
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is Joanne Harris's first novel and is vastly different from the books she is well known for. It's a romantic novel, not slushy hearts and flowers, but a gothic romance filled with vampires and horrific scenes of blood and lust. It's sexy, violent and gruesome, and her writing makes your heart pound with fear. This book is a page-turner and I can't recommend it highly enough so make sure you snap up a copy before it goes out of print again.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By beth on 2 Sept. 2012
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
A fantastic novel which is dark and gothic in tone. A wonderfully convincing fantasy. Teen fans of the twilight series would enjoy this, as well as fans of wuthering heights and Frankenstein. A triumphant novel for all fans of gothic fiction as well as fans of Joanne Harris.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Katharine Kirby TOP 100 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 29 May 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
All on the menu for our lunch party to chat about this early work by Joanne Harris. The idea of the meal being somehow related to the book worked better with previous choices; The Secret Life of Bees - peaches and honey, The Elegance of The Hedgehog - macaroons and the naughtily named `nun's farts". Mistakenly thinking hurray here's one of her's that we haven't read, our book club happily chose it.

However not all first pressings are excellent and The Evil Seed was passed over for a reason - it's a mess. By the end the story was all over the place, even having been tidied up a little for this printing by the author. Try as I did, I couldn't keep up.

There are some well-written bits about Cambridge and some scarey parts when people certainly aren't what they seem. I haven't read any of the teenage books for which this might be a forerunner but I would categorise this as a young adult book - horror section. So if that's your bag, get stuck in.

Messy, gory and unbelievable (thankfully) this book has been around for two decades. The author's notes are fascinating, explaining that she wrote it when she was twenty three; a trainee teacher `a few years out of Cambridge.' I really enjoyed that thirteen-page section. It showed how an author develops and for that reason I am glad that I have read this, if for no other.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Phoenix on 19 Aug. 2012
Format: Paperback
I found this book interesting more because it is Joanne Harris's début novel rather than for the book itself. The writing is quite poor compared to her later books and I found that she did not develop the characters as well as she usually does. However there are plenty of parts where you can see her normal writing style starting to develop.

I found the story line itself to be quite good. It twists and turns a lot in the same way that is usual for her, although there was a part which I had expected to be explained and wasn't (I wont give anything away), which felt more like an inconsistency than something deliberate.

The story is dark, in the same was that sleep pale sister is, and although it is a romantic novel of sorts, there is nothing of the beautifully romantic magic of some of her other books such as Chocolat or Blackberry Wine.

If you are a Joanne Harris fan then I think it is well worth a read. If this is the first Joanne Harris book you have read then please do not base your opinion of her on this one, it is very different from most of her other works.
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12 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Do-not-disturb on 28 Dec. 2008
Format: Paperback
Harris's foreword states that her publisher and her fans clamoured for the re-release of this book, but for the life of me I can't understand why she allowed it! She herself admits the writing style is somewhat undeveloped - over-blown might be a better description... I haven't come across such floridly turgid prose in a long time (thank goodness). Although the plot itself was interesting enough to keep me plodding on the bitter end, it was a actually with a sigh of relief that I reached the last page! Such a total contrast to her more well-known books (which I've enjoyed), in both storyline and literary style, but not in a good way. Sorry Joanne!
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