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The Eyeball Collector Hardcover – Unabridged, 5 Jun 2009


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Product details

  • Hardcover: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Macmillan Children's Books (5 Jun. 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0230532284
  • ISBN-13: 978-0230532281
  • Product Dimensions: 13.5 x 2.8 x 21.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (34 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 885,654 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

About the Author

F. E. Higgins has been fascinated by the macabre ever since seeing a ghostly apparition as a child. Nowadays F. E. travels the lands that these books describe, collecting strange artefacts and the even stranger secrets and stories behind them. The Black Book of Secrets and The Bone Magician, the first results of these eerie explorations, have sold all over the world. When not in pursuit of a story, F.E. may be found in a haunted house in Kent. She sits with quill in hand, a false leg beside her and from the mantelpiece an eyeball watches the words she forms on the page.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Su TOP 100 REVIEWER on 12 Sept. 2009
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
A butterfly collector is swindled out of everything he has by a villain called Gulliver Truepin - a man with one major distinguishing feature, a glass eyeball. His son Hector, our hero, sets out for revenge, but his search for the villain takes him to the sinister gothic mansion called Withypitts Hall and into contact with its twisted inhabitants. Hector must decide between his own morality and conscience and the urge for vengeance for the wrongs done to his father.

This book can be read as a stand alone, but it is much better if you have read the 2 predecessors (The Black Book of Secrets and The Bone Magician) due to the interlinking which is occurring in the story. There are a number of characters which appear (mainly) in Black Book

The author, F E Higgins, catches the atmosphere remarkably well; the novel is dark and filled with menacing characters, each with their own individual demons. This is amazing considering that this is only her 3rd book.

As with other reviewers I have noticed a Discworld-like way to these books (a chorus of "there's only one Terry Pratchett" ran round my mind as I typed that); it is possible that she is even trying to be a little Tolkien-esk in style. Don't get me wrong it's still a great book, and a great read, although my favourite so far has to be Black Book.

It may be a little dark for some of the younger readers, so it may be best with teenagers - but parents/guardians will be able to judge their child best. With a little extra work (and it is only a little extra) the author could turn this into a best seller in the adult market.

I have enjoyed this book, as did my friend's teenage son (we read it in one go). I will be getting the next book that Miss Higgins publishes.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By The Wolf TOP 100 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 20 Aug. 2009
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
F E Higgins (if such she really be) is a good writer and this is a good tale.

With regard to her evolving persona she seems to be quietly cultivating her own quaint
mythology somewhere in deepest, darkest Kent (and for Kentish creatures the clues
she has scattered suggest a remote{ish} location close to the village of Pluckley).
As an author she would appear to have learned her lessons well from other great
navigators of the more grotesque corners of the human imagination such as Dickens,
Peake and Pratchett.

The central character Hector is a worthy hero. His story, ultimately, explores
the dominance of conscience over a deep urge for revenge. A moral quest.

Along the way his entanglement with a motley collection of well-drawn characters
leads him inexorably deeper into a labyrinthine web of lies, deception and intrigue.

Two of the central performers in this drama are among the most (deliciously) horrible
I have come across in childrens' fiction.

Lady Lysandra Mandible ( a kind of Lady Macbeth/Cruella de Vil hybrid ) really is
as nasty as they come. Her appetite for increasingly twisted exotic novelties sits
well within the noble history of Grand Guignol. Wickedness truly becomes her.
The fate of poor Lord Mandible's cat Posset (what does Ms Higgins have against
the French by the way ?!) will have many a young reader squirming in their chair!

Despite being a truly vile being I found myself feeling somewhat sorry for
Baron Bovrik de Vandolin and his ultimate fate. The price of love and power
(always a heady mix in any narrative) costs him dearly !
The collection to which the book's title refers is a sumptiously macabre invention !
Read more ›
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By SJSmith TOP 1000 REVIEWER on 25 July 2009
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
Having read the other two books written by F.E. Higgins I didn't find this instalment as good but it was still a great read. Although it isn't a sequel it definitely helps if you've read the other two books written before it - `The Black Book of Secrets' and `The Bone Magician' - as previous characters make an appearance and locations and incidents are referred to.

In this story, we have Hector who has been cruelly orphaned. His life takes a change when he discovers Withypitts Hall and he is faced with some difficult decisions. Hector is very different from Ludlow and Pin (characters featuring in the previous two novels) in that he is from across the river and has experienced a different and more prosperous life that Ludlow and Pin.

F.E. Higgins makes use of letters found from Hector to Polly (a character from TBBOS). She explains in her introduction that these were discovered on her travels and along with other items she has found she is able to tell the story of Hector. Even this concept, of the author being part of the story seems somewhat unusual in comparison to some fiction for younger readers. It is a clever idea that makes the reader feel more involved.

Although I didn't enjoy this story as much it does require slightly more investment from the reader in that you need to link everything together as you're going. There are even riddles along the way to solve should you desire as Hector enjoyed riddling with his father and continues the tradition once orphaned.

A recommended read for adults and children, however this is the first one out of the three where it will help to read the others.
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