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The Girl in a Swing Hardcover – 1980

4 out of 5 stars 20 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 339 pages
  • Publisher: Alfred a Knopf; 1st Edition edition (1980)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0394510496
  • ISBN-13: 978-0394510491
  • Product Dimensions: 23.9 x 16.3 x 4.1 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (20 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 980,528 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Richard George Adams (born 9 May, 1920) is an English novelist best known as the author of Watership Down.

He originally began telling the story of Watership Down to his two daughters, and they insisted he publish it as a book. When Watership Down was finally published, it sold over a million copies in record time in both the United Kingdom and the United States. Watership Down has become a modern classic and won both the Carnegie Medal and the Guardian Children's Fiction Prize in 1972.

Others of his books include Shardik, Maia, Tales from Watership Down, The Girl in a Swing and The Plague Dogs, the last two of which, together with Watership Down, have been filmed. His goal is to tell a good story, ideally one so good you can't put it down!

Richard Adams currently lives in Hampshire, England. He has written about his childhood and youth, including the time he served in the army in World War II, in 'The Day Gone By'.

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Customer Reviews

4.1 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
A stunning story, one that has haunted me for many years, and I have re-read it several times. Entirely different in style from any of the author's other work (or that of any other writer for that matter), the denouement, particularly, is shattering; the supernatural element sits convincingly on the old-fashioned landscape and rarefied world of ceramic figurines. The only reason I haven't given it 5 stars is that the narrator is slightly irritating in his not-quite-believable extreme naivete.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I like a well written book with a good story. This is everything - romance, philosophy, tutorial on ceramics and music, ghost story, tragedy, in short one of my favourite books I have ever read - I am a book worm, always have been, and must have got through entire libraries of authors' work. Richard Adams has written in so many genres, he is a writer I admire greatly.
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Format: Paperback
I first read this story when I was about 16, having grown up reading Richard Adams. Its a most beautiful love story, which creates a wonderfully dark tension. Another reviewer likened it to 'The Drowning People' but I think the writing is so much better than that, and the atmosphere it creates so much more vivid.
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By DAVID BRYSON TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 15 Oct. 2002
Format: Paperback
One of the American reviews tells me that the first paperback edition of this book described it as 'a haunting and erotic story of the supernatural'. 'Haunting' I'll certainly go along with: 'erotic' and 'supernatural'? -- not really. This is a book about a romance and a marriage, brief in duration and with a gut-wrenching denouement. There's a lot about sex and it is outstandingly good, honest and original. I'd better explain 'original' I suppose -- nothing Alan and Karin do together is the slightest bit original I am pleased to say. The originality is in the story of a young man who grows up thinking himself unattractive to women and who has no sexual experience before finding himself overwhelmingly desirable to a woman of dumbfounding beauty. And this is 'no casual mistress but a wife', intelligent, loving and supportive. It all takes a bit of adaptation on his part. There is no pre-marital sex and he is impotent through nervousness or shyness during their honeymoon. Karin's sympathy and understanding conquers the problem and his descriptions of their love-making are notable for innocent enthusiasm with no trace of prurience. What I find original is that all this is readable without boredom or disgust. It is a vital element in the story, but this is still no erotic tale.
I can't read it as a tale of the supernatural either. My idea of the supernatural is Poe, Lovecraft, M R James, Clark Ashton Smith and that lot. Alan has something like psychic insights, triggered in the presence of strong femininity. This to me is a fascinating issue, the sort of thing that should warn any rationalist not to be too know-all. There seem to be more things, even on earth, than are dreamed of in a purely rational philosophy.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I first read this book back in the early eighties, and had very fond memories of it. I remembered the increasing sense of dread that the novel evoked, but always wondered if a re-read would live up to the first experience of reading it. Since I lost my copy many years ago, and the book has been long out of print, I never came across another copy. This Kindle edition is a godsend to anyone who wants to revisit the novel, as well as those coming to it for the first time. The Girl in a Swing is a terrific, haunting and beautifully written book, and the tension really racks up as the book moves towards its conclusion.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Another book club recommendation. I wasn't sure what to expect from Richard Adams having only ever read Watership Down by the same author. The main character is quite a lonely man, knowledgeable, but it seems his knowledge is restricted to just ceramics. When he travels and meets an unusual, keen woman he is overwhelmed and is quick to include her totally in his life. I am not certain this would have happened then, due to etiquette and his own insular and cautious lifestyle. It is no wonder she is not exactly who she says she is. The dark side is merely hinted at, which is the clever part of the book!
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Format: Hardcover
I first read this book 15 years or so ago, as a teenager, and it has stayed with me as one of the most memorable books I have ever read. It is a beautifully written romance. Starting out as boy meets girl, boy falls in love with girl. The story builds to a frightening ending, sort of 'Rebecca' meets 'The Drowning People'. The key to this book is not the story line, although there is nothing wrong with it, but the skillful writing by Adams, in building the tension and air of mystery. This book could have so easily been corny, but it is truly brilliant. Read it, you won't be able to put it down!
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Format: Paperback
I found this a really gripping story. It was clear from the outset that the love story of Alan & Karin would not turn out happily, but what nasty twists and turns could we expect?
This author has the gift of directly involving his readers in the story. He writes beautifully and this is my favourite of his books, having first read it thirty years ago. Perhaps there is more sex than is necessary to convey the couple's physical and emotional attraction, but the gathering darkness and gloom threatening their relationship cannot fail to concern every reader.
How I found myself wishing for a happy ending- and for a moment I thought we would have it!
An outstanding book which does not deserve to be out-of-print in paperback.
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