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The Girl in a Swing Paperback – 30 May 1980


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Paperback, 30 May 1980
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Product details

  • Paperback: 400 pages
  • Publisher: Allen Lane; 1st edition (30 May 1980)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0713913452
  • ISBN-13: 978-0713913453
  • Product Dimensions: 22 x 14.8 x 3.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (16 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 2,628,842 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

3.9 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Marilyn Nichols on 27 Feb 2014
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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11 of 13 people found the following review helpful 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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10 of 13 people found the following review helpful By P. Conant on 21 Sep 2003
Format: Paperback
An excellent book by the author of Watership Down. The elements described by other reviewers - 'haunting, erotic, supernatural' - are all there, though it would be a difficult task to place this novel in such genres as horror, romance or the supernatural. It is a unique book with lyrical and poetic qualities, difficult to pidgeon-hole into a category. It is not horror a la S. King, and if erotic means graphic or pornographic to you, then no, it is not. But the erotic element is there, worked and woven in with honesty, taste and naturalness - and is an important key to the story. The supernatural element is likewise an important thread, and is not obvious at first. However, the reader becomes aware of it as the subtle handling of it in the plot becomes an important key.
As far as mythology and comparisons are concerned, this is by no means 'Medea Revisited' as suggested by another reviewer. Medea is about jealousy and heineous revenge. Though one of the 'sins' commited by Medea is also Karin's, I suggest a closer connection to Kali (which is very briefly and cleverly worked into a conversation within the book), if one must make mythological comparisons. In any case, yes...this is a tale worthy of Euripidean dimensions but it has nothing to do with jealousy, intrigue and revenge.
Karin is a gossamer, enchanting woman of deep, consumming emotions with, as the story unfolds, a dark secret. Her 'other-worldly' nature makes one suspect she is indeed an enchanted creature-turned-human whose very existence is for the spellbound love she and Alan share. Though make no mistake; this is no soggy love story.
Is she 'other-worldly' or a tragic human creature not-meant-for-this-world? Read this intriguing tale with a dark secret. It will haunt you long after the covers of the book are closed.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful By jem on 28 Feb 2011
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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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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10 of 13 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 18 Jun 2000
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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