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The Highfield Mole: The Circle in the Spiral: Bk. 1 [Paperback]

Roderick Gordon , Brian Williams
4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)

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Book Description

17 Mar 2005 Circle in the Spiral
The Highfield Mole - The Circle in the Spiral is the first volume in a series of Highfield Mole books to be published. It is a story of discovery and adventure in which Will Burrows embarks on a quest to find his father, an archaeologist, who has inexplicably disappeared. Will’s investigations lead to a deadly conflict with the sinister forces that have abducted his father, and a dark and tyrannical world from which he may never return.

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Product details

  • Paperback: 344 pages
  • Publisher: Mathew & Son Limited (17 Mar 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0954839900
  • ISBN-13: 978-0954839901
  • Product Dimensions: 20.8 x 13.4 x 2.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 467,257 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Roderick Gordon is the author of the Tunnels series of books. Born in 1960, he grew up in Highgate, North London, and eventually went to university where he dabbled in genetics and listened to Joy Division. After graduating without the faintest idea what he wanted to do, he spent some time in the wilderness when he played in a few bands, then somehow fell into a job doing corporate finance for an investment bank in the City of London. He genuinely thought this was all that the future held for him until he was made redundant in 2001.

Roderick surprised himself by attempting to write a novel with help from an old friend from his university days and, in 2005, he self-published it as "The Highfield Mole". The book caught the eye of Barry Cunningham, founder of Chicken House, who re-released it in July 2007 with the new title "Tunnels". After intense media interest around its launch, the book was published in forty countries, achieving sales of more than a million copies worldwide and becoming a New York Times Bestseller along the way. Shortly after publication the film rights were picked up by US-based Relativity Media. Roderick followed Tunnels with further books in the series; Deeper (2008), Freefall (2009), Closer (2010), Spiral (2011) and, finally, Terminal (2013).

Roderick currently lives in Norfolk with his wife and two sons, but is known to sneak back to London for reasons of sanity.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent Read 14 May 2005
By A Customer
I bought this book for my teenage son but decided to read it for myself. I am so glad I did. It is an excellent read which will appeal to adults and older children alike. It has lots of unexpected twists in the plot which add to the excitement. I found it a gripping read VERY WELL written and the excellent illustrations brought the story to life for me. I too can see this book being made into a film in the future and very much look forward to the next book in the series. A Highly Recommended absorbing read.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A New Classic 1 May 2005
I would say unreservedly that this book is destined to be a classic. It's one of those rare reads that you genuinely can't put down. The suspense builds and builds, the pace accelerating to the point that when you are forced to close the covers, the story stays with you, buzzing in your head and nagging at you to open them again. And the twists and turns in the plot hit you with all the force of shovel, square in the middle of your back. You won't see them coming. It's both a gripping adventure for young teenagers, and for adults who will fully appreciate the immense depth of thought and imagination that has gone into the book. It would translate with very little effort to the big screen but that's not my main concern - I just want the next book!
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19 of 21 people found the following review helpful
Aargh! where is the next volume? Great read and really gets you thinking about what is under your feet. I'll never again be able to walk around London to look at a boarded up entrance without wondering what mystery could be behind and below it. The book develops really well and carries you along at a cracking pace which only makes the end come upon you quickly and infuriatingly. There is plenty of room for the story to develop and I am sure the film industry will be keen to get hold of this. The illustrations really reflect the mysteries of this under-earth world and get your imagination going. I really look forward to the next 2 volumes.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Highfield Mole Digs Deep 10 Sep 2007
I asked one of my sons (now 21, just graduated with a double major in math/English) and a major reader of sci-fi/fantasy since childhood to read and review Tunnels.

Despite all the hype about The Highfield Mole, I thought that it was a really good, well-written book, and I was interested to see if he would share my opinion. Here is his review, should you be trying to decide if Tunnels is a `keeper' or not:


The idea of a "hidden world" lurking just beneath the surface of the ordinary isn't a new one - at a minimum, this basic premise for a juvenile novel stretches back to the Narnia series by C.S. Lewis. Likewise, an underground civilization isn't a particularly new idea. However (especially in a book aimed at young readers) the premise isn't nearly as important as the execution, and in Tunnels (AKA The Highfield Mole), Gordon and Williams provide a fascinating and engaging new take on the idea.

In contrast to many of the more "fanciful" fantasy books being published, Tunnels seems very down to earth. The world might be subtly different from ours, but the characters never feel divorced from reality, and the fantasy world always feels more like an alternative to London than an escape. The book really does seem scary at times because the world it describes never quite seems incompatible with our own, and the core of that feeling comes from the realism found in the characters.

Tunnels also contains a level of depth (if you'll excuse the pun) not often found in children's literature. Although the plot revolves around a fictional world, the thematic center of the book isn't the tunnels, but rather serious questions about the meaning of family.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Underground Adventure 14 April 2005
By A Customer
An exciting journey through the world beneath our feet. Pace steps up as the adventurers spiral deeper into the underground world. A spell-binding read for adults and children alike.
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