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The Hunger Trace
 
 

The Hunger Trace [Kindle Edition]

Edward Hogan
4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (15 customer reviews)

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Review

'Powerful and original... An impressive work, grimly bawdy, tense and moving' --Sunday Times

`The shocking revelation of a childhood secret and the poignant search for human warmth...make this a rich and moving second novel' --Waterstone's Books Quarterly, March issue

`Cleverly constructed plots, well-drawn settings and slick sentences'
--Review, Daily Telegraph 26/3

`Hogan is only 30, but had the look of a writer of whom more will be heard.... He has taken a situation and developed it with real psychological acuity' --Mail on Sunday

`Dreamy mix of the banal and the numinous infuses a book in which the real star of the show is the place being written about... It's a persuasive central message in an elegant, compelling story...a gripping book'
--Sarah Crown, Guardian

'Hogan excels at tracing unspoken drama between characters, catching the shifts in temperature... In an unshowy way he fills the novel with rich descriptions... The pleasure of The Hunger Trace lies in its precision. Even as the pace quickens Hogan doesn't lose sight of accuracy. Like the falcons whose flight he catches so crisply, the prose is lean and strict, with movements of surprising beauty' --Ed Behrens, Literary Review

'...delicately written, with a subtle plot and some lovely comic touches'
--'Ross Raisin's Cultural Highlights,' Observer, 10 July 2011

`Ross Raisin and Edward Hogan's second novels dealt, as in each of their previous works, with the role of the outsider... The Hunger Trace, Hogan's mysterious, searing story of a Derbyshire falconer. Either would have been strong choices for the much-maligned Man Booker' --Sunday Telegraph

Review

'All [the characters] are essentially lost souls faced with wounds that will never heal -- yet Hogan does a fine job of making us not just root for them, but genuinely enjoy their company... the unaffected quirkiness and sheer good-heartedness... definitely confirms him as a writer to watch' Daily Mail 'Powerful and original... men and women confront each other and are revealed to be both pathetic and admirable, strange but strangely human... Hogan's deft, laconic style moves us swiftly from scene to scene, visiting past and present, alternating comic and dramatic exchanges with fine descriptions of landscape, detailed accounts of animal husbandry and set pieces of close observation... An impressive work, grimly bawdy, tense and moving' The Sunday Times 'Hogan's considerable powers of description convince the reader... evocations of landscape and wildlife have a particular vividness' TLS 'The Hunger Trace shows Hogan's talent developing further. There's a village in peril here too, but the main focus lies with the characters. Hogan's writing illuminates their inner lives with startling clarity. In the novel's latter sections, it is as if Hogan sets them free to perform as an ensemble, bouncing off each other in order to take the story where it must go. The narrative is supported with acute descriptive prose, with the Derbyshire landscape a constant refrain... Hogan's talent for depicting atmospheric, grainy settings does lend itself to a grand mise-en-scene... The Hunger Trace is an extended trope upon the dynamics of love and affection: of what can happen both when they are offered, and when they are withheld' Independent 'This is a novel of secrets, of things buried deep in the long grass of the landscape, and Hogan manages to keep these both mysterious and intriguing. The writing is beautifully exact, and the evocation of the surroundings mesmerising. It is a book that demands to be read' Booktrust UK http://www.booktrust.org.uk/show/book/Books we like/The-Hunger-Trace 'It's one of Hogan's strengths that he can write with such bleakly beautiful romanticism about an area not exactly over-documented in popular fiction... Seductive, the early sections charged with a sense of emotional claustrophobia within the wilderness... Gripping... impressive' Metro 'The shocking revelation of a childhood secret and the poignant search for human warmth in the midst of strained relationships help make this a rich and moving second novel' Waterstone's Books Quarterly, March issue 'A soaring, unconventional book in which stunted emotional growth and lack of fulfilment are striking themes... Superb passages of nature writing. Louisa's sense of oneness with her falcons recalls Barry Hines's classic A Kestrel for a Knave or TH White's The Goshawk, and, in Louisa herself, the supremely solitary figure of Emily Bronte with her pet hawk' Daily Telegraph 'Hogan is only 30 but has the look of a writer of whom more will be heard. His prose is devoid of flamboyance but he has taken a situation and developed it with real psychological acuity' Mail on Sunday 'Dreamy mix of the banal and the numinous infuses a book in which the real star of the show is the place being written about... It's a persuasive central message in an elegant, compelling story...a gripping book' Sarah Crown, Guardian 23/4 'For all its very English concerns -- rural life, weather, tight lips -- Edward Hogan's taut second novel, The Hunger Trace, stakes out a territory of high emotion... Hogan excels at tracing unspoken dramas between characters... The attention to feeling and language is commensurate with the author's eye for physical detail. In an unshowy way he fills the novel with rich descriptions... wittily revealing the unpleasant as well as the pretty... The pleasure of The Hunger Trace lies in its precision. Even as the pace quickens Hogan doesn't lose sight of accuracy. Like the falcons whose flight he catches so crisply, the prose is lean and strict, with movements of surprising beauty' Literary Review 'Hogan excels at tracing unspoken drama between characters, catching the shifts in temperature... In an unshowy way he fills the novel with rich descriptions... The pleasure of The Hunger Trace lies in its precision. Even as the pace quickens Hogan doesn't lose sight of accuracy. Like the falcons whose flight he catches so crisply, the prose is lean and strict, with movements of surprising beauty' Ed Behrens, Literary Review, May issue

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 539 KB
  • Print Length: 368 pages
  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster UK (3 Mar 2011)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B004PGMHOM
  • Text-to-Speech: Not enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (15 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #246,139 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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More About the Author

Edward Hogan was born in Derby in 1980 and now lives in Brighton. He is a graduate of the MA creative writing course at UEA and a recipient of the David Higham Award. His first novel, Blackmoor, was shortlisted for the Sunday Times Young Writer of the Year Award, the Dylan Thomas Prize and the Desmond Elliot Prize.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
6 of 8 people found the following review helpful
By Mrs. C. Colbert VINE VOICE
Format:Hardcover
A wildlife park in the middle of England is the unusual backdrop to this novel which mostly features three characters all dealing with the aftermath of the owner's death two years before.

Maggie, the widow of David, is left to cope with the running of the park, while her only `friend' is the hostile Louisa who has been in love with David since they were teenagers, and who is jealous of and resents Maggie.

Louisa lives in a cottage across the field from 'the big house' where Maggie and Christopher live and constantly spies on her.

Christopher, David's teenage son from his first marriage, lives with Maggie, he is unpredictable, slightly psychotic, has a habit of speaking the truth, is obsessed with Robin Hood and knows that Louisa watches them in their `big house'.

As life goes on in the park Maggie and Louisa start to let their barriers down and gradually become close friends, confiding in each other, Louisa helping in the park as well as looking after her beloved hawks and for a while they both start looking forward.....then Adam (a man with an unusual adult occupation!) enters their life and their friendship is tested.

Louisa's romance with Adam formed quite a large part of the story ......... I really liked Adam but my main doubt was that I just couldn't see what he saw in the unfriendly, unpopular 47 yr old Louisa who lived for her hawks. It seemed an unlikely friendship to me and I found it difficult to believe.

The character I liked the most was Christopher, though I probably shouldn't as he was so weird, but he did make me laugh with his honesty. He once refused to eat meat for a while as he feared retribution from the animals in the park. Maggie took him to the cinema (from page 231) .....
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Just misses the mark 17 July 2012
By charlie
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This could have been a witty, tightly-spun and inventive book - and there is much to like about it, notably the spotlight on unrequited love (and the un-put-downable build-up of tension at the finish). However, none of the protagonists are wholly believable and neither are their relationships one-to-the-other. Louisa's blowing cold-hot-cold over Maggie reminded me of those T shirts popular with Gay men in the 1990s: Danger! Next Mood Swing Ten Minutes Away! Equally, Adam's falling in love with his stalker strained credulity, particularly bearing in mind she's stroppy, of no great looks or allure, and biologically old enough to be his mother. We all know surly/dysfunctional teenagers and many of us have come across youngsters with additional needs, but the character of Christopher just does not ring true - the ingredients are there, but the mixture does not set. The author needed a harsher editor, I fear.
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Format:Paperback
In The Hunger Trace, Edward Hogan's second novel, we're led through a landscape that feels simultaneously familiar, intimidating and astonishing. Derbyshire and falconry; a wildlife park and a love triangle that includes a deceased husband; a young man with special needs and a preoccupation with Robin Hood . . . Each of these themes has outward charms to be sure. But take a closer look, the way Hogan does, at these characters' precarious existence, at their preoccupations and how they pit themselves against one another. Battles over territory, mating privileges and tests of strength pulse beneath the surface of seemingly mild personalities.

There are three characters we come to know intimately. Maggie, the young widow of David Bryant, pretty, placid and urban who inherits a languishing wildlife park. Christopher, her stepson, who is difficult and vulnerable, and at odds with his stepmother. Finally, Louisa, a woman who lives on the estate and who keeps no company except her hawks.

David is the centre of their world - and the void in it. Louisa in particular pines for him because she has the longest history with David though the true nature of her craving is obscured by the hold she had over him in life.

The natural world seeps into these relationships, literally and figuratively. There are practical problems to solve like when the herd of ibex are set free by persons unknown and tracked down to Morrison's car park, or when the worst rains in a century come, flooding roads and endangering the raptors' aviary. At times like these Maggie and Louisa have no choice but to work together, for whom else can they turn to?

Maggie is the warmer of the two women and sees better then Louisa does how much they have in common.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Stunning 8 Feb 2013
Format:Paperback
I've just listened to the audio book of this and it blew me away. I found it hard to believe the author is a twenty-something male - he explores the female psyche so well, and they're not young females either.

The character of Christopher - who is somewhere on the autistic spectrum - was brilliantly depicted, and maybe it helped that the narrator brought the writing so vividly to life - a lot can depend on the quality of the narrating with an audio-book.

I wouldn't have imagined being so gripped by descriptions of falconry, or flooding, or the day-to-day running of an animal farm, but despite the almost lyrical style of writing the story is primarily driven by the complex characters of Louisa Smedley - in particular - Maggie, Chrisptopher and Adam, with the backstory of Maggie and Lousia's relationship with David Bryant skillfully woven in. I grew to care about them all, and was sorry when I'd finished.

I've already started listening to Hogan's earlier novel, Blackmoor, and it's shaping up to be every bit as good.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
2.0 out of 5 stars couldn't give it more
I'm afraid this was just not my kind of book.I found the characters dull and too ordinary. I really had to make myself pick up the story and eventually finish it
Published 1 month ago by Janny
3.0 out of 5 stars Overall - a bit melancholic
The 'hunger trace' of the title is an interruption in the growth of the feathers in a bird of prey as a result of starvation. Read more
Published 18 months ago by Scholastica
4.0 out of 5 stars Falconic Novel
Let's face it, the real stars are the raptors and the insight into falconry is a bonus in this novel. Read more
Published 24 months ago by puddleglum
5.0 out of 5 stars Christopher had finished the first section (Hooded Man/Psycho...
Maggie is trying to continue the work of her late husband, David Bryant's wildlife centre. She isn't afraid of hard work and she has reliable staff. Read more
Published on 18 July 2012 by Eileen Shaw
5.0 out of 5 stars Riveting, character driven novel.
After the death of her husband, David, Maggie struggles to run his wildlife park in Derbyshire with little emotional support. Read more
Published on 24 Mar 2012 by Curiosity Killed The Bookworm
4.0 out of 5 stars A beautifully written novel with wonderful characters
The Hunger Trace is set in a small English village where three very different people are all trying to cope with the death of wildlife park owner David Bryant. Read more
Published on 23 Mar 2012 by Helen S
5.0 out of 5 stars Stayed with me for long time after I read it
I read The Hunger Trace and it stayed for me for weeks afterwards. The story uncurls over the pages and the tension and action ramps up. Read more
Published on 16 Mar 2012 by InquisitiveOwl
5.0 out of 5 stars Stunning Second Novel...
From the very start of `The Hunger Trace' I had an early inkling that this would be a book for me. It opens with two women, who clearly don't like each other for reasons we don't... Read more
Published on 14 Mar 2012 by Simon Savidge Reads
5.0 out of 5 stars A beautifully written drama in rural Derbyshire
In The Hunger Trace Edward Hogan has produced a characteristically English novel set among the hills of Derbyshire. Read more
Published on 15 Dec 2011 by A Common Reader
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