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The Lovely Bones Paperback – Large Print, 20 Apr 2004

942 customer reviews

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Paperback, Large Print, 20 Apr 2004
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--This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

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Product details

  • Paperback: 532 pages
  • Publisher: Large Print Press; large type edition edition (20 April 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 159413023X
  • ISBN-13: 978-1594130236
  • Product Dimensions: 2.5 x 14 x 21 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (942 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,874,760 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Alice Sebold is the bestselling author of The Lovely Bones (now a major motion picture) and Lucky, both of which were #1 New York Times bestsellers. Her most recent novel is The Almost Moon. Born in Madison, Wisconsin, Sebold grew up in the suburbs of Philadelphia and attended Syracuse University, as well as the University of Houston and the University of California, Irvine. She now lives in California with her husband, the novelist Glen David Gold.

Product Description

Amazon Review

On her way home from school on a snowy December day, 14-year-old Susie Salmon is lured into a cornfield and brutally raped and murdered, the latest victim of a serial killer. The Lovely Bones, Alice Sebold's haunting and heartbreaking debut novel, unfolds from heaven, where "life is a perpetual yesterday" and where Susie narrates and keeps watch over her grieving family and friends, as well as her brazen killer and the sad detective working on her case.

As Sebold fashions it, everyone has his or her own version of heaven. Susie's resembles the athletic fields and landscape of a suburban high school: a heaven of her "simplest dreams", where "there were no teachers... We never had to go inside except for art class... The boys did not pinch our backsides or tell us we smelled; our textbooks were Seventeen and Glamour and Vogue".

The Lovely Bones works as an odd yet affecting coming-of-age story. Susie struggles to accept her death while still clinging to the lost world of the living, following her family's dramas over the years. Her family disintegrates in their grief: her father becomes determined to find her killer, her mother withdraws, her little brother Buckley attempts to make sense of the new hole in his family and her younger sister Lindsey moves through the milestone events of her teenage and young adult years with Susie riding spiritual shotgun. Random acts and missed opportunities run throughout the book--Susie recalls her sole kiss with a boy on earth as "like an accident--a beautiful gasoline rainbow".

Though sentimental at times, The Lovely Bones is a moving exploration of loss and mourning that ultimately puts its faith in the living and that is made even more powerful by a cast of convincing characters. Sebold orchestrates a big finish and though things tend to wrap up a little too well for everyone in the end, one can only imagine (or hope) that heaven is indeed a place filled with such happy endings. --Brad Thomas Parsons, --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.


...a keenly observed portrait of familial love... a deeply affecting meditation on the ways in which terrible pain... can be redeemed... -- New York Time, 18 June 02

...amazing. Careful and courageous, original and profound, The Lovely Bones spins the most painful subject imaginable into pure gold... -- Karen Joy Fowler, author of Sister Noon and Sarah Canary

...makes manifest, in a beautifully written and complex story full of love and hope, the utter banality of evil. -- Lynn Freed, author of House of Women and The Mirror

Painfully funny, bracingly tough, terribly sad, it is a feat of imagination and a tribute to the healing power of grief... -- Michael Chabon, author of The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Klay

Sebold has given us a fantasy-fable of great authority, charm and daring. She's a one-of-a-kind-writer. -- Jonathan Frantzen, author of The Corrections --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

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Customer Reviews

4.1 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

175 of 182 people found the following review helpful By J F Atkin on 12 Nov. 2004
Format: Paperback
The Lovely Bones by Alice Sebold is one of the most powerful books I have ever read. I am not one for reading about death, ghosts, anything in the slightest bit scary or frightening, and when I heard about this book I did not think it would be for me. But, I read the first page of this book and was hooked, I finished it 5 hours later and I can honestly say it has changed the way I think about heaven, life after death and the ability to move on when somebody you love dies.
It is a thought provoking, tear jerking fictional story of Susie Salmon, murdered at a young and tender age, who narrates the story of her afterlife (for want of a better word) in "her Heaven" and her family's path through life without her. I did not put this book down from the moment I started it, I read alot of books and have never been so hooked on anything before. The idea is so original, you will not have read anything like it. The emotional ride that Susie and author Alice Sebold take you on is a real rollercoaster, you will cry tears of sadness and joy, feel anger and fear, love the story and possibly hate it too. If you have children you will cuddle them extra hard on a night. If ever you have lost someone close then read this book.
Alice Sebold is not attempting to make you believe in anything, this is not a religious book, or a story to be afraid of (even if you have lost a child yourself), it is simply a fictional novel, of the way things could possibly be. The whole story centres around a sad event, a brutal murder of someone young and vulnerable, but this is not a dark book, it will make you cry, and make you happy. Susie is a strong character, easy to like and easy to understand, someone most people can relate to.
I can honestly say this book will stay with me forever, I loved reading it, and am very happy to recommend it to everyone. Happy reading!
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Suzy Sutherland on 12 Mar. 2004
Format: Paperback
The first chapter is not easy reading, it describes the rape and murder of the narrator, Susie Salmon, and it implies a gruesome scene. However, it is dealt with as delicately as possible, with just the right amount of detail to set the book off. The rest of the book is truly beautiful. It takes us through the grief and horror and reluctance to resume normal life of the family, but always through the eyes of Susie. I laughed, cried, grimaced and rejoiced in this book. I could not put it down. Well done to the author for creating such a huge impact. It did mirror the film Ghost with some of its approaches, and I didn't really appreciate the scene at the end, one taken straight from Ghost. But apart from that, an amazing read.
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44 of 47 people found the following review helpful By Sunny on 20 Aug. 2003
Format: Paperback
I must admit that strangers starred at me as tears flowed while I read the book on the train on my way home. I have never read such a captivating book, I simply just had to finish it in one day.
Till date this is Alice Sebold's only fiction novel that I know of, the other is non-fiction and is called 'Lucky'. In it holds the key to why she could write and transmit to us a nightmare horror, for she too was raped on her way home.
I cried for the main character, Susie, because she was frozen in a child like body, while watching her sister and brother grow up, the end of her parent's marriage and eventually her mother's transformation. In 'Lucky' you will read how the author's own mother battled with alcohol and personality problems. Both books are entwined, I think, one true, the other make believe, both the author's attempt to deal with ghosts of the past as well as the unanswered question, what if she had been murdered that day?
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Theresa Batchelor on 9 Oct. 2003
Format: Hardcover
This is how I hope it really is if there is an afterlife. The story of a 14 year old girl, murdered by a neighbour and watching from "her Heaven", not being able to let anyone know what happened or direct them to her killer. She watches as her family and friends grieve and come to terms with her terrible death. She watches as they grow up and grow older, experiencing all the things she never got to do. She describes feeling no anger or bitterness towards her murderer or towards her untimely death.
There is a certain amount of tension as her sister and father try and uncover the truth behind her murder, and sadness as the tragedy takes it's toll on her parent's relationship and her father's health. Very poignant if you have children of your own in today's more violent and unpredictable society
Over all an enjoyable which is quite easy to read in one sitting -if you've got the time!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Crazy Genie on 21 Mar. 2010
Format: Paperback
It tells the story of 14-year old Susie Salmon, a girl who was raped and murdered. To her surprise, her life did not end yet. She was transferred to the `in-between", a place between heaven and earth. In there, she watched her family mourn for her death and how the family fell apart because of her death. She also watched her murderer ran free because the police failed to find evidence against him. The story finished with her family coming back to together after coming to terms with and finding peace of her death, and her murderer killed in an accident.

It is probably one of the most difficult book I have to read, the emotions I experience while reading it is overwhelming. I found myself having to read other books in between to distract myself. I was literally shocked after reading the first chapter about how Susie was killed. And then the rest of the book does get you quite depressed.
Although the book is difficult to read, it is a great work of novel. The main theme of the book is death. And according to psychology, there are five stages of grief : denial, anger, bargaining, depression, and acceptance and these are all shown by the reaction of Susie's family. After the first chapter, we get to see how the family reacted to Susie's death from her point of view. And in narrating it all, Susie also gives lots of flashbacks of the past about her time with her family. I like the way the author merge various "images" from the pre and post death. For example, one of the images that still stay in my mind is the hobby that Susie shares with her father-putting crafted ships into glass bottles. Her dad had lots of empty bottle for future work in his workshop and he destroyed them all after Susie's death.
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