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The New Policeman Hardcover – 2 Jun 2005

17 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 416 pages
  • Publisher: Bodley Head Children's Books; Reprint edition (2 Jun. 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 037032823X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0370328232
  • Product Dimensions: 21.6 x 14.2 x 4 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (17 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,446,082 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description


A distinctive and beautifully written enthralling tale, both whimsical and deep, told with a dry, laconic wit. -- Books for Keeps magazine, July 1, 2005

Imaginative, neatly constructed and rich in Irish lore, characters and atmosphere, it is deservedly gathering prizes. -- Sunday Times, December 4, 2005

Kate Thompson's work always surprises with its inventiveness and sheer quality of her writing...this book breaks new ground. -- INIS Magazine, June 1, 2005

There is something hallucinatory, if not delirious about this stylish, magical book. -- The Guardian, July 2, 2005

Book Description

THE NEW POLICEMAN is a multi-award-winning, wonderfully intriguing story going right to the heart of Irish magic, folklore and music. --This text refers to the Audio CD edition.

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Customer Reviews

4.5 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
Yet another one of those books that have been waiting on the shelf for years and that I enjoyed more than I expected I would. I wasn't even sure what it was about, just that once someone told me it was good. And yet, the right time for it only came now. I devoured this in less than two days. It was that good. It's also about everything I love. Ireland, for starters. It's set in a delightful little village I've visited more than once, in county Galway. It's about traditional Irish music, and even though I'm not the biggest fan of trad, or diddly aye as my friends from the wesht call it, I do enjoy a session every now and then. It really shows the true heart of Ireland. And finally, it's about magic, folklore and mythology. About the Tuatha de Danann and the great Irish heroes of the old sagas.Only, not like you've read them before.
Life in Kinvara seems to go as usual, except it isn't. Time is slipping away too fast and people never seem to have enough of it. There is a new policeman in town, but he's not so sure he's right for the job and he'd rather play his fiddle in the pub than investigate crimes. Then there's 15-year-old JJ Liddy who bears his mother's family name with pride (The Liddys have been for their music and their ceili for years), until one day his friend tells him his great-grandfather murdered a priest, and he's not sure about being a Liddy anymore. He doesn't know anything about his family's past and now his mother realises it's time to tell him the truth. But soon JJ realises there's more at stake than his family pride. His determination to buy more time for his mother, as she asked for her birthday present, brings him to the edge of reality in a quest to fix time and fulfil his mother's wishes.
This was a multi-layered story that was satisfying on many levels.
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Format: Paperback
This review has also been posted on Goodreads :)
This book changed my life.

When I was about nine or ten, my grandma bought this book, having seen a review of it in The Times when it first came out. I'm not sure what she thought would interest me - probably the music, since I've been brought up in a musical family - but it certainly worked.

I was amazed at the entire world Kate Thompson had taken from mythology - an interpretation of the sidhe that I'd never seen before. I loved how she mixed Tir n'a nÓg with the modern day world, how her human characters ere funny and realistic as well as her fairies, and I loved how JJ's family weren't an over sentimental Irish family - JJ got teased at school for dancing, he got teased for playing music. It sounded real.

Her descriptions of music were so inspiring that I actually started playing traditional music myself not long afterwards, and a few years later I took up Irish dance. Now I write books about fairies. I cannot stress enough how much this book has meant to me. I forced some of my friends to read the book and they found the short chapters irritating, or weren't interested in the mythology, but I absolutely loved it. To me, this book is flawless.

I'm nearly seventeen now and this book still holds a place on my 'favourites' shelf.

Highly, highly recommended to anyone with even a passing interest in the fairies, or mythology, or music, or just good books with good characters. Although I never fell in love with the rest of the series in quite the same way, they are still good books in their own right.
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11 of 13 people found the following review helpful By smash7 on 14 May 2006
Format: Paperback
This is a book full of mystery, magic, myth and music. It takes place in Ireland at a time when music was very important to the population. It is about a boy called JJ Liddy who sets off to buy his mother some time. Can he do the impossile task and manage to grant her wish? Full of surprises along the way, this book is a must for all kids aged 12+. Hard to put down and enjoyable from beginning to end. Enjoy.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful By TeensReadToo TOP 500 REVIEWER on 14 Aug. 2008
Format: Paperback
There is never enough time in the small Irish town of Kinvara. People go about their daily business at top speed: children rush to catch school buses that are inevitably late, parents never make it to work on time, and even the elderly complain that there's just not enough time in the day. Everyone agrees that it wasn't always this way, but no one can pinpoint exactly when time started seeping out of their lives. Although everyone can feel the time leak, no one can prove its existence, and so although everyone complains about it, no one does anything to stop it.

No one, that is, until J.J. Liddy's mother insists that the only thing she truly wants for her birthday is more time. J.J. understands his mother's desire, and wishes that he could find a way to help her get the gift she really wants this year, but like everyone else he feels that it's hopeless to wish for something that will never come.

However, Ireland is rich with history and mythology, and the two often become confused with each other. For J.J., a revelation about his own family history leads to a series of interconnected discoveries, eventually causing him to stumble into the mythical Tír na n'Óg, the Land of Eternal Youth. There, time is supposed to stand still, but J.J.'s visit there shows him that time is passing there, albeit very slowly. Somehow, time is leaking from the real world into Tír na n'Óg,
and as the only person who knows the truth of the leak, J.J. is the only person who can stop it. Along the way, he begins to unravel the secrets of his history, both recent and distant, as the legends of Ireland come to life around him.

I thoroughly enjoyed this tale, steeped as it was in the richness of Irish legends and tradition.
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