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The Pretender Paperback – 1 Nov 2008


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Product details

  • Paperback: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Five Leaves Publications; 1st edition (1 Nov. 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1905512511
  • ISBN-13: 978-1905512515
  • Product Dimensions: 12.9 x 1.5 x 19.7 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 880,485 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

Review

A gripping writerly thriller that pulls you in from the first page, and keeps you turning the pages, The Pretender is pacy and smart. --Jackie Kay

About the Author

David Belbin has published numerous short stories in literary magazines and anthologies. He works part time as programme leader of the MA in Creative Writing at Nottingham Trent University and is an experienced speaker in public, on radio and TV. He edited a crime short stories anthology, `City Of Crime' (Five Leaves), wrote a best selling guide to eBay.co.uk ('The eBay Book', Harriman House) and now edits the Crime Express series of novellas for Five Leaves. He is best known for his many novels and short stories for Young Adults, including `Denial', `Festival' and `Love Lessons'. In the 90's, he wrote a string of twenty crime novels, from `Shoot The Teacher' to `Dead Guilty' including a twelve novel sequence about young police officers, The Beat, for Scholastic, making him the company's best selling UK author.

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Kathleen Bell on 17 Mar. 2011
Format: Paperback
Another good find in my local public library. A page-turner of a thriller which also has comments to make on C20th literature and the fine art of forgery - what's not to like? The only problem was that, once again, I found myself reading when I should have been sleeping - just because I wanted to know what happened next. In consequence I'm relieved to have finished the book. (I need more sleep.)

I warmed to the young protagonist with his enthusiasm for literature, social awkwardness and unexpected gift for writing in the style of others. Supporting characters often blended charm with an implied threat. The picture of literary London and the world of small (printed!) magazines was an added deligh

This book comes from the excellent independent publisher Five Leaves, which has a very good catalogue but is still too little known. I sometimes read titles just because they're from Five Leaves and am rarely disappointed.

I gather the author, David Belbin, has a new crime novel out. I may have borrowed The Pretender but I reckon on buying the new crime novel - first of a series too ...
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By swisslet on 12 Jun. 2010
Format: Paperback
Telling the story of Mark Trace's (almost) accidental career as a literary forger, "The Pretender" is a thriller about ambition, love, literature and a boy becoming a man.

I loved this book. It is written as a first person narrative, with an older and wiser Mark looking back on his teenaged self, and this works extremely well (perhaps because of his experience writing books for young adults, the author ssems to capture a lonely late-teenage boy perfectly). The plot itself is excellent: well-paced, interesting and original. I never thought a story about imitating the style and voices of the great twentieth century novelists could generate such tension.

Above all though, this novel exudes a love of books and I think a love of writing, which comes across as being an extremely difficult and yet supremely seductive vocation. I ripped through this book in less than a day and came out the other side wanting to read more Hemmingway, more Greene.... and yes, more Belbin.

More please.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By LB on 14 July 2010
Format: Paperback
"The Pretender" tells the story of a young man, Mark Trace, who realises he has a talent for imitating the work of well-known writers. What begins as a childish prank soon becomes deadly serious as Trace's writing career takes a number of turns he didn't expect....

I absolutely loved "The Pretender". The author's obvious affection for the writers and literature featured in the book are evident, and there is clearly a passion here for the subject matter. The characterisation is terrific, and by the time I got past half way, I couldn't put it down.

Beautifully paced, well written and with a wholly original story, I'd recommend "The Pretender" to anyone. Superb.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Joey Kludge on 10 Dec. 2008
Format: Paperback
David Belbin's The Pretender is a coming of age story about a young aspiring novelist who goes to Paris hoping to find romance and literary inspiration, and who ends up back in London in a complex adventure of literary forgeries.

I liked everything about this novel. The characters are well drawn, the action is cleverly plotted, and the descriptions of how great novelists can be imitated is very insightful. However, despite the literary insights The Pretender reveals, there is nothing stodgy about the novel at all - it is a face paced thriller.
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