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The Spider Truces

The Spider Truces [Kindle Edition]

Tom Connolly
4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (47 customer reviews)

Print List Price: £7.99
Kindle Price: £4.79 includes VAT* & free wireless delivery via Amazon Whispernet
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A very fine, funny and moving read. --David Baddiel

When you try to protect someone from grief, do you prevent them from feeling anything at all? A beautiful debut about a son trying to break free from his father. --Financial Times

A remote corner of Kent is the background to Connolly's magical coming-of-age novel. Growing up, Ellis prefers to spend time on the local farm; later he will develop a talent for photography, but relationships remain a mystery to him in this fierce, humane and hazily poetic work. --Guardian

A warm coming-of-age story that tackles family relationships, secrets, belonging and self-acceptance. Ellis's journey as he blunders through adolescence, breaks free from the shackles of childhood and finally confronts his phobia, is moving and beautiful, as are the rural and coastal settings Connolly describes so vividly. --Coventry Telegraph

In 1980s Kent, quirky youth Ellis is obsessed by the spiders in his country home and by the need to know more about his mother's death. Filmmaker Connolly's touching novel follows Ellis as he muddles toward adulthood and understanding. --Books Quarterly

A funny, moving and quirky coming-of-age story. Hugely enjoyable. --Deborah Moggach

Lyrical, warm and moving, this impressive début is reminiscent of Laurie Lee. --Meera Syal

The Spider Truces is one of those wonderful novels that captures within its pages something of the essence of life as lived. Connolly follows Ellis through his teens and beyond, with a keen eye for the rhythms of family life and growing up. His characterisation is superb. An interview with the author at the back of the book reveals that he is working on two more novels; I very much look forward to reading them. --Bookrabbit

For a first novel there is much to delight. The lyricism and humour, as well as interesting quirks of character and event, draw you in... I could recommend the book purely for the final third, which is moving and beautifully written. Connolly has proved his prose can be exquisite and his imagination original. I will be looking forward to seeing what he comes up with next. --The Argus

This heartfelt, beautifully-constructed, coming-of-age story, set in the very particular landscapes of the Kentish Weald and Romney Marsh, is testimony to the author's profound love of the area and he allows his wonderful protagonist, Ellis, to freely and effortlessly inhabit it.

Product Description

Ellis is obsessed by the spiders that inhabit the crumbling house where he lives with his dad, his older sister and Great-aunt Mafi -- and also by a need to find out more about his mother, whose death overshadows the family's otherwise happy existence. He is a sensitive soul; awkward and out of place most of the time but funny, too, and with an embarrassing habit of speaking his thoughts aloud, whatever the company.

From early attempts at relationships, to unskilled jobs, flatshares and drug-addled nights on the beach, Ellis muddles his way towards adulthood. What endures is the strength of his bond with his dad, Denny, and his affectionate relationship with his intrepid sister, who turns up whenever he needs her -- a new boyfriend in tow every time. The family banter is Ellis's lifeline and a counterpoint to the constant heartache of his desire to know something -- anything -- about his mother. Meanwhile Denny, an ex-Merchant Navy man, bottles up his grief at the loss of his wife, refusing to talk about her.

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 589 KB
  • Print Length: 369 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 0956251528
  • Publisher: Myriad Editions (1 Jun 2011)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B006WB7PXQ
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (47 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #77,537 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
4.6 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
15 of 15 people found the following review helpful
Nine-year old Ellis is terrified of spiders to the point that his mind will freeze and shut down if one touches him. Unfortunately for Ellis his dad has moved him and his sister Chrissie into a crumbling old house that appears to be haunted by spiders, they're everywhere. Ellis is also haunted by his lack of knowledge about his deceased mother. His dad Denny refuses to talk about her, meanwhile Ellis' sister Chrissie compulsively dates and wise Aunt Mafi has moved in to run the house.

To reduce Ellis' fear of spiders his dad convinces him that he has made a truce with the spiders to leave him alone, but in return Ellis has to promise to learn more about them. If you're scared of spiders this is great book to read to get over your fear of them as the author shares his extensive and fascinating knowledge of arachnids.

Ellis is an immediately endearing character; he has a habit of saying out loud what he is thinking about half way through the sentence. This results in one of the most comical first date conversations that I have ever read.

Although there are plenty of laughs in this book there are darker moments too as Ellis struggles to build a relationship with his dad as an adult. Ellis is a dreamer and he tends to drift into situations. He finds it difficult to commit to relationships because he hasn't had one with his mother in any sense, not even one built on her memory and this has a profound impact on him. While father and son can some to a truce over the spiders they cannot form one over the woman who haunts both their lives.

Denny clearly loves his family but he is broken by grief.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
A beautifully paced, touching and humorous book. Whilst about a young boy's experience of life in rural Kent, the universal themes of our shared journey through life and the necessary and sometimes painful and confusing transition from child to adulthood can be related to throughout. In moments, the book moved me to tears through the gentle, subtle emotional narrative - never sinking into sentimentality. An original, compelling, magical story where you really do care about the protagonist and his journey. A perfect summer holiday read...
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Loved this book 3 July 2012
By Rhubarb
I read a lot of books, but this was one that stayed with me long after I had finished it. I got really engaged with all the characters and the storyline. Excellent. Definitely worth a try.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Spider Truces 4 Mar 2012
By .
Format:Kindle Edition
What a wonderful find this was. I am not the biggest fan of "coming of age" stories however his little gem showed me how good they can be.
The story of Ellis growing up and the people he meets through his life was written beautifully. Everything was tided together with his fear of spiders. Although other reviewers have stated they do not see the reasoning behind this I felt it gave the book something extra. It was enjoyable to read how the family would try to help him overcome his fear and how every so often throughout the tale this was mentioned to link to previous scene or of a forthcoming chapter. I could not put this book down and finished it with gusto and a smile.
This is a well written and enjoyable story.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Stunning!! 19 Jan 2012
By Wend
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
This book is simply gorgeous! The imagery, emotion and reflections are so beautiful, whilst reading it you feel as if you are living in an immense work of fine art. I cannot believe that such a book fetches such a low price - on kindle anyway, and I just hope that Tom Connolly writes again - and soon! Read it, take it all in, stay a while and just absorb it.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars touches the heartstrings 14 Dec 2011
By Bugs
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I wouldn't normally have thought of reading a book about a young man's rite of passage from boyhood to manhood but this was tender and lyrical in parts and raw in its realism in others. I can't remember the last time I was reduced to tears while reading, but it happened this time. What an accomplished debut novel!
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18 of 21 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A web worth getting stuck to! 25 April 2010
If I ever read a fiction book it can not be more than once a year so to buy a new book on the first day of publication was exceptional for me. Additionally, I was hoping that it would be delivered before I was due to go away for a week so that any dull days and evenings could be spent reading it. Luckily, it came on the morning that I was heading off. That was the first, pleasant surprise - and 5* to the retailer for that promptness.

After a long drive northwards that day, I wanted little more than to rest with a strong drink and a cup of coffee, and waht better way of unwinding than to start on the new book?

I should add at this point that I was first drawn to it after listening to an interview with the author on BBC Radio Kent, just a week or so before it was due to be published.

The combination of the well-researched show host and the honest, open responses from the author actually convinced me that this was a book worth checking out - the title alone was intriguing enough, and having learnt that there was a lot of personal reminiscences put into the writing, using notes and memories taken by the author from the 1970/80s during his life in the Weald of Kent, I just felt that this was a book I had to read.

I was not disappointed, hence this review here now. I will not give any of the plot away, but just say that having started the book on the Sunday evening covering the first 30 or so pages, and then another 70 pages two nights later, it was Friday morning when I finished it having to delay my morning start by two hours so that I did not have to wait until I got back to reach the conclusion! Less than a week to read, from start to finish.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars A good read
A good book about parenting and growing up. Lots of love and realism. Everything is not all right in the end and this is a good read
Published 1 month ago by MR G C LIDDINGTON
5.0 out of 5 stars It was so good I forgot I was reading
A definite page-turner. I can't wait for my boys to be old enough to read this novel. It's a beautiful story that explores family relationships, particularly between father and... Read more
Published 5 months ago by Jenny Hackett
3.0 out of 5 stars well written
A book about growing up and relationships. I want to love this book but I don't and it's hard to say why. Read more
Published 5 months ago by Colleen
5.0 out of 5 stars Beautifully written.
A brilliantly written story. It was moving and sometimes laugh out loud funny. I loved the relationships between the characters. I really didn't want it to end
Published 6 months ago by carol ormrod
3.0 out of 5 stars So so read
The sort of writing which is OK at the time but you wouldn't choose to go back to read again. It did not particularly draw me in to the tale.
Published 7 months ago by Mrs EC Cuthbert
3.0 out of 5 stars The Spider Truces
Still reading, but seems to be well written. la la la la la la la l a lal a lal a lal\ a la la la la
Published 10 months ago by ian beverley
4.0 out of 5 stars warm, gentle,funny and sad. A beautiful stroll through a young man's...
A very beautiful and poignant book about the passage from childhood to adulthood that makes you laugh and cry in equal measure.
Published 10 months ago by MRS M J STEPHENS
4.0 out of 5 stars A gentle read
Strange but appealing with a hint of supernatural. The relationship between the characters evolves throughout the book, the child becoming adult, the apparent break with the father... Read more
Published 10 months ago by Mrs J T McNeill
5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful book
This is a beautiful poetic, sad, funny and completely absorbing book with a vivid father/son relationship at its heart.
A real literary gem.
Published 11 months ago by Dr. Pauline Rose
5.0 out of 5 stars grannyc
this was a thoughtful, intriguing story, beautifully written which kept my attention from beginning to end. The characters are believable and theprose excellent. Read more
Published 11 months ago by granny c
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