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The Stuff of Nightmares [Kindle Edition]

Malorie Blackman
4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (22 customer reviews)

Print List Price: £7.99
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Book Description

Kyle has always been afraid of things, especially dying. But when he gets on the train that is taking him and his class on a school trip, he has no idea how close to Death he is going to come. Death enters the train and Kyle moves with him, past his friends, who are frozen in time, in life-or-death situations. Kyle finds that he can pick up on their deepest, darkest fears - real things that have happened to them, or may happen in the future, and sometimes their surreal nightmares too.

Kyle realises that he isn't the only one who has buried fears and, more importantly, he now burns with the desire to live, and to live without fear. But will Death release him?

Product Description


"A superbly told thriller that will keep readers hooked" (The Bookseller)

"Malorie Blackman is already a bestseller and The Stuff of Nightmares can only add to her fame . . . This book seems bound to be extremely popular" (Nicholas Tucker Independent)

"Blackman reaches reluctant readers like few others" (Amanda Craig The Times)

"Malorie Blackman is one of the most versatile and forthright of all authors for young adults. She has brought us an ambitious panorama of broken societies and depicted motive and action in searingly effective ways . . . This is a remarkable book, powerful, fearful" (Dennis Hamley Carousel)

"It is an intelligent, original and compelling novel" (Simon Treacy Cork Evening Echo)

Book Description

A fantastic, spine-tingling story by the award-winning author of the Noughts & Crosses sequence, Malorie Blackman

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 1441 KB
  • Print Length: 354 pages
  • Publisher: RHCP Digital (5 Dec. 2008)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B0031RDWA4
  • Text-to-Speech: Not enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (22 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #105,250 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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More About the Author

Malorie Blackman is acknowledged as one of today's most imaginative and convincing writers for young readers. The novels in her Noughts & Crosses sequence have won several awards, including the Red House Children's Book Award, and she has won many other awards for her books. Both Hacker and Thief! won the Young Telegraph/Gimme 5 Award - Malorie is the only author to have won this award twice - while Hacker also won the WH Smith Mind-Boggling Books Award in 1994.

Her work has appeared on screen, with Pig-Heart Boy, which was shortlisted for the Carnegie Medal, being adapted into a BAFTA-winning TV serial. Malorie has also written a number of titles for younger readers including Cloud Busting, which won the Smarties Silver Award, The Monster Crisp Guzzler and Whizziwig. In 2005, Malorie was honoured with the Eleanor Farjeon Award in recognition of her distinguished contribution to the world of children's books. In 2008, she was then honoured with an OBE for her services to Children's Literature.

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Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
4.6 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars excellent 3 Nov. 2007
By BG123
It would be difficult for any reader to write their next big novel after writing the iconic 'Noughts and Crosses' series. But Malorie Blackman, in typical style, pulls it off again.

This time, Blackman enters the realms of fantasy horror, through the eyes of a doubting child. With its rather unusual plot, the book describes how the main character 'hops' into other people's nightmares after a school trip goes terrible wrong. The ending is perhaps the only weak point of the book, it leaves you feeling almost empty after the fullness of the rest of the book.

The book is truly spooky, with some of the nightmares truly spine-shivering material. Thanks you Malorie for another great read.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Malorie's Nightmare 18 April 2011
I picked up this book because I knew Malorie Blackman was good, in fact, I think her Noughts & Crosses series is quite possibly the best set of young adult drama novels there is. In this book, the main character Kyle and his friends go on a field trip, unfortunately, the train they are on is involved in a crash which brings many of the passengers close to death. Being close to death has suddenly given Kyle the ability to jump into his friends' nightmares - some real, some fantastical, some horrible. Six of the 'nightmares' have actually previously been published in other short story volumes by Blackman so some fans may feel cheated by the fact they'll find half the stories very familiar.

As a whole, I don't think the book quite clicked, I felt the main story arc revolving around Kyle and the train crash was weak and served only as an excuse to launch into the short stories. I found myself wanting to skip the bits about Kyle and just head straight onto the 'nightmares'. But my oh my, some of those short stories were brilliant. My personal favourites were the ones devoid of overt fantasy elements but full of thrills, horror and drama - genres which I believe Malorie does best. So ones to watch out for are: Steve's nightmare, Roberta's nightmare, the Stranger's nightmare and Lily's nightmare. The rest of the nightmares verge on being plain old ghost stories which suffice to keep the reader interested with some good twists every now and then but they just don't have the same gut-wrenching impact as the more 'realistic' stories that involved suicide, murder, ethnic cleansing and rape.

In summary, Blackman's attempt to rehash some of her short stories into a new collection, fell slightly short of the mark.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A solid read! 16 Feb. 2010
Malorie Blackman is one of those authors that is extremely popular with primary and lower secondary audiences and teachers, and indeed this is probably how I received my first 'experience' of Blackman, with 'Hacker', although that was some years ago now! Next, the fantastic 'Noughts and Crosses' series in my mid-teens - I was blown away by these, and they truly are modern classics.

I would like to say the same about this book, and to an extent it was. The plot is compelling (essentially train crash, lots of different nightmares, family issues...), if possibly slightly contrived with all the nightmares, and by the last couple of nightmares you can tell what's going to happen in them. There is a note from Blackman at the end of the novel in which she says that some were already in anthologies of short stories, and 'The Stuff of Nightmares' does seem to sometimes be no more than a collection of short shories at some points.

Another small criticism of Blackman is that I found it hard to determine the target audience for this book - the writing, particularly as it is first person. is at times very basic, leading me to believe it's for a younger audience, but the events of the nightmares described (albeit in a more psychological than physically horrifying and gory way) and the use of words such as "ephemeral" for example, makes me think that a slightly older audience is intended.

However, I am somewhat missing the point here, as Blackman manages to write a novel that uses fantastical metaphors to deal with harsh realities of life, and of family. Although there is some problem what her target audience is, and the disconnectedness of some of the stories doesn't make the book as big a page-turner as, say, 'Noughts and Crosses', 'The Stuff of Nightmares' is a substantial read, and I would not hesitate to recommend it to readers wanting to find an exciting book for a young adult.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Gripping Nightmares! 10 Feb. 2009
Bought for my 12 year old son Kyle who really enjoyed the story particularly as the main character was a Kyle too! It held his attention really well and written by an author who he really likes. Malorie Blackman really knows how to grab a young persons attention and how to keep hold of it throughout by ensuring something is always happening and a really good use of langauge. She is indeed a special writer and can write for children of all ages. Kyle has now read 5 of her books and continues to work his way through the rest of her books and has enjoyed every single one of them so far!
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The Stuff of Nightmares is one of the most chilling and gripping books I think I’ve ever read. It honestly is. There was so much mystery and intrigue that I could never predict what would happen next just that there would be a twist which would blow me out the water.

Every single time, for every single nightmare Malorie Blackman would surprise me no matter how many times I tried to guess at what would happen or the truth of what was going on. It was very much thirteen individual horror stories, nightmares, all woven together by yet another nightmare and this (while maybe not making sense as I try to describe it) worked surprisingly well.

Malorie Blackman’s writing is what brought this book together so beautifully. Many an author could have attempted this and failed miserably because their pace wasn’t suitable, or it took too long to sink into the different stories or the parts didn’t flow together properly. Yet Blackman did none of this effortlessly. Jumping seamlessly from people’s minds and the present it was easy to read and understand, because every voice and character was distinguishable.

The characters themselves who were the ones having the nightmares were incredibly original with the fact that they were easy to tell apart. Trying to develop over 13 characters while telling a different story for each of them was a task only Blackman could have attempted, and succeeded in. Their nightmares said a lot about not only their past or future, but about the person, and it is a brilliant idea for character growth.

Really what can I say, I loved this book. Malorie Blackman is a genius. Her book never dropped my attention portraying the concept that there’s a lot more to a person than the face they let the world see.

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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
love it!
Published 7 months ago by lzleekid
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
One of my daughter's favourite authors.. Malorie Blackman raises the bar on great writing. She loved it!
Published 7 months ago by David Miller
5.0 out of 5 stars brilliant
Absolutely amazing, enticing and interesting until the very end, there is nothing to fault in this book apart from the fact it ends.
Published 11 months ago by Ola Warpas
5.0 out of 5 stars Best Book I have ever read
This book is fast paced, and full of tension. This book is both frightening and moving, it is an alternate view on human thoughts and emotions, written in a unique style. Read more
Published 11 months ago by Eleanor Cuzner
5.0 out of 5 stars Amazing!
I love this book. I've read it many, many times before but it never fails to surprise and impress me. It's engrossing, thrilling and I just can't put it down. Read more
Published 17 months ago by Cyro Phipps
5.0 out of 5 stars The stuff of awesomeness
Malorie blackman book is so horrifying and brilliant I suggest not reading it before bed, but it is amazing and it really showcases malorie amazing writing talent and her... Read more
Published 17 months ago by doghnut
5.0 out of 5 stars interesting
Really good it my first book I've ever read and I intend to keep on reading now scary as swell
Published 20 months ago by Mrs J E Glover
5.0 out of 5 stars The stuff of nightmares
This wasn't what I was expecting, it was so much better! It felt so real it was unbelievable, I won't forget this book in a hurry!
Published 20 months ago by Emily Cooke
4.0 out of 5 stars Dark and sinister
I wasn't sure when I started out and I still think it a very dark, sinister book not suitable for younger teens, but it's cleverly written and executed and there are a few twists... Read more
Published 23 months ago by Book chatter
4.0 out of 5 stars Perfect malaria Blackman
A fantastic involving read from a great writer. Maoris Blackman has produced a fantastic story, just like all her others.
Published on 16 Feb. 2013 by Aj
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