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The Thief of Broken Toys

The Thief of Broken Toys [Kindle Edition]

Tim Lebbon
4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)

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Product Description

Product Description

British Fantasy Society Award Finalist (2011)

When a father loses his son and his wife leaves him, he cannot tear himself away from the small fishing village where the boy’s memories reside. Thinking that his life is all but over, he takes to wandering the cliffs, carrying broken things that he always promised his son he would fix, but never did. They’re a sign of his failure, and they keep little Toby close. But then he meets the thief of broken toys, and everything begins to change.

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 146 KB
  • Print Length: 154 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 0981297897
  • Publisher: ChiZine; First edition (17 April 2012)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B007MB66QW
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #501,781 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

4.2 out of 5 stars
4.2 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Stunning 14 Jun 2010
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I predominately read books for sheer escapist pleasure. I like a book to bring a big cheesy grin to my face. I'm a pulp fan, yes I said it. I know it's a four letter word to some folk. However every now and then I prefer something with a bit more substance to it. Tim Lebbon is one of those authors, since I first discovered him in 1997 with his debut the horror novel Mesmer. Ever since then Tim has proved to be one hell of an author, no matter what genre he works in horror, fantasy, or short story, he brings a new perspective to the genre. He also manages to produce something more than just a genre novel. It could be said that he is the UK's version of Joe R Lansdale, high praise indeed, but something that I feel is worthy praise.

In his latest offering from Chizine publications The Thief of Broken Toys, he tackles the themes of loss depression, and regret. Ray has lost his son, and soon after his wife leaves him. Living in a small fishing village, the kind where everyone know everyone, all he has left are the memories of his dead son. He starts to wander along the windswept cliffs around his home where he meets the thief of broken toys, who can fix all of his son's broken toys. Toys that ray had always promised his son he would fix, but never got round to doing so.

This is a short novel clocking at 146 pages, but it is 146 pages of sheer awe inspiring writing. I have never read a book that affected me in such profound ways. I found this a difficult read emotionally being a father, so I don't know how easy this was for Tim to write. You can feel the ray's pain and despair on every page of the book. I just wanted to find ray and give him a big hug.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Superb study of grief 23 Sep 2010
By seun
This is my second experience of Tim Lebbon's work and I'm definitely a fan. The Thief of Broken Toys is a stunning tale and one which is difficult to categorise. There's horror in Ray's story but it's not horror of the usual kind. This is horror of the real world where regret, loss and grief are constants.

In short, we have a man - Ray - failing to come to terms with the death of his young son. His marriage has collapsed, his estranged wife is sleeping with someone else and Ray has nothing in his life apart from his grief. He lives in the sort of village where everybody knows everybody else and spends his time wandering the cliffs around his home. There, he meets a stranger who offers to fix Ray's son's toys - a job Ray never got round to when his son was alive.

I've read a few books recently which deal with regret and the horror of it. Lebbon's story is definitely contender for one of the most powerful examples of it. This is an adult tale which brings to grief to life and proves that when horror is this good, it should be essential reading for everyone regardless of their tastes.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Heart-breaking adult fairytale... 3 Aug 2010
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
The Thief of Broken Toys is a novella that charts the journey of central character, Ray as he tries to come to terms with the grief of losing a child. The setting is a small, costal village in Wales with its rural backdrop providing a suitably minimalist canvas to paint this heart-breaking yet simple tale upon. Most of the focus remains on Ray and his relationship with his deceased child, Toby, and estranged wife, Elizabeth. Ray still lives alone in the family home, while Elizabeth finds comfort in the arms of his best friend, Jason. Toby's room remains exactly the same as the boy left it, with his box of broken toys (all of which Ray promised to fix but never did) providing the major plot device for the story.

This is a beautifully written adult fairytale which, for me, echoes a lot of Asian horror cinema which I have enjoyed through the years. It's a genre tale of sorts yet easily defies pigeonholing. Ultimately, this is a story about heartbreak and the ways people cope with loss - some distract themselves, others try to atone. There's no heavy message or resolution for such, only a journey, and thus proves both emotionally engaging and satisfying.

Overall, this is a brutally accessible, heart rending story, presented in a quality format by Chizine, who, from what I've read thus far, are one of the best emerging publishers of dark fiction. Highly recommended.
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