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The Wild Paperback – 7 Jun 2001


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Product details

  • Paperback: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Penguin Books Ltd (7 Jun 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0141001046
  • ISBN-13: 978-0141001043
  • Product Dimensions: 17.6 x 11 x 2 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,597,295 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

Review

'A beautiful book, savage and tender by turns ... attending to Esther Freud's still, truthful voice becomes not only a pleasure but a necessity' Jonathan Coe 'Wonderful ... Freud has a precious and remarkable gift for creating fictional children. She is infinitely patient with the subtle differences between the worlds of children and adults, and her descriptions of the collisions between them are hauntingly beautiful' The Times 'Ranks alongside Paddy Clarke Ha Ha Ha as one of the very few great contemporary novels about childhood' William Sutcliffe, Independent on Sunday 'I cannot remember reading so exact and involving an evocation of what it is like to be a child' Daily Telegraph --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

About the Author

Esther Freud was born in London in 1963. She trained as an actress before writing her first novel, Hideous Kinky, which was shortlisted for the John Llewellyn Rhys Prize and was made into a feature film starring Kate Winslet. She has since written four other novels. Her books have been translated into thirteen languages. Her most recent novel was The Sea House. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

21 of 21 people found the following review helpful By Kendall on 20 Aug 2001
Format: Paperback
I loved this book, which I snapped up after reading Hideous Kinky, and couldn't put it down (the sort of book you are tempted to read under your desk at work to find out what happened after you got off the train).
Tess is beautifully drawn character: I could have wept at her attempts to get William to love her - knitting him a pair of lumpy socks, caring for his chickens like royalty, desperate to be chosen to help him cook - all of this is described in such honest childlike detail you can really feel her pain when she doesn't get the approval she is seeking. Her anguish when her painful secret is revealed is spot on, how well we all remember the humiliation of something Important (to us) being exposed by unthinking adults.
Her brother Jake is also a wonderfully evoked character. He is protective of her but distant when it comes to his own inner feelings on their unconventional lives, and you always sense the tide of emotion he is holding back which is revealed at the end of the book.
I was also charmed by the sense of freedom of childhood, the wild setting for the book is contrasted with the maze of London which Jake and Tess have to negotiate to see their part-time dad.
Buy it!
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Lucy on 3 Aug 2001
Format: Paperback
This book made me feel the need to reassess my own attitudes on how fiction should be written. It was so refreshing to have a character like William who was so unsympathetic and unlikeable, yet without being an out and out villain, after all, he didn't do anything quite so bad, just made mistakes like all adults. His detachment from, yet selfish need for his children probably struck some uncomfortable chords with some readers. This book makes no apologies for showing up parents to be fallable and capable of being selfish, and in some respects can be quite savage in tone, whilst also tenderly demonstrating the naivety and wisdom that children posses. My only criticism would be the need for a little more background and a few less loose ends (what happened to Victor and Felicity?). A winsome evocation of a rural childhood, that has a dream like quality, punctuated with grit and realism.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 30 Jun 2000
Format: Hardcover
Esther Freud has done it again - only this time it's even better. She really is able to get completely under the skin of a child.
10-year-old Tess is uprooted with her brother to go and lodge with William and his three daughters. William is such an incredibly-drawn character: he's one of those people so convinced of his own worth and decency, but in actual fact is a wicked, self-obsessed, vain creature. I conceived such a loathing for his fake levity, pseudo-hippy stance that I almost considered stopping being a vegetarian just because he is.
The terrible difficulty for a child to comprehend and have any impact upon a baffling adult world is so accurate here.
This is a wonderful, perceptive, moving book which is achingly beautiful in the way it's written. I couldn't stop reading it, and had to put my life on hold until I finished it...
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on 10 April 2009
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
As with Hideous Kinky Esther Freud puts us into the shoes of a child, letting us remember what it was like to be a powerless creature full of complexes and fears in a world where adults make all the decisions. You understand the children in this book mainly through their conversation and actions, not through the narrator's voice but are left wondering why the rather thin parent characters behave the way they do and why. Perhaps she wrote it this way on purpose, or perhaps, as with all her books I have read so far, her autobiographical lilt makes it so. But either way it doesn't matter because the slight mystery keeps you guessing about human nature. The Wild is an enjoyable book and Esther Freud writes with such flair and truth.
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