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Three Bags Full Paperback – 1 Mar 2007


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Product details

  • Paperback: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Black Swan (1 Mar 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0552774006
  • ISBN-13: 978-0552774000
  • Product Dimensions: 10.6 x 2.3 x 17.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (17 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 144,304 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

Review

"Swann's light touch keeps cuteness at bay, and the whimsical conceit is nicely sharpened by literary allusions and running theologial jokes."

"Moments of high comedy come thick and fast ...this entertaining, light-hearted mystery is told from a refreshingly novel perspective."

"If you like a good murder mystery ... then you'll love this original and fun philosophical tale."

"Touching...as if Agatha Christie had rewritten The Wind in the Willows. I ended by loving it."

"Refreshingly, joyously different ... a witty, perceptive tale."

Book Description

A detective story with a difference - the detectives are all crime-busting sheep ...

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Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Stephen Brown on 1 Jan 2007
Format: Hardcover
Highly original drama set on Irish cliffs - when George the shepherd is found dead then his flock get busy looking for clues as to what happened. Led by Miss Maple there's a great cast of sheep. The drama reaches a peak at the Glennkill Sheep of the Year Contest. It's entertaining, well written and never too far fetched to stretch the reader's willingness to believe what's happening. I'll never see sheep the same way again.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By C. J. Wilkinson on 10 Jan 2008
Format: Paperback
I'm fortunate in having an older sister who buys me interesting and off the wall crime books for Christmas and Birthdays. This is certainly the most original I've ever read. It begins almost as a children's story - it is told from the point of view of the human victims flock of sheep-; but before long very adult threads are gently woven in. The sheep are, necessarily, clever, but the anthropomorphism works and they provide a diverting view of how people work. The writing is good and the outcome not obvious. I thoroughly enjoyed this book to the extent of, for the first time, writing a review. Connor:-)
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Shelley Morris on 1 Oct 2007
Format: Paperback
swann has a unique writing style that allows you to move beyond the seemingly impossible idea that sheep can in fact be intelligent and solve murders and really creates a bond between the characters and you as a reader. It's a lighthearted murder mystery for all those who love sheep, cannot stomach the gore of other crime books or are just looking for something different. I would totally recommend this book to all!!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Kathrin Doelle on 6 Aug 2009
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
There is only one word to describe this book: delightful. Admittedly, the murder mystery itself is a bit thin, but that actually doesn't matter - I don't think anyone would expect this to be a common detective story, anyway (because sheep don't usually solve murders - or at least not to our knowledge).

This book made me laugh, made me think, made my heart bleed at times, but above all, it made me feel fairly sheepish. It's definitely a must-read, and thinking about it, it actually says quite a lot about human priorities and all those misunderstandings that prevail in our society. The sheep's perspective is delightfully simple and really does make sense most of the time!

And there's even something to learn from this book: You've got to look at things (and not only Things) from a different angle at times. And: A sheep is more than a pie in the making.

Ms Swann, I'm waiting for the sequel!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Eileen Shaw TOP 1000 REVIEWER on 9 Sep 2009
Format: Paperback
If you can believe it, this is a mystery story in which sheep are the detectives. Seriously amusing and clever, it is life as seen from the grass-face.

In a tiny rural backwater, George the shepherd keeps his odd little flock of around twenty sheep - a rare-breeds flock which includes Othello, a black ram rescued from a circus, Sir Ritchfield, the lead ram, who though he is getting a bit past it, still has good eyesight, Zorah, who likes to climb up to the cliff-top and stare into the abyss, Mopple the Whale, who is a meat-breed gone into overload, and, most importantly, the cleverest sheep in the world, Miss Maple. Then one morning the sheep wake up to find their shepherd dead - with a spade struck right through the body.

The sheep learn lots of things, mostly from Melmouth, Sir Ritchfield's twin brother and the only sheep that left the flock - and then returned. They learn to concentrate. They learn how to listen and though they never really come to understand how human beings work - the strange mechanisms of the human brain are entirely beyond them - a lot of fun and several fright-inducing moments ensue. Don't dismiss this as animal-centric or bound to be twee - it isn't. I defy anyone to read the first chapter and not want to continue - it's a beautifully original and neatly worked-through mystery story told entirely from the point of view of sheep - and it's wonderful.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Tina on 23 Nov 2008
Format: Paperback
If you like slightly unusual crime novels, this is the one to read! Loved the book but, like one or two other people pointed out, it does lose a bit of steam in the middle, I guess it could have been shortened a little bit, but picks up again then towards the end, which to be honest I didn't like that much - there is a twist alright but not very satisfactory (I don't want to give anything away here if you haven't read it yet), hence it only gets four stars. All in all though a very unusual, entertaining book well worth reading.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Ana Delia Rodríguez on 3 Sep 2009
Format: Paperback
I selected this book mostly randomly, because the starring of the book are the sheeps, and I love the sheeps.
And, for my surprise, the book is incredible funny, surprising in the plot, and really good written.
I really recommend it.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By A. Ross TOP 500 REVIEWER on 20 July 2007
Format: Paperback
Translated from German, set on the Irish coast, and featuring a flock of sheep as protagonists, this debut channels Agatha Christie, Gary Larson (of "Far Side" fame), and "Murder, She Wrote" in a story about the murder of a shepherd and his flock's attempt to unmask his killer and bring about justice. The sleuthing sheep are a great conceit, and one that, for the most part, carries the book through the somewhat meandering and slow-developing story.

Things kick off with the shepherd dead in his field with a spade through his heart. It's certainly amusing to watch the sheep try and understand the reactions of the various humans who discover the body and the reactions the killing provokes amongst the townspeople. In homage to their beloved master and inspired by a detective story he read to them, they vow to see justice done (even if they are somewhat hazy on what that means). The sheep are greatly handicapped by their limited exposure to human affairs, not to mention generally poor memories and short attention spans. However, this is somewhat balanced by their noses, which can scent lies, fear, and other human qualities. Led by the inquisitive ewe Miss Maple (that's Ms. Marple, in case you missed it...), they are soon skulking around the village, peering in windows, and eavesdropping left and right.

The book runs into a little bit of trouble in its need to maintain the sheep's perspective on events -- which makes things somewhat more oblique and drawn out than might be ideal. The central story is also sidetracked somewhat when the long-lost brother of the flock's lead ram mysteriously reappears and starts making all manner of enigmatic statements. But it's all generally entertaining enough to maintain the reader's interest until the end.
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