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37 Reviews
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Ripping, gripping stuff
This is a fantastic follow-up to the previous two Sally Lockhart books, and the best of the three (I'm excluding the Tin Princess because Sally is hardly in it). Philip Pullman again shows us that he can write a childrens' book that is also perfect for adults... and in a truly adult way, as opposed to the childhood nostalgia that Harry Potter can evoke.
During the...
Published on 27 Oct 2001 by HLT

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3.0 out of 5 stars Good but not the best of the four
It is 1881 in Victorian London and Sally Lockhart is faced with solving a mystery that could cost her the one thing most dear to her: her own child. On her doorstep is a man with a piece of paper telling her that a man she has never met is petitioning her for divorce for her cruelty and immoral behaviour. With her business partners Jim Taylor and Webster Garland away on...
Published 17 months ago by Jo Bennie


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5.0 out of 5 stars Good, 19 Jan 2014
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This review is from: The Tiger in the Well (Paperback)
Arrived exactly as advertised. I love the covers on this set, as I used to own three different ones but lent them to other people and never got them back, so I bought the set again but with these different covers, which I like because they fit more with the Victorian/Edwardian theme of the books and look more like Penny Dreadful covers and the cartoons that were around at the time.
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5.0 out of 5 stars A classic for all ages, 25 Oct 2013
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This review is from: The Tiger in the Well (Paperback)
I absolutely love Phillip Pullman his stories are magical, well written and appeal to all ages. Hroine makes good after difficult start.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Good but not the best of the four, 10 May 2013
By 
Jo Bennie (UK) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)   
This review is from: The Tiger in the Well (Paperback)
It is 1881 in Victorian London and Sally Lockhart is faced with solving a mystery that could cost her the one thing most dear to her: her own child. On her doorstep is a man with a piece of paper telling her that a man she has never met is petitioning her for divorce for her cruelty and immoral behaviour. With her business partners Jim Taylor and Webster Garland away on a photography expedition she seems vulnerable and the net closes fast around her, a forged marriage certificate, accusations of improper behaviour lethal to a woman and her business in the 1880s. And behind all is the shadowy puppet master figure of the Tzaddik.

Great melodrama, Sally despite all the odds managing to hold her own in a world in which men have all the power and influence. Not as warm as The Shadow in the North, but still good
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5.0 out of 5 stars Deep and Discerning, 23 July 2010
By 
D. Elliott (Ulverston, Cumbria) - See all my reviews
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)    (VINE VOICE)   
This is the third book of Philip Pullman's quartet of Sally Lockhart novels and it is the best. At a basic level each of the quartet is a melodramatic page-turning thriller set in Victorian times, but in `The Tiger In The Well' the author delves deeper to establish compelling scenes as he comments and criticises on societal as well as physical features of Victorian London; exploring historical and cultural issues including squalid living conditions, exploitation of working classes, inequality of women, capitalist abuses, restrictive laws, persecution of Jews, impact of immigration etc. Backgrounds are skilfully made real, and though exaggerated, all characters become credible, including villains, criminal gangs, political swindlers and oppressors as well as heroic Sally Lockhart and others she encounters to help in her heart-breaking good versus evil battle of mother love and despair. Readers are exposed to the same issues of morality and conscience as is Sally when she struggles in appalling situations against incredible odds, yet in spite of an apparent overload as a treatise on social justice the powerful and exciting narrative never relaxes its enthralling grip on the reader. More than being a well-written action packed rollercoaster `The Tiger In The Well' is a multi-layered mature masterpiece, and it is a match for Philip Pullman's well known profound and provocative `Dark Materials' trilogy - it richly deserves a 5-star rating.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic!, 28 May 2004
By 
G. Brewer (UK) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
Having been a recent convert to Pullman and having thoroughly enjoyed His Dark Materials, this 3rd book of the Quadrilogy is FANTASTIC! I have been choked with emotion reading this, and reading so fast wanting to know whats gonna happen next!! Cant wait to read the fourth...
Excellent book, superbly written and veyr well balanced... just make sure u've read the ruby in the smoke and the shadow of the north before this one...
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3 of 5 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Where's the soul?, 18 April 2007
By 
My words "book worm" (Liverpool, Merseyside United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
This review is from: The Tiger in the Well (Paperback)
I bought this having loved HDM & Ruby In The Smoke, but this...!

I'll be polite about it, though I've been seething since I read it. The story involves Sally Lockheart, now a young woman with a child. As this is the rather prudish Victorian era, the fact Sally isn't married is a scandal. Even so, at the beginning, Sally is living a comfortable life. Her world is torn to pieces, when she is handed a summons. A man is claiming to be her husband, which gives him rights to all her property, money, and most frighteningly of all, he will get probable custody of her young daughter, Harriet.

I love Sally. She wasn't a woman to take this lying down but she finds herself in a difficult position. The lawyers are imcompent, worse some of them don't seem to care. She is a woman, she must be telling lies. Everywhere she turns any shred of evidence that might prove that she is telling truth vanishes or is falisfied. Sally knows that she does not have any option but to flee with Harriet, giving her up to this unknown but contemptible man is just not an option.

So Sally goes on the run. She finds herself moving from place to place, hunted by enemies she can't see but knows are there. These enemies have put her an extremely nasty position. She has no money at all, for the bank has turned over all her assets to her 'husband.' Sally is destitute, alone.

Now here story drifts between Sally and a young socialist, a very good man called Goldberg. Goldberg is aware of the evils that are going on in London; poor housing, expoitation, prostitution, fraud. The weak are being exploited by cowards only too willing to take advantage of them. He reads about Sally's case in the paper and it occurs to him there's "Something not right about it." Filmsy. There must have been hundreds of these cases in the papers, did he have time to check every single one? It's he who rescues Sally from the brief situation of being homeless and gives her a refuge, and a purpose, with his fellow socialists.

Now this is where I began to seethe. I have no irritation with Pullman's politics, he writes about what he believes, as all good writers do. But I resent being lectured as I'm five years old & can't think for myself, especially when the story is gasping it's last breath at this point. I throughly disliked the elitism & sheer snobbery I was reading, despite all his protests to the contrary. Only the educated people could make a difference, well, sorry, this is rubbish. The sheer will to make a difference is what makes a difference. It would have quite nice to have some of the ordinary people, particularly Becky, who I adored, telling the idealists something. Seems to me that Becky could have said & done a great deal if she had been allowed to!

And the idealists had no faults at all that I could find. It would have great to see moments of impatience and anger with the people they were trying to help. You're not telling me they didn't get them because I wouldn't believe you. When people make the same stupid mistakes over and over, others don't always react with sympathy, especially if this involves the abuse of their children. Pullman seemed far too much love with the idealists, to show them as fallable humans, rather than saints. Instead, he sneers greatly at the fallable characters, (OK, some did need sneering at) but there is no balance here, none at all.

I'm afraid I couldn't tell you what happened in the end, I stopped caring. I stopped reading at the point where Sally influtrates the man's house to find out why he attempting to destroy her life.

It lacked all the wonderful, complex subtle parts of human nature, failings & strenghts, that made the characters so alive in HDM. Where was the soul in this?

Read it, if you want an adventure tale. I wouldn't if you resent being told how to think. You'll end up throwing it.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars What can I say? Brilliant, brilliant, brilliant!, 24 Mar 2001
By A Customer
I was tempted to not buy this book, when I knew that Frederick was not going to be in it. I walked into the bookstore, and almost walked back out again, but when I read the synopsis on the back, I bought it immediately. I was amazed at how the book sort of went around in a circle. You need to remember details from the first book to (Ah Ling) for this book to make sense. The Tzaddik amazed me, how could anyone be so cruel and cold hearted? How could anyone be so unkind to try and take Harriet away from Sally? Try to say that she was his wife? It seems a cold bloodthirsty thing to do. Still an amazing compelling read.
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5 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars AMAZING!!!!!, 19 July 2001
By A Customer
This is the only book I have ever not been able to finish, adult or childrens, because it upset me so much! Having read all of Phillip Pullmans works it did not surprise me that the quality of writing would be so realistic and affect me in the way it has. I am only half way through and am still attempting to pluck up the courage to finish this without getting too upset. The thought of her losing her baby to a stranger and the total feelings of helplessness against the law and system are portrayed to make the reader feel every single emotion that she feels. Inspite of the fact (or maybe because of it) I myself am 30 years old with 3 children I can relate to the awful prospect maybe more than a younger reader can. However my advise would be to read the story (if you can) no matter what your age and all the authors other books. These should be the compulsory syllabus for schools. I wait with anticipation for this authors next works.
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3 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars 3 of 4, and possibly the best, ties up well with the others, 7 April 2006
By 
Mogo (Manchester UK) - See all my reviews
This review is from: The Tiger in the Well (Paperback)
There is a great twist in this book, which gives it it's title, you need to read all four books, the last one is a little far fetched, but hey it is fiction afterall.
Watch out, there is a BBC production scheduled (starring Billie Piper of Dr. Who fame) of the first book of the series, The Ruby In The Smoke, I would as always, say read the books before you see the film.
The contents are a little more teenage, so not really for younger readers.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Sally Rocks, 8 May 2005
By 
M. G. Hatfield "trekle5" (North Wales UK) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
The Sally Lockhart stories where my introduction to Philip Pullman Sally lives in Victoran London and own her own busniess she a modern woman born in the world of the past. It may so sci-fi as you read it but it is set in Victoran London we enter Sally's life when her father dies she embarks on an adventure which we lead to two more. All 4 stories are advalible on CD and Casette.
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The Tiger in the Well
The Tiger in the Well by Philip Pullman (Paperback - 13 Feb 2004)
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