Customer Reviews


6 Reviews
5 star:
 (3)
4 star:
 (2)
3 star:
 (1)
2 star:    (0)
1 star:    (0)
 
 
 
 
 
Average Customer Review
Share your thoughts with other customers
Create your own review
 
 

The most helpful favourable review
The most helpful critical review


11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant!
I have always enjoyed Neil Jordon's films. They are visually rich with a storyline that compels the viewer to watch. However this is the first Neil Jordon novel I've read and I began it with slight trepidation. The first person narrator informs us of the time of her death. Slowly Neil teases out the story, layering time so that 'now' has a multitude of meanings but he...
Published on 25 Aug 2004 by Denise hale

versus
5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Beautiful but flawed
If you can overcome the violent and juddering start to this book, the early chapters are a wonderful evocation of childhood,and the love and dysfunctional loyalties that are built up at this time, against a poetic backdrop of beautiful Ireland. Once the four characters leave the grey stone house and the River Boyne as they move into adulthood, the narrative becomes...
Published on 11 Sep 2005


Most Helpful First | Newest First

11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant!, 25 Aug 2004
By 
Denise hale (CHELTENHAM, Glos United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)   
This review is from: Shade (Hardcover)
I have always enjoyed Neil Jordon's films. They are visually rich with a storyline that compels the viewer to watch. However this is the first Neil Jordon novel I've read and I began it with slight trepidation. The first person narrator informs us of the time of her death. Slowly Neil teases out the story, layering time so that 'now' has a multitude of meanings but he never losses or confuses the reader. His imagery includes just a dash of quirkiness that lifts it into reality. I don't want to spoil the novel for anyone so I won't elaborate on the plot, suffice to say the story is set mainly in Ireland between the turn of the last century and 1950's. It interweaves the mystical with reality in a way which is more usually found in South American novels. I really enjoyed this book and have already passed it on to others to read. I suspect that Shade will appear in this year's list of Booker nominees - I hope it wins.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars "Two halves, she said, trying to make a whole.", 11 Dec 2004
This review is from: Shade (Hardcover)
Shade is a strange, and beguiling novel. Beautifully written, with a mysterious, disparate undertone, the story combines timeless images of Hardyesque rural Irish landscapes with the horrors of the Great War. Oblique and multi-layered, Shade is part gruesome murder mystery, part mysterious fable, and part evocative love story that effortlessly brings the world of early twentieth century Ireland vividly to life. The viewer will certainly be challenged when reading this novel, as the structure is unconventional and the writing is often dense and heavily descriptive. Author, Neil Jordan - who has made a career out of making provocative movies - writes with such love, and affection for his daunting landscapes that the novel is impossible not to admire.
Shade is about four young friends whose lives are inevitably shaped by the devastating effects of World War 1 and by the beauty of their home in Drogheda, a rural town in Ireland, next to the Boyne River. The novel effectively contrasts the horrors of the conflict in the Dardanelles with the ever-restless motions of the river as it "cuts new meadows" on its way to the sea.
The novel begins with the spirit of the fifty-year-old Nina Hardy, describing how her gardener and best friend George, has brutally, and clumsily murdered her. The murder seems inexplicable, and the motivation remains unclear as George, a survivor of the Great War, was happily living and working for Nina. Nina, who grew up in the enormous, Anglo-Irish Baltray House on the Boyne River's northern bank, has just returned to the house after forty years of achieving fame as an actress.
Nina is determined, with the help of George, to rebuild the family home in which she was once happy. But George has a history of mental problems and has previously been an inmate of the psychiatric hospital of St Ita's in Portrane. There's obviously a connection between Nina and George, but the relationship remains vague and somewhat indistinct. Switching to the early 1900's, the narrative then focuses on idyllic childhood of the two as they are growing up along the mudflats of the river Boyne, with Gregory, Nina's half-brother, and Janie, George's sister.
George and Janie have both grown up in near poverty, but they find their friendship with Nina and Gregory exhilarating, and the fun and games of childhood soon lead to adult love. A fall from a large Tower leaves Nina and George somehow connected by their mutual injuries, and when George awakes from a six week coma, he seems disparate and detached, and somewhat jealous of the "ideal" relationship that Nina shares with her half-brother.
Shade is all about the shades that history plays in life. Themes of love and art are symbolically woven into the story through the lives of the main characters. Growth, birth and death, are things frozen in the moments we perceive them, like a perfect picture, understandable and interchangeable. Nina is like a ghost of the past filling the narrative with almost stream of consciousness-like images as the pieces of the puzzle are steadily put together for the reader.
In the later part of the novel, Nina is determined to draw on the events of her own troubled past as she enthusiastically treads the boards as an actor in England. Meanwhile, George and Gregory fight a terrible, bloody war in the Dardanelles. Jordan, with a fine eye for detail, nuance, and irony, brings Nina's stage and film life, as well as the carnage of the War to dramatic life. Shade is a fascinating portrait of history where the hidden threads linking childhood and adulthood are forever linked and are perpetually influential. Mike Leonard December 04
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Beautiful but flawed, 11 Sep 2005
By A Customer
This review is from: Shade (Paperback)
If you can overcome the violent and juddering start to this book, the early chapters are a wonderful evocation of childhood,and the love and dysfunctional loyalties that are built up at this time, against a poetic backdrop of beautiful Ireland. Once the four characters leave the grey stone house and the River Boyne as they move into adulthood, the narrative becomes difficult to follow as it is taken up by different voices speaking about different times in a sort of parallel, discordant ballad. When I had finished the book I had to go back to the beginning to try and put the jigsaw pieces together. This is a book that would probably benefit from a being read twice. I had hoped this would be a suitable read for my book group but I fear members would be frustrated and confused by it despite its lyrical quality and the engaging characters.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A top read!, 31 May 2005
By A Customer
This review is from: Shade (Paperback)
'Shade' is a moving and emotional novel that traces the lives of four childhood friends in rural Ireland.
Through vivid imagery and believable child like dialogue in the first part of the novel, Jordan captures the essense of what it's like to be a child particularly well, and will undoubtedtly trigger your own poignant memories from childhood- as it did with me.
The characters are really well developed, the 'voice'of each protagonist distinct, depite the unusual structuring. The novel is cleverly layered, and information is revealed gradually through the various memories of the central characters, so that by the end of the novel, the story has come 'full circle' and the dramatic opening can be fully made sense of.
I've not read any other books by Jordan, but I definitely will do after reading this one. I like it moslty because it really makes you think about the 'little things' in life that you might take for granted, or that could change your life forever.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


5.0 out of 5 stars Shade: A novel, 20 Jan 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Shade (Kindle Edition)
WOW!!!
A really interesting story which I could not put down. The story is written. The reader needs to think all the way to through to try and unravel the mystery surrounding the story teller's death. I read right to the last chapter and then realised I had followed a 'red herring'! Colour is the key!!! ( That's a clue for you!)
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


0 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Inspirational, 12 Feb 2006
By A Customer
This review is from: Shade (Paperback)
'Shade' is a most moving and inspirational book I have yet read. The content was extreamly surprising. Fantastic book!
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


Most Helpful First | Newest First
ARRAY(0xac20e6cc)

This product

Shade
Shade by Neil Jordan (Paperback - 9 May 2005)
8.08
In stock
Add to basket Add to wishlist
Only search this product's reviews