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41 Reviews
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Engrossing, bleakly funny, sometimes disturbing novel
John can't stop growing. At the age of 11 he is six feet tall and looks much older, but his mind is still that of a child. We see everything from John's point of view. He is obsessed with the idea that he will one day be famous and writes letters to the Ripley Museum near Niagara Falls, and to the Guinness Book of Records. He can tell when people are lying and thinks this...
Published on 9 Oct. 2009 by Eileen Shaw

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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Disturbing
John Egan is a prematurely tall 12 year old misfit. He is lonely, obsessive and eccentric, becoming convinced that he has an exceptional gift to detect lies; this, he believes, will bring him fame and fortune and he fantasizes about it incessantly.

There are superficial similarities to David Mitchell's "Black Swan Green" in that both books are about lonely...
Published on 3 Mar. 2007 by B. A. V. MIDDLEMAST-NEAL


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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Absolutely Outstanding, 1 Jan. 2007
By 
Solo Walker "SW" (UK) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)   
This review is from: Carry Me Down (Paperback)
Being a male & remembering my own childhood in the 50s & 60's I could relate to the experiences of the young lad in this wonderful book. Some kids being more sensitive than others, can pick up on parental behaviour & it can exacerbate their insecurities, triggering an embryonic & over active imagination. What baffles me, is how did the author being a female know the feelings & emotions of a young male, so damn well?

The writing is of the highest standard & I loved every page of this tour de force.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Tragic, 3 Mar. 2014
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This review is from: Carry Me Down (Kindle Edition)
But brilliant piece of writing.... SO well observed and believable - it stayed with me for a long time after reading... The story coming from a young lad sounded completely convincing - his concerns / hopes / worries... You could hear someone that age speaking. Totally recommend it.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Looking Forward To The Next One, 1 Jun. 2010
By 
A. BAGNALL "Book Review" (Walsall, W.Mids UK) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Carry Me Down (Paperback)
Never having heard of M.J. Hyland before, I read this book simply because I liked the cover.

The story is an endearing one, a precocious eleven-year-old struggling though premature puberty and a seemingly 'difficult' relationship with his parents. I felt empathy for the main character almost straight away - which was what kept me reading. The story is a very interesting one and, at times, had me laughing hysterically...

Although sometimes I felt I was waiting for the main issue to occur. The writer gives us constant hints and clues to something being afoot (the possibility of issues within the parents marriage; the boy's relationship with his teacher, etc) but I felt a little disappointed when these things weren't as significant as I'd hoped.

However, despite this, I enjoyed this book very much and felt myself unable to put it down. I have also bought the author's other two novels and hope they keep me as riveted as this one did.
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9 of 12 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Monochromatic, 4 April 2007
This review is from: Carry Me Down (Paperback)
Having read all the reviews of this novel and seen the awards it's been up for, I'm clearly out of step with the general view. Nevertheless, I can't pretend I enjoyed what I didn't.

It seemed to me this novel was all on one note: characters feeling unhappy, sick, ashamed, excluded, inadequate etc etc, then a shock event near the end (but even that comes to naught). Yes it's well-written, but is that enough in a novel?

For me, the only scene that came to life was the moment in the school room where the male teacher makes the girl Kate understand that she's a bully; that section of the novel had power and resonance for me.

The rest felt like a very long phone call from a depressed acquaintance.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Not richard and judy, 26 Aug. 2007
This review is from: Carry Me Down (Paperback)
If you are or were a teenager with an over-active imagination, and ideally living in a family where there is some tension or difficulty, you may well love this book. Even if not, you may be charmed by it. True, its slow to take off but it becomes increasingly compelling, almost a page turner. If you want an easy plot, and simple twists, don't buy it. If not, give it go. The author is a remarkable writer and the book is extremely well crafted.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Astonishing strong voice, 8 April 2015
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This review is from: Carry Me Down (Kindle Edition)
MJ conjures up the voice of a child with chilling clarity. John never wavers in his attempts to understand the world, but never gains an understanding of himself.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Great book, 20 May 2014
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This review is from: Carry Me Down (Kindle Edition)
I very much liked this book. I have nothing coherent or eloquent to add at this time of the morning that has not already been said by 5* reviewers.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Good But Sad, 6 Jan. 2015
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This review is from: Carry Me Down (Paperback)
Well-written but very sad book. Felt so sorry for the child involved. Couldn't say it was enjoyable to read but definitely worth reading.
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3 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars a very sympathetic protrayal of a troubled young mind, 19 May 2007
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This review is from: Carry Me Down (Paperback)
Despite a difficult subject "Carry me down" is a gentle and subtle read, telling the story of John Egan's 11th year largely through his own internal narrative and honest dialogue. The reader therefore experiences Johns confusion about the world around him first hand and I certainly felt his increasing anxiety as life changes suddenly with the move to Dublin and the problems in his parents relationship. John is presented as a boy who is struggling with life while being "different" and I think this is the important issue rather than a plot geared toward specific diagnosis (such as in Curious Incident). This is echoed metaphorically by his mother's disregard for the diagnoses presented by the child psychologist at the end. (For the record though, my money would have been on prodromal schizophrenia characterised by social withdrawal, concrete (literal) thinking, the tendency to see "special meaning" where none exists, a general sense of suspicion in social interaction and perhaps the moment when John fails to recognise his own reflection. I'm not sure where the "child psychologist" gets borderline PD from!).
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4 of 7 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Dreadful, 3 Sept. 2008
This review is from: Carry Me Down (Paperback)
I bought this book after reading many great reviews.
Some of the content of the first few chapters made me feel ill, and after that the book went from horrible to boring.
There are very few books that I won't read right to the end (and I read 2-3 books a week) but there was no way I could finish this book.
I wouldn't recommend it at all !
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Carry Me Down
Carry Me Down by Maria Hyland (Paperback - 6 April 2006)
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