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Customer Reviews

4.3 out of 5 stars18
4.3 out of 5 stars
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on 17 September 2008
Amazing! I loved the arthur trilogy and was eager for more so I was thrilled to find out about "Gatty's Tale". I can't think of much more to say that hasn't already been said so I won't say much.
A Great book and definitley a must buy, especially if you have read and loved the Arthur trilogy
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on 18 May 2010
It's fashionable nowadays, in both children's and adult fiction, to present the Middle Ages as sordid, brutal and filthy, writing from a cynical viewpoint that has no sympathy with medieval ideas and attributes no transcendant value to anything. A typical recent example is Philip Reeves's 'Here Lies Arthur', so sordid and depressing that it was a dead cert. for the Carnegie Medal.

Crossley-Holland has gone all the other way. Without being starry-eyed, he presents medieval people as they saw themselves: pilgrims through a harsh world, with their eyes fixed on a heaven that was utterly real. Nobody can understand the western Middle Ages if they don't have an understanding of, and sympathy with, medieval Christianity, and yet most modern authors are utterly unable to espouse that viewpoint: their little minds shrivel at the prospect of faith. C-H isn't unrealistic about the contradictions of medieval thinking (so unlike our own, ha ha.) There's a wonderful moment, for example, when the heroine and the cook Snout, her companion, in the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, are offered a saint's toe-bone as a holy relic: 'Snout had a careful look at the relic. "That's not a toe," he said. 'It's part of a trotter. I've cooked hundreds."' Gatty is indignant, but the episode does nothing to dent her awe at being at the place of the Crucifixion. And that's how it must have been.

The only reason I don't give this five stars is the way the author presents Gatty herself. She's so unctuously perfect, with her golden hair and her simper and her pretty voice and intelligence and elegantly unconvincing rustic dialect, that I quite frequently wished I could give her a good smack in the mouth. Actually, under the slush she's quite an attractive character, but the author has grossly over-written her. He ought to have left her to recommend herself instead of blurbing her on every other page. On the whole, however, this is a charming book, and gets children's historical fiction out of the realist muck where it has been wallowing for far too long.
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on 4 May 2008
i loved this book and have read it more than once. it thrills you and surprises you till the very end. although i would recomend this to anyone it has two down points. one you cant really read it with out reading the arthur triolgy as it keeps refering back to them, so you wouldnt really understand some of the book. Two is that the ending doesnt say enough, he should have added an epiloge as i want to know what happens later in their lives, ie who marries who and who dies. other than that you should definatley read it.

p.s. sorry for spelling mistakes.
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on 22 November 2006
I have not read the Arthur trilogy (although they sit on my shelves) and now I am not sure I ever will. Because reading this beautiful and exciting story was enough - I am not sure I want to know more of Gatty than I learned from this. In my sixties as I am, it is not often I find my eyes filled with tears (of the right sort) at the end of a book. Do read it.
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on 14 February 2016
Really enjoyed the greatly descriptive writing and the historical setting.
Look forward to reading more of this authors books.
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on 5 April 2010
I (as their mum) liked this story - and the narrator tells it beautifully - but my boys (aged 12 and 10) were definitely less impressed than they had been with the other Arthur stories by Kevin Crossley-Holland. But does give a different perspective into the Crusades and the role of women.
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on 9 November 2008
My god this book is dull. Maybe I'm thick (I'm not) but I just don't get it - everyone raves at this book but is nobody going to state the bl**ding obvious ? This book is badly written and boring and does not deserve the adulation that it appears to recieve. My recommendation - avoid at all costs. By the way - I gave it one star because amazon say that you must give it at least one start to submit your review. If I had a free choice it would have recieved one less than this.
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on 9 October 2008
This is a terrible book and is not recomended for anyone, it was recomended for the carnegi award and I don't see why. I read it with my reading club in school and no one liked it, in fact it has become a private joke among us.
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