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Customer Review

9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Too much of a good thing, 20 Feb. 2006
This review is from: Spies (New Windmills KS3) (Hardcover)
“Spies” is an incredibly mysterious and thought-provoking piece, written in the increasingly popular ‘unreliable narrator’ style. Using war-time Britain as a subtle backdrop and plot catalyst, Frayn explores the patchy, incoherent childhood memories of an old man stopping to discover the truth behind a major turning point in his life. Touching on many aspects of childhood life, we are shown only the memories that are given to us, whist occasionally being teased by tiny clues as to the story’s eventual conclusion. By the means of foreshadowing, tension and a complicated narrating technique, the reader always feels one step ahead of the author, and yet – at the same time – acutely aware that you are totally at Frayn’s mercy.
For me there was only one major problem, and this was the story’s length, which leaves the reader tired and frustrated, let alone desperate for an increase in tempo. This is mercifully supplied, and one is suddenly conscious of the spiraling plot twists and thrilling peaks that eventually lead to a rich and emotive resolution.
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