- Prime Student members get £10 off with a spend of £40 or more on Books. Enter code SAVE10 at checkout. Enter code SAVE10 at checkout. Here's how (terms and conditions apply)
Against the Tide Paperback – 1 Sep 2012
|New from||Used from|
- Choose from over 13,000 locations across the UK
- Prime members get unlimited deliveries at no additional cost
- Find your preferred location and add it to your address book
- Dispatch to this address when you check out
Special offers and product promotions
Frequently bought together
Customers who bought this item also bought
Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
The action, dialogue, scene-building, and plot development all blend together effortlessly, making this a real easy-on-the-reader experience. --YouWriteOn
Top customer reviews
There was a problem filtering reviews right now. Please try again later.
Although all the characters involved in this novel have one eye on the approaching war, many are still affected by previous conflicts and wary of what is coming because of losses in the past. Also, many of the characters have secrets which they are trying to hide. Jack is becoming more aware of family issues, such as his Uncle 'Red' Fred, who is disowned by his family and who seems to be attracting the attention of some rather unpleasant men. The plot is almost too involved to explain and in a lesser authors hands could simply be confusing, rather than intricate. There are personality clashes, especially between Jack and fellow swimming competitor Rudolph Kohler. There are boat chases, conspiracies, romance, smuggling, spying, swimming, Shakespeare and a side story which delves into the death of Lawrence of Arabia. Jack is a teenager in a time where the world will soon abandon the healthy competition he thrives on for the violence of war, and he will have to swim against the tide to keep his faith in himself and do what he feels to be right. The author has written a really exciting novel, with great characters, a fast moving and believable plot and created a world which you know is changing forever as you read the pages.
Initially Jack does not appeal, he very much "The Lad", too full of himself - amorously oscillating between manipulative flamboyant Caroline and modest Rachel. (By the way, all three come from extraordinary families, revelations destined to make the mind spin a bit.) Movingly Jack becomes aware of how greatly people he admires have suffered in earlier conflicts, and what may now lie in store for the Jews. Always he has swum against the tide as far as discipline is concerned. From now he will prove a problem primarily to those who pose a real threat.
The Jersey setting convinces, author John F. Hanley with strong personal links. Older friends and relatives provided first-hand accounts of how conditions had been.
Some may find the novel uneven, it only gaining momentum once Jack begins to mature. Admittedly Shakespearean allusions become somewhat laboured, and occasionally things get bogged down in explanations. However there is much to please, including humour and lively banter. Surprises are very much a feature - especially about the history of motorcycle Boadicea. The climax is great, beginning at a hotel meal with comments most barbed, erupting into events increasingly melodramatic but immensely entertaining. Then comes yet another surprise that may well provoke a gasp.
After earlier doubts, the novel won me over. Lively adventures. Serious undercurrents. Ultimately an enjoyable read.
Muscular and masculine and that's not just the author, it's the writing too, we are really chucked in at the deep end in from page one. Ten fully fledged characters are thrown into the first four pages without so much as a "how's your father", or perhaps more pertinent, "Who's your father?" you can hear the teacher in John saying "Keep Up! Pay Attention!" with a threat to hurl the blackboard rubber if you don't. No such mercies as a dramatis personae; work it all out for yourself. Later on multiple big wigs, island officials who may or may not be what they seem blunder about like the Keystone cops; only firebrand Red Uncle Fred stands out and he's right off the wall.
At times the plot threatens to creak and groan under its own weight, this can't just be a first novel it has to be the start of a series, we haven't even got to the German occupation yet. If you are suffering from post Olympics depression turn to this, there are excellent set pieces that take you straight into the world of competitive swimming, water polo and diving (from a board). Never mind Quidditch; the tactics employed by Rudi the quasi Dutchman to win at water polo would make a grown man weep let alone turn off a fainter minded female.
Altogether, assured, intelligent confident writing, employing a sound knowledge of everything he is talking out - beginning with eighteen year olds; Jack is so believably drawn, he could be the son you are staring at across the table unable to make out anymore. This fit and physical youth is having his eyes opened in a big way; recent cruel histories, hardly bearable terrible stories, are being broken to him, his age giving him that wonderful bright black and white sense of conviction about what to do next. Jealousy, misunderstandings, amateur sleuthing, all set in 1939 just before things really blew up in a big way. Go to read Island Madness for the next episode is you can't wait for this chap to do it.
JFH soundtracks his tale quite beautifully and flowingly with music and the words of Shakespeare. Strains of the classics ripple, thunder and crash from various pianos, while the young, recently having put on The Merchant of Venice at school, quote fluently from the Bard, giving a depth, resonance and filmic quality to the whole book.
Wry understatement amuses through the heady stuff, cleverly entwined with Junior James Bond style exploits on land and sea. The most impressive thing for me was the geography. Any resident or fan of Jersey will be right there, breathing and seeing the familiar landmarks, harbours, fields and roads, the social history, time and place comes across as sound, sure footed and spot on.
Generous with genre this could be classified as Romance - boy/girl action from the start, although it is rather more lust than love one feels, and the breast beating is going on apace over that; Crime - well there are large amounts of industrial diamonds bobbing about and nasty men in black cars blocking narrow lanes and issuing/carrying out horrible threats. Thriller - there are certainly some very exciting scenes, chases, shooting and fighting too. It's all been thrown into the pot and left to bubble away. There's even a sub plot re T E Lawrence and his motorbike that I never quite got to grips with. Plenty of workmanlike explanation, an education even delivered with a spoonful of sugar, all go to make a tremendous read, plenty between the covers to get stuck into. Home grown, bursting with flavour, fresh and good for you, just like a wonderful Jersey potato in fact. Well Done John. Another helping, please, soon!
Would you like to see more reviews about this item?
Most recent customer reviews
Against the Tide, a fitting name to this well written Historical Fiction.Read more