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The Bet by [Tuffnell, Vivienne]
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The Bet Kindle Edition

4.8 out of 5 stars 29 customer reviews

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Length: 380 pages Word Wise: Enabled Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
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Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 737 KB
  • Print Length: 380 pages
  • Publisher: Beehive Books; 1st edition (27 Sept. 2012)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B009ISHLYI
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
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  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Screen Reader: Supported
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars 29 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #377,526 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

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This is a compelling book that takes a reader by the collar and leads them into some dark places. Yet it is not an easy work to review, because so tightly woven that pulling on a single thread threatens to dismantle the intricate stitching of the plot, or introduce spoilers that will decimate the tensions.

Beginning with an episode judged as close to insane, yet revealed later as a deeper sanity it draws in the rationality behind it.

Superficially it follows a simple time weave between Now and Then which alternate until they become a single psychological whole. Antony Ashurst, the principal character, is with very good reasons, a distracted damaged (and emotionally very young) wanderer, who falls down an open manhole and seems lost to view and to reason. 'The Bet' was the leaving of that man-trap open and shepherding him towards it. How he will climb again to the light is uncertain, indeed perilous.

Yet that is far from the book's whole substance, merely the means whereby to examine much larger issues about our world of exploitation, manipulation and acquisition. (And superficiality; he is too good looking for his own good) What is insanity when the innocence of a young man can provide the vulnerable core that almost all see as an opportunity for gain? His innocence is the mirror in which guilt and punishment, justification and complacency are reflected. Like a crystal that provides a different facet to engage each who encounters him, he is so self-effacing he is unconscious of why that happens. Clarity lies in seeking nothing for himself, but without any carapace to protect that clarity. This is a book about sight, deep in some, superficial in others.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I really enjoyed this novel. I have to admit that after reading the first chapter I wasn't sure about it but I'm so glad that I carried on reading as this very quickly became unputdownable. I ended up being up half of the night reading this as I just had to know how it was going to end. There were so many twists and turns and the slow reveal of Ashurst's life just keeps you hooked. I'm definitely going to look up other books by this author.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
My normal reading material is non-fiction - there is just so much wonderful stuff in the real world that I don't have enough time to explore imaginary situations. But sometimes I get a bit ragged or stressed out, particularly if an important issue drags on - and then I go for fiction. My genre of choice is then fantasy, Lord of the Rings stuff. These books often require you to carry a list of the dramatis personae with you - or you lose track. So when I start to find those books slipping away from me I am banjaxed and don't know what to read. Somebody suggested Jodi Picoult and those I read weren't bad - if somewhat "light" and "put downable". Thus, when somebody mentioned Tuffnell and said that she was the "UK's Jodi Picoult", I wasn't overcome with enthusiasm and, having downloaded "The Bet", it sat on my kindle, unread, for a couple of months.

Tuffnell is a great story teller and I wish I hadn't heard the Picoult comparison. This book has far more layers than any Picoult book, there is little of the padding (none in my view) that many authors seem to chuck in to get a word count. Every page is relevant to the main story and I read the book in two sessions, I was so keen to follow the tale. Fortunately the author promises further stories with the main protagonists and I look forward to them. Thank you.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
It took me a couple of chapters before my suspicions about what was going on in this book were confirmed. I then read on, waiting to either be proved wrong, or be surprised in some way. I was indeed surprised - but not in the way I was expecting. There were no big reveals or dynamic plot twists, but a steady onslaught of eyebrow raising events that left you amazed and in turns, both sympathetic and intensely irritated on Ashurst's behalf.

I often come away from a book wondering what, in the author's experience, prompted the flow of the plot. In this instance, I'm really not sure I want to know that! In fact, having known Viv Tuffnell - via the internet - for some time, I'm comforted in the knowledge that she doesn't on the face of it, display any deep wounds that might have generated the seeds of the plot for The Bet - which is something of a weight off my mind. lol

Viv, I congratulate you on producing a heartstopping and intensely interesting book - your best yet. :)
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Format: Kindle Edition
The Bet opens with a mysterious man on a mysterious mission that makes no sense to the reader. Nothing about this novel makes sense at first, and this piques your curiosity. You have to read just one more chapter to try to figure out what's happening. And then before you know it, you're hooked and can't put it down.

Vivienne Tuffnell's produced another winner with this compelling story about the daunting challenge of healing a deeply wounded psyche. As the history and personality of the mysterious young man are peeled away, layer by layer, we meet one of the saddest, loneliest, most likeable and unforgettable protagonists I've run across in contemporary literature. One minute you want to shake some sense into him and the next you just want to give him a warm hug. And his nemesis, an oh-so -innocent-looking beauty whose mask covers up a mercilessly sadistic monster, is right up there with the worst of them.

Once again, Tuffell's strong sense of place anchors the plot and furthers the characterization. Antony's home is almost as vast and musty as the museum in which he works. Both places are testament to a past whose antiquated values are of little help to this clueless young man. Likewise, the Yorkshire moors, home of the retired priest enlisted to help Antony make peace with himself and his past, are as wild and mysterious as his inner ghosts.

I loved this story of family secrets and wounded souls. I loved its twists and turns and unexpected nuggets of insight. Most of all I loved the author's psychological awareness, compassion and love of life that shine through every page. Thanks for the fascinating journey through the labyrinths of the human soul, Ms Tuffnell. I look forward to your next.
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