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Burning Bright Paperback – 3 Feb 1995

4.0 out of 5 stars 19 customer reviews

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Paperback, 3 Feb 1995
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Product details

  • Paperback: 272 pages
  • Publisher: Penguin Books Ltd; New edition edition (3 Feb. 1995)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0140173579
  • ISBN-13: 978-0140173574
  • Product Dimensions: 12.8 x 1.6 x 19.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (19 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 3,560,713 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Review

A story of terrible innocence...with openings of unexpected love and grace worthy of Graham Greene (The Independent on Sunday)

Burning Bright is a beautifully constructed and thought-provoking novel, with a freshness that makes it outstanding (Sunday Telegraph)

Helen Dunmore beautifully fulfils the highest function of a storyteller - to make you wonder what will happen next...one goes on addressing the problems of evil which Dunmore raises, long after one has finished her electrifying book (Sunday Times) --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

From the Back Cover

`Dunmore's darkest rainbow' Independent

`A story of terrible innocence' Independent on Sunday

`A seductive narrative illuminated with instants of visionary clarity' Guardian --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

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Customer Reviews

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
The first of HD's novels I've read, I found it utterly absorbing and extremely well written. The prose is hypnotic and there's a definate air of sinister tension throughout the first half of the book as you slowly uncurl two different threads of a tale. The story of Nadine and her elder lover, Kai, his business associate Tony and what they have planned for Nadine is one thread. Enid, a sitting tenant in their home, is the key to the second thread - who are Sukey and Caro and what happened to them? And what is the connection between Enid and an eminent politician?
The book is melodious in it's narrative and it's characterisation is clever. I do, however, have one criticism; Nadine is 16, yet has the emotoional dexterity of a woman much older. I didn't feel that her thought processes were akin to that of a teenager, albeit an intelligent one, and this spoiled the flow for me somewhat. Though it is clear that Nadine has had an interesting upbringing, I did feel that this still did not allow for such astute and creative observations.
This aside, I am sure you will appreciate this novel for what it is. I know I'll be searching out more of HD's work...
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Format: Paperback
'Burning Bright' is one of the most riveting, imaginative novels I have ever read. The characters are skilfully crafted and highly believable, and the plot unwraps itself in a natural, subtle way. The language used is hypnotic, the words locking together on the page and creating new ideas from ordinary events. I have yet to come across another writer whose prose is so captivating and fluid, who can touch the reader without gushing sentimentally. I would recommend this book to anyone.
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Format: Paperback
When her parents move to Germany with their other daughter (who has cerebral palsy & needs their care), 16 year old Nadine moves to London with her older boyfriend Kai. Also living in the house are Kai's business partner Tony, and sitting tenant Enid, way up in the attic. While Nadine buries her head in the sand with regard to Kai and Tony's line of work, she spends time with Enid and her pre-war stories of life in Manchester with the beautiful Sukey and jealous Caro (who was jailed for Sukey's murder). But it seems only a matter of time before the fragile structure of their lives falls apart...

Nadine is a wilfully naive character and difficult to relate to despite being easy to read. How many 16 year olds are happy to sit and cross stitch the day away while their boyfriend works in a job they know nothing about, and accept such scant attention from them when they are home? Kai is portrayed as charmless from the start, so it is difficult to see where the attraction lies, except in the convenience of having a place to stay once her parents have left (but this is never suggested to be her reason for being there). She is one of those passive characters who things just seem to happen to without any suggestion of action or reaction on her part.

In the absence of her parents, the presence of Enid fills a convenient gap for Nadine; and Enid's stories of her unconventional life and love affair in pre-war Manchester are interesting, despite seeming like something of a diversionary tactic in an otherwise slow-moving story. She has the job of explaining to Nadine the implications of her affair with Kai, after a fairly obvious outing/meeting with Tony and a client (which one would think would have already made things fairly clear to her).
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Format: Paperback
Helen Dunmore is such a good writer that I end up reading books on subject matters I wouldn't normally choose just because I know she is such a superb writer I will enjoy her books. This is an unusual story about unusual characters; quite suspenseful at times, very touching at others. Well worth a read.
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Format: Paperback
i've read and re read this book, thats how good it is !!
spell binding. read it and you'll know what i mean!
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Format: Paperback
Who is looking out for sixteen year-old Nadine in a world where youth is the only currency with which certain people wish to deal? Not Finnish Kai and his partner Tony who are small time on their way, they believe, to be big time. They have a friend in high places, a politician, who, for certain favours, will smooth their paths. Or so they think.

And what about Enid an old lady with a fund of stories about the Manchester Ladies' Club and an old murder case that has resonance in a different way for the politician. Enid is a sitting tenant, but how long before the big boys lose their patience with her, and with Nadine?

This hypnotically readable novel is a humdinger of a book, ticking all the boxes: brilliantly characterised, really well-crafted as a story - this is scary, seductive, and gloriously fulfilling. Dunmore has seldom written to better effect, this might not have won any prizes, but it's a real winner in my estimation.
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By A Customer on 4 Jan. 2001
Format: Paperback
This is simply a brilliant and unique book by an extremely talented writer. On one level, it's a thriller, but on another, more important level, it's simply wonderful literature. Once begun, it is difficult to put down.
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Format: Paperback
Great Dunmore book- left me wanting to read her others. Love the twists in the story- even if some were somewhat predictable...
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