David Almond - A Song for Ella Grey Paperback – 4 Jun 2015
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Infused with lyricism and with the fire and oddness of adolescence. Fresh, involving and lucid, it is a song in itself, and teens will find it fills them with poignant longing and joy. (The Daily Telegraph)
A desperately romantic and deeply lyrical re-imagining of Orpheus and Eurydice... David Almond at his best. * * * * * (Bookbag)
Passages of magic. (Financial Times)
Beautifully written... poetic and allusive. (Irish Times)
Spell-binding... impossible to resist... breathless, intoxicating prose. [Almond's] books seem to exist in their own otherworldly universe, outside all the trends in modern publishing, yet resolutely of the now. (The Glasgow Herald)
Lyrical and dreamlike, this beautifully written story conjures up the insane intensity of first love and the effect it has on those caught up in its slipstream. Authentic teenage characters and attitudes, and Almond's control of emotion is superb. (Daily Mail)
Almond's writing is superb. (Irish Daily Mail)
A ravishing, ingenious novel told in Almond's own hypnotic northern lilt. (The Scotsman)
A retelling of the myth of Orpheus... Almond's version is a revelation: his poetic prose seeps into your blood like word-venom until you can't imagine reading anything else (Children's Book of the Week) (The Times)
a strong sense of mystery...lyrical... poetic...moves in a deliberate dreamlike way. A beautiful book that works on several levels A triumph. (Marcus Sedgwick) (The Guardian)
A plangent tale of adolescent passion which re-packages the myth of Orpheus and Eurydice. Almond injects it with lyrical beauty and life. (Books for Keeps)
Intriguing adaptation of the tale of Orpheus, skilfully crafted and blended with modern teen life and a real flavour of Northumberland. Haunting. (Peters eGazette)
Almond is an incredibly powerful storyteller. Poetic... dreamlike and lyrical. A devastatingly poignant novel. (Newcastle Chronicle)
A desperately romantic and deeply lyrical re-imagining of the myth of Orpheus and Eurydice. Full of the hums and thrums of emotions, landscape, music and poetry, it's David Almond at his best. (The Bookbag)
Bliddy marvellous, as his Geordie protagonists would say. (The Independent on Sunday)
A masterly retelling of the Orpheus myth. Lyrical prose is matched with equally beautiful passages. (Financial Times)
Beautiful writing. (The Independent)
Almond's lyrical prose fits the story perfectly. (The Mail on Sunday)
A revelation. Poetic prose seeps into your blood like word venom until you can't imagine reading anything else. (The Times)
Beautiful and bewitching. (Daily Express)
The writing is just so magical... A stunning book which I will definitely read again. (The Best Children's Books of 2014 The Guardian)
David Almond is a dazzling writer...exceptional... a breathtaking novel from a literary master. (Daily Express)
A daring reworking of Orpheus amd Eurydice... a sense of transcendence... lush poetic prose. (Sunday Times)
Haunting poetic novel. (Irish Times)
If somebody asked me to describe A Song for Ella Grey in word, I would have to tell them that I couldn't...it would be impossible to write it off in just a word (The Guardian Online)
It's a desperately romantic and deeply lyrical reimagining of the myth of Orpheus and Eurydice. Full of the hums and thrums of emotions, landscape, music and poetry, it's David Almond at his best (The Bookbag)
A revelation: his poetic prose seeps into your blood like word venom until you can't imagine reading anything else (Alex O'Connell The Times)
Extraordinary (Imogen Russell Williams The Metro)
Almond's lyrical prose fits the story perfectly (The Mail on Sunday)
Beautiful writing...this is an author always on the side of the young, and as such offers a valuable counterweight to fashionable gloom in other teenage writing (Nicholas Tucker The Independent)
I thought the author told the story extremely well and I would recommend this book to anyone in their teens. (Charlie Barraclough (aged 14) Western Gazette)
Skillfully crafted and blended...accessible with engaging main characters and haunting memorable plot. (Peters eGazette)
Intensely lyrical and oddly haunting...Almond's prose is a delight, each word so carefully chosen and melded to make a myth of contemporary adolescence (School Librarian)
Capturing the intensity of first love and its power to overcome even death, Almond's prose is a delight, each word so carefully chosen and melded to make a myth of comtemporary adolescence...will surprise and enthrall teenage readers in equal measure (Scool Librarian)
David Almond is a powerful storyteller and I was completely swept away by his latest poetic prose (Carousel)
A challenging but riveting read (Sophie Innes, Trinity Academy Teen Titles)
It is a challenging but riveting read (Teen Titles)
Almond's poetic prose is especially apt for this tale -- one that moves in a deliberate, dreamlike way (Marcus Sedgewick The Guardian)
This is the most beautifully written, haunting book for young adults that I have ever read (Bristol Magazine)
This year I loved A Song for Ella Grey by David Almond ... a powerful, lyrical book that's absorbing and moving and haunting (The guardian.com)
[David Almond] is becoming the Gabriel Garcia Marquez of Children's Fiction. (Janni Howker TES)
This is absolutely beautiful and quite possibly my favourite Almond novel to date. The story of Orpheus and Eurydice is retold against a wild Northumbrian landscape: life, death, love and myths. Just wonderful. (Fiona Noble The Bookseller)
Almond is an incredibly powerful storyteller; his poetic prose perfectly suits this type of tale, being dream-like and lyrical...a devastatingly poignant novel. (Jayne Howarth Manchester Evening News)
The epic new novel by David AlmondSee all Product description
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Top customer reviews
As ever, Almond treads the line between the lyrical and the real with grace and sure-footedness. Claire, our narrator is believable and heart breakingly wonderful and I am delighted how real Almond is able to make her voice, as she stumbles to make sense of the impossible things that happen to her fragile friend Ella when she comes into contact with the mythical Orpheus.
I thought this sounded wonderful and the cover was simply gorgeous. I’ve not read very much by David Almond but he has an excellent reputation and I had high hopes. Unfortunately, I just wasn’t wowed by it.
The writing is very stylistic, almost poetic and while in some places it was beautiful, in others it just felt confusing. It didn’t flow well for me: sometimes I wasn’t sure what was going on, and the odd way everyone spoke just brought me out of the story. Everything felt disconnected and I didn’t really feel emotionally invested in any of the characters. While Claire and Ella’s friendship was strong and lovely, everything else felt a little underdeveloped.
The story itself was kind of odd. It’s only a short book but it didn’t feel like a lot really happened. It felt like there was a lot of ‘we went to school, we worked hard, time passed’ etc and it just didn’t really do anything for me.
My favourite bit was when Orpheus went into the underworld. The pages were black with white writing on, the prose was carefully places across the page and the poetic style really worked there. It was definitely the highlight of the book.
Overall I don’t think this one was for me. I didn’t get on well with the style and just felt at a disconnect with the whole book. The writing is beautiful though, and different from most of the YA I’ve read, so if you’re looking for something unusual then give it a try.
I thought A Song for Ella Grey was fantastic. This is one of those rare, magical books that reaches right inside your heart and squeezes so hard you can’t breathe. Is Orpheus just a boy, a beautiful boy with a talent for singing and charm or is he a creature from myth? Apparently this book is a retelling of the myth of Orpheus and Eurydice. I didn’t know this when I read it though it makes perfect sense given the descriptions of Orpheus and his talents and his quest to find his love, Ella. I’ve heard of Orpheus and Eurydice but never knew the whole story which meant I could enjoy A Song for Ella Grey on its own merit and not as a retelling. This book is beautifully written and I enjoyed every page. I loved the section where Orpheus journeys into death. The pages at this point are black and the text is printed in white. This shouldn’t really work but does. A Song for Ella Grey is amazing and I would recommend it.
In this modern day retelling of the myth of Eurydice and Orpheus we meet best friends Ella and Claire who spend their youth trying to grow up quicker. Things take an interesting turn when Ella falls for vagabond Orpheus. Their union signifies the end of Claire and Ella’s youth and also brings their impending lives fully into view.
I was so keen to read this book. Having read Almond’s work before I am familiar and I awe how he can take the normal and make it appear mystical and atmospheric. Add to this the fact that the tale of Orpheus and Eurydice is my favourite myth you can see why I was so eager to devour this story.
Sadly, it didn’t blow me away. In fact, having finished the book I’m kind of at a loss to describe how I feel. Heck, all the elements were there; the atmospheric nature of his writing, the story that needed to be told, the amazing way in which Almond can captivate you – it all just didn’t quite connect for me.
I’m a little bit disappointed.
Give it a read and let me know what you think.
The Song for Ella Grey by David Almond is available now.
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