- Save 10% on selected children’s books, compliments of Amazon Family Promotion exclusive for Prime members .
- Also check our best rated Children’s Book reviews
The Death Defying Pepper Roux Paperback – 3 Jun 2010
- 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.
'There are other authors writing for all ages who are good, and a few who are very good indeed. But on form Geraldine McCaughrean is in a class of her own, and this latest story is as fine as anything she has written yet.' (Nicholas Tucker)
'I couldn't put it down. It's wise and odd and funny, and the plot kept zipping off in unexpected directions right to the end . . . everybody should read Geraldine McCaughrean.' (Philip Reeve)
'this is irresistible reading, to enchant all ages . . . Pepper Roux can make you happy too.' (Nicolette Jones, The Sunday Times)
Geraldine McCaughrean's latest page-turner for the first time in paperbackSee all Product description
What other items do customers buy after viewing this item?
Top customer reviews
Each life that Pepper takes on is a fascinating episode in the life of this loveable little boy. McCaughrean has written her characters extremely well and the supporting cast of quirky, unusual and yet believable characters move this book up from being a good read to a great classic. Every character, regardless of how small their role may be, is lifted from the page with turns of phrase and mannerisms that illuminate the story. Pepper himself is a wonderful character, beginning the story as a naive, downtrodden but polite little boy and growing over the course of the book into a capable, kind hearted and warm young man who is loved by all despite his twisted childhood. You naturally warm to Pepper and without realising it the reader soon becomes attached.
The Death Defying Pepper Roux is a delicate gem of a story, that rare book that should be savoured and enjoyed slowly rather than devoured in one sitting. That isn't to say the story isn't gripping; quite the opposite in fact, but I felt that I wanted to prolong this fantastic story by a superb writer.
For a while you start to think that as he moves from one disguise to another that's the way the book is going to continue, but everything that happens to him then starts to come back again in such a way that all the threads of his different lives come together and he begins to realise that whilst perhaps you can outrun death, you can never outrun the person - or people - that you are.
Geraldine McCaughrean often overcooks her descriptions to the point where you'll either love them ("his heart cannoned like a billiard ball off some soft green wall of his insides", "the days clattered down like rows of dominoes") or possibly grimace ("[he] saw the cyclist doggedly following him through the small intestine of the night city"). But it would be hard to read this story and not warm to Pepper and be won over by his constant good nature in the face of adversity. It's just the right length too - not too short and not too long. I think it'll fly off the bookshelves.
Central character Pepper Roux has religion drilled into him at any early age along with his aunt's prophecy that he is going to die when he's 14. On his 14th birthday he runs away from home, and starts to adopt other lives and other names in a series of adventures that reminded me a lot of Gulliver's Travels. It works on many levels: it's a simple childish escapism story, but it's also a comedy, a history novel (of sorts), a satire in parts.
There are a lot of ideas and stories packed in and it rattles along at a gripping pace that keeps you interested yet manages to avoid being confusing. Like other reviewers, I went hungry instead of putting this book down.
Unlike Gulliver's Travels though, this is a totally modern story. While it's set in France (no knowledge of French required, with the exception of a couple of little puns which aren't integral to the plot), somewhere in the early 20th century, it is mostly geography-free and timeless- and it never feels twee or overly nostalgic.
Whilst it's published as a children's book, I'd maybe steer younger children away from it. There are a few inferences of violence and a couple of other cases of dubious adult morality which younger kids may not be used to- although they might not even notice that those things are there.
A really excellent novel. Read it yourself, then make your child/parents read it as well.
Would you like to see more reviews about this item?
Most recent customer reviews
Look for similar items by category