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Flip Paperback – 7 Mar 2013
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Bedford's taut style and psychological insight make Flip a gripping thriller. -- Amanda Craig * The Times * ...a brilliant, engrossing, thought provoking, psychological thriller that was impossible to put down. The key to the novel's ability to enthral lies in the way in which the author has somehow managed to identify the teenage psyche and capture the voice of one with shocking realism. * www.thebookbag.co.uk * Interview with author. * Keighley News * It's a well-worn cliche that teenagers sometimes feel they're in someone else's body, and Bedford has followed this idea to its logical conclusion in his tale of a lad called Alex, who ends up in the body of a boy called Flip, whose parents give new meaning to the phrase `dysfunctional family'. It's an unusual idea and Bedford, a former sub-editor with The Oxford Times who has five adult novels under his belt, has executed it with consummate skill in his first book for young adults. * The Oxford Times * The story is fast paced and the reasons for the swap were great, it was done in a different way to any I've seen before but again I'm not going to give any hints so you'll have to read the book to find out more. I'd definitely recommend Flip if you're looking for something a bit different and I'm looking forward to seeing what Martyn Bedford comes up with in the future. * Feeling Fictional * A unique story which will definietly keep it's readers absorbed. * Ink Pellet * This is an absorbing book which makes you think a little differently. * Books For Keeps * Flip is such a brilliant idea, and really well executed...Nothing is glossed over or fudged: by the end I almost believed it could really happen (actually, I did believe it could happen whilst I was reading the book). Every practicality is dealt with - girlfriends, Alex's complete lack of ability in sports at which Flip excels, and there are also moments of excruciating horror; the idea of being forcibly ejected from your own life, but not actually dead, is terrifying when you look at it closely. Able to see your friends and family but never recognised by them, never able to really go home. Flip raises all sorts of labyrinthine questions about what it really means to be yourself. -- Katy Moran * http://katymoran.co.uk/book-review-blog/ * Gripping! * Ham and High * A riveting psychological thriller * Woman's Way *
About the Author
Martyn Bedford began his career as a journalist and is the author of five books for adults, including Acts of Revision, which won the Yorkshire Post Best First Book Award, The Houdini Girl and Black Cat. Flip is his first book for teens. He later became the director of the novel writing programme at the University of Manchester, as well as fiction critic for the Literary Review. Martyn currently teaches the creative writing module at Leeds Trinity University College and is a former Royal Literary Fund Fellow. He lives in Ilkley, West Yorkshire, with his family.
Visit Martyn at www.martynbedford.com
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I'll go as far as saying that Martyn, you are a genius. My son read it all without any prompting and really enjoyed it. We even discussed the book afterwards. I've let him allocate the star rating. He's only given you 4 because there was no football..! Thank you.
While there are quite a few movies that deal with `body swapping' I had never read a book with a similar theme and was curious to see how the author would deal with the psychology of a fourteen year old boy (based on the recommended reading age of 12+). Also, this story was obviously not a comedy (as the movies I have watched were)! I was also drawn to this story having worked with this age group in the education environment (both formally and informally) and my youngest son turning fifteen this year.
From the very beginning the trauma of Alex waking up in Flip's (Philip's) body and having to become a part of a family, a life, that he has no conscious knowledge of is traumatic. I felt Alex's isolation and bewilderment. I could understand his reluctance through fear of Googling his name in case he found an article on his `body' dying. Also totally understandable was the need to visit his real family and his close friend David.
Alex has to learn how to survive in Flip's life (family, friends, girlfriends, school) building lie after lie. He is so very different from Flip, not only physically but in the respect he has for other people and in applying his intelligence. The family dog `Beagle' is the only one showing knowledge he is not Flip with his nipping and growling. How terrifying! How can you tell people your soul is not that of Flip's? How crazy will people think you are?
We journey with Alex, in Flip's body, through everyday interactions and finally the knowledge of what has happened and where Flip is. We see Alex slowly merging into a hybrid of Alex and Flip, sometimes Alex not knowing where he ends and Flip begins.
I couldn't guess the ending - couldn't say for sure what the final resolution was going to be until it happened. I loved it that some parts of Flip's life had a future.
Flip is easy to read - the way it is written is brilliant. I was just on the edge of boredom when off we went in another direction so although there is only one plot in the story, the other issues came along at the right time to hold my interest. I started reading Flip on Friday and finished it Saturday night (and yes, I did have a life in between reading!).
I found Alex's story very thought-provoking and it's prompted me to examine my own life - to look at the minutae of everyday existence - and also how I interact with people! Aimed at readers aged 12+ - I would also recommend it for adults of any age!
Wikipedia has this to say about the Science of body swapping:
While swapping bodies remains fictional as of 2011, scientific research points to the possibility of head transplants, a brain transplant or mind uploading somewhere in the future ....................
It does use some mild offensive language, and he was a little disappointed by the ending theme - but then he is a twelve year old boy - and quickly looked for the publishing date and sequel.