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Friendly Fire by [Gale, Patrick]
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Friendly Fire Kindle Edition

4.2 out of 5 stars 32 customer reviews

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Length: 336 pages Word Wise: Enabled Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
Page Flip: Enabled

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Review

‘Utterly compelling from first to last: sad and funny and written with the matchlessly fine yet modest prose that marks him out as such a superb writer’ Stephen Fry

'Friendly Fire is an intense tale of love, life, intellectualism and passion. Inspirational' Daily Express

'Patrick Gale is a writer who has always seemed particularly well attuned to the assorted agonies and ecstasies of childhood…The emotions still ring true' Daily Mail

‘Gale's finely tuned rites of passage novel depicts a learning curve of betrayal and shame’ Metro

About the Author

Patrick Gale was born on the Isle of Wight in 1962. He spent his infancy at Wandsworth Prison, which his father governed, then grew up in Winchester. He now lives on a farm near Land's End. His most recent novels are The Whole Day Through and the Richard & Judy bestsellers Notes from an Exhibition and A Perfectly Good Man.


Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 1014 KB
  • Print Length: 336 pages
  • Publisher: Fourth Estate (24 Mar. 2015)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00U0NJDS2
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Screen Reader: Supported
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars 32 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #69,178 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

4.2 out of 5 stars
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By A Customer on 28 Jun. 2005
Format: Paperback
It's not surprising that Gale, brought up in prisons and public schools, should return from time to time to tales of institutional life. What is surprising is the freshness of perspective he manages to find in each reworking of a familiar milieu.
Themes recur as well as places: the outsider as the reference point for sanity (and often morality) and the use of a central character who is in some way freakish: Sophie, our protagonist here, has a bizarrely parent-less and yet multi-parented life and is reminiscent of Dido from A Sweet Obscurity in that though a child, she has a certain grave maturity which affects the lives of the adults around her.
These outsiders' stories may or may not carry some metaphorical representation of Gale's experiences as a gay man but what is fascinating is his ability to find the dystopic in the 'normal' and set it against the surer groundings which the freaks have managed to dredge out of their less-than-fortunate circumstances.
I've just read Kazuo Ishiguro's 'Never Let Me Go' and there are interesting comparisons: Ishiguro's narrative is also set in a boarding school, also focuses on the interplay between apparently unusual children and the adult world around them. But Gale's story is the subtler of the two in that he does the whole job with character, rather than needing to invent a sinister parallel reality in order to provide the metaphorical underpinnings for outsider-hood.
I noted in a previous review that Gale is often compared to Joanna Trollope and Iris Murdoch. In Friendly Fire, we get a good taste of Dickens too: When Dr Harestock announces the morning hymn he 'never treated the first line as a title but read until the first full stop.' In Great Expectations, Mr.
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Format: Paperback
I'll be brief: I've been reading Gale's work since Little Bits of Baby (still in my Top Ten along with his Facts of Life).
He has completely mastered the ability to portray the complexities of human nature in a most accessible way - the landscapes of his characters' emotions and motivations are laid out before us with considerable dexterity. Similarly the various UK locations of his novels are expertly depicted.
I would suggest that he has yet to produce a poor novel - and that is why I buy them on day of publication and read them in very few sittings. How many authors can create the same sense of expectation and maintain the mix of high standards and originality?
In Friendly Fire he brings to life those strains and fears of adolescence - via youths of widely differing backgrounds and set in juxtaposed locations of public school, children's home and bourgeois suburbia. I for one felt transported back to my early to mid teens.
And, finally, if you are heading for a beach this (like his others) will hit the spot. Not because it's simplistic literature - it just reads so well.
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By Katharine Kirby TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 6 April 2005
Format: Paperback
Reading Patrick Gale is always time well spent. I am always impressed by the deep levels of understanding and knowledge that he brings to all kinds of situations. Patrick Gale knows his places and subject and doesn't let the reader down. Cornwall is nearly always used or referred to, which is good news. Friendly Fire at first does seem like a dark Harry Potter for Very Grown Ups and in it Gale has created a complete school world, including an unusual ball game that is described in detail, so there is a similarity.
Sophie, the central character, becomes our guide to this rarefied, eccentric society. Her story is tantalisingly hinted at throughout and she is a heroine who invites sympathy. Her friendships and loyalties are all well tested and each relationship brings her the experience of differing families that she needs to help her to mature.
The drawings at the beginning of each chapter are exquisite. The ending is controlled and satisfying and just barely believable!
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Lots of interesting detail about Winchester College. Hard to believe that Sophie would have been so unrebellious, that punk could have so little impact on these kids, that a low-class girl like Sophie could be so at ease with all the members of the upper classes that she comes into contact with.
The characters, Charlie, Lucas and Mr Compton are drawn much more convincingly than the straight ones - Sophie, Wilf and Margaret.
Overall an enjoyable read but not the definitive seventies school novel.
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Format: Paperback
I'm torn between wanting to have read everything Patrick Gale has written yet needing another one still to read. In Friendly Fire he has once again given a perfect depiction of childhood insecurity and contradictions - this time from a female point of view. The inevitable conclusion is that feminine/masculine vulnerabilities are interchangeable. The pace is excellent, the characters compelling, and the two main characters in particular extraordinarily empathetic. The plot thickens from a savoury soup of adolescent angst, via class-ridden bigotry and ignorance, to an unexpected denouement handled adroitly and sensitively. Patrick Gale enables you to identify with multiple facets of humankind. There are the obvious comparisons with other authors, contemporary and otherwise but it is a mistake to compare - Patrick Gale has a voice all his own.Friendly Fire
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