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The Gift Maker: Spellbinding and beautifully written, impossible to put down Kindle Edition
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Top Customer Reviews
At this point the story takes wing and the reader is whisked off into a kaleidoscopic world, where reality is constantly shifting, and invited to enjoy a fascinating examination of the unanswerable questions of existential experience and the origins of life.
This book is an extraordinary achievement. It is entertaining, mesmerising, wholly engaging and conveyed in beautifully flowing prose.
What neither Liselotte or Thomas know is that the consequences of receiving the custom-made, and highly personal, gifts have already been decided for them - by a theatre impresario whose existence they are unaware of. The third student, the mercurial, enigmatic Jurgen, does not receive a gift, but he is part of their story, too, and follows Thomas in his blind quest.
Rich in symbolism, the novel is poetic, highly charged, and so vividly written that I became completely unaware of my real-world environment, having stepped into the shape-shifting world of Liselotte, Thomas, Jurgen, and the mysterious, nomadic Daumen, whose very identity and existence becomes ever more compromised by following the denouement of the students' story. I literally couldn' put this book down - it is so compelling that you can't bear to leave the characters to their fate. Unusually inventive, this fantasy is not for the faint-hearted.
At the very beginning, one of the MCs, Thomas receives the mysterious box. I enjoyed gradually getting to know Thomas and his fellow philosophy students - their jokes and banter easing us into the story. It isn’t until we meet Liselotte, the other MC that the story starts to get surreal and magical, but it’s worth the wait. I loved following her on her quest to understand her gift and watching as the world around her becomes more warped and disturbing.
There is so much to contemplate in this book - there is a depth of soul in this book that is such a rarity. I think some of the quotes I marked will sum up the particular beauty of its pages and its writer:
“The gift will find the receiver, whether he wishes it or not, for it is part of him and cannot be denied.”
“We look for the pure, if hidden, desire. The love of the love for its own sake, not for gross gain. A rare thing in this and other worlds."
I don’t want to give too much away, but there are layers upon layers of meaning and influence in this book. One moment you think of The Master and Margarita, especially with the theatre scenes and then there’s hints of Dr Faustus and questions about one’s ambitions in life and their impact on the soul.
This book has stayed with me the last week - and I will definitely be buying a paperback copy so that I can revisit it again when the images and ideas fade.
The Gift Maker is a story about an anonymous gift to each of three students. Do they open the box? It is here that the philosophical nexus drew me in. I read this as, open the gift and you can follow your future, leave the gift unopened, and your future will follow you - what is there not to like about that, a magnificent hook.
Mark Mayes, as I was lead to expect, has a gift of beautiful descriptive writing and I sometimes found myself a little lost in his creativity, wanting at times for the narrative to punch on, but it was a story that demanded this languorous world of self-discovery 'magically' set within various vignette scenes; a girl on a train; a visit to the University refectory; a snow scene in a wood, with the girl, a village lad and a wild boar; arriving at the distant town of Grenze, decrepit or passed onto another life? and descriptions of the theatre - this book is about trusting in the author, that he will steer you beyond grizzly events, wondrous sights, whilst all the time the contents of the gifts grow in importance, leading to a dramatic, though ethereal, conclusion, which I found strangely satisfying - I was not expecting that.
If your favoured read is magical tales, then The Gift maker is 5 stars all the way, more than enough to satisfy an avid reader of this genre. If you pick up this book for an engaging read, as I did, then I would recommend 4 stars, but only because the fantasy, dream like content, is not my thing, but it surely is a really good read.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Mark's debut novel is sensational. It's the story of three young students who are all given a mysterious little blue box with a gift inside and who then set of on a journey, not... Read morePublished 15 days ago by Henrietta Ross
Mark Mayers has given birth to a remarkable 1st novel. The explosive arrival of the Gift Maker is an extra-ordinary fantastic story. Read morePublished 26 days ago by Amazon Customer
Mark Mayes is a genius. This is one of those books you occasionally come across that is mind-blowing. Read morePublished 1 month ago by Yvonne Me and My Books
The book is described by a reviewer on its cover as 'magical and daring'...these are not actually words which would normally draw me to a book, but it came to be in my hands so I... Read morePublished 1 month ago by Amazon Customer
I thought this an amazing fairytale for grown up children. Marks writing has elegance and great depth which nevertheless leads us through some macabre moments. Read morePublished 1 month ago by C.M
Wow, I feel like I've just had an incredible dream! What a fascinating story. The Gift Maker is a beautifully written book that takes you through a remarkable journey of fantasy,... Read morePublished 1 month ago by Alison Waterfield
The Gift Maker is a truly original story and so wonderfully written by the author, Mark Mayes. I was totally captivated from start to finish. Read morePublished 1 month ago by Starbright
The Gift Maker captivated me. It is at once fantastical and hyper-real, such is the brilliance of the descriptive passages. Read morePublished 1 month ago by Philip Whiteley
Only a third of a way into this and will write a full review later.
I only wish I had some of Mark's skills to describe how brilliant the start of this book is. Read more
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