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Hand Me Down World Hardcover – 11 Nov 2010

3.8 out of 5 stars 44 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 320 pages
  • Publisher: John Murray (11 Nov. 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1848544782
  • ISBN-13: 978-1848544789
  • Product Dimensions: 13.8 x 2.8 x 22.2 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars 44 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,204,553 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product description


Compelling . . . vivid . . . intense . . . one of the most significant novelists writing today (Sunday Times)

Humane and moving, it's a worthy successor to Jones's last novel, the Booker-shortlisted Mister Pip (Daily Mail)

Everyone will want to read Hand Me Down World and few will be able to stop thinking about it after they do (Irish Independent)

This is, to make a bold claim, an extraordinary novel . . . it's a brave experiment, original and never heavy-handed in its explorations of human trafficking, illegal migration, sex as currency, and above all the meaning of motherhood . . . Hand Me Down World is not an overtly intellectual exercise, yet it demands that the reader think and then think again. Jones is a daring writer who can be relied on to ignore expectation, and is becoming one of the most interesting, honest and thought-provoking novelists working today (Joanna Briscoe, Guardian)

Artfully constructed and delicately nuanced . . . Hand Me Down World has an eerie compulsion (D J Taylor, Financial Times)

The simple, unadorned prose has, nevertheless, a poetic force. Short, almost staccato sentences keep the characters at a distance and yet intensify the drama of each situation . . . It is as though the narrative mimics the young woman's extraordinary capacity to suppress her emotions, although they bubble powerfully away beneath the surface. The multiple viewpoints unfold the story piecemeal, and there is endless scope for interpretation and reinterpretation of the events described . . . Jones's novel Mister Pip was short-listed for the Man Booker Prize. This is a worthy successor which again demonstrates the writer's ability to create rich, imaginative worlds while telling a page-turning story (Daily Express)

Multiple, conflicting voices keep the narrative alive, displaying Jones's talent in creating a truly original structure. The real success of Hand Me Down World rests in demonstrating brilliantly just how much we lie to ourselves, creating alternative realities in order to conceal from nobody but ourselves the unpalatable truth about how we are capable of treating other human beings (Evening Standard)

I'm loath to say much about the plot of this superbly disconcerting new novel from the New Zealand writer Lloyd Jones, for fear of giving away too much. Then again, a skeletal account would give scant impression of the true subtlety of this masterful, prismatic piece of storytelling . . . The disturbing beauty of this affecting novel lies not in the quiet eloquence of the voices in the mosaic of Ines's story, but in the layers of meaning . . . The emotional range and occasional explosive devices of Hand Me Down World recall the taut, sprung prose styles of Mathew Kneale or Chris Cleave, both of whom have explored the vulnerability of foreigners in need. Jones takes this queasy circumstance further by exploring whether there are different modes of being, according to environment, which can alter the benchmarks of morality (Independent)

Lloyd Jones's spare style is beautifully suited to his subject, where for a large part of the book Ines is defined by her absence, her silences or her noiseless footsteps. Jones has also lost none of his ability, last seen in his Man Booker short-listed novel Mister Pip, to convey subtly the shifting power lines between people, as in the ticket inspector with the 'pale eyes that drown kitten'. But the novel's readability belies its great depth . . . Jones's novel is haunting to the very final line (Sunday Telegraph)

There remains something Dickensian, in the best sense, about Jones's imagination (Observer)

Book Description

A multi-layered story of the search for a lost child from the internationally bestselling author of Mister Pip

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