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The Lovely Bones Paperback – 6 Jun 2003

4.1 out of 5 stars 1,002 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 328 pages
  • Publisher: Picador; Reprints edition (6 Jun. 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0330485385
  • ISBN-13: 978-0330485388
  • Product Dimensions: 12.9 x 2 x 19.7 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1,002 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 3,532 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product description

Amazon Review

On her way home from school on a snowy December day, 14-year-old Susie Salmon is lured into a cornfield and brutally raped and murdered, the latest victim of a serial killer. The Lovely Bones, Alice Sebold's haunting and heartbreaking debut novel, unfolds from heaven, where "life is a perpetual yesterday" and where Susie narrates and keeps watch over her grieving family and friends, as well as her brazen killer and the sad detective working on her case.

As Sebold fashions it, everyone has his or her own version of heaven. Susie's resembles the athletic fields and landscape of a suburban high school: a heaven of her "simplest dreams", where "there were no teachers... We never had to go inside except for art class... The boys did not pinch our backsides or tell us we smelled; our textbooks were Seventeen and Glamour and Vogue".

The Lovely Bones works as an odd yet affecting coming-of-age story. Susie struggles to accept her death while still clinging to the lost world of the living, following her family's dramas over the years. Her family disintegrates in their grief: her father becomes determined to find her killer, her mother withdraws, her little brother Buckley attempts to make sense of the new hole in his family and her younger sister Lindsey moves through the milestone events of her teenage and young adult years with Susie riding spiritual shotgun. Random acts and missed opportunities run throughout the book--Susie recalls her sole kiss with a boy on earth as "like an accident--a beautiful gasoline rainbow".

Though sentimental at times, The Lovely Bones is a moving exploration of loss and mourning that ultimately puts its faith in the living and that is made even more powerful by a cast of convincing characters. Sebold orchestrates a big finish and though things tend to wrap up a little too well for everyone in the end, one can only imagine (or hope) that heaven is indeed a place filled with such happy endings. --Brad Thomas Parsons, Amazon.com

Review

'My name was Salmon, like the fish, first name, Susie I was fourteen when I was murdered on December 6, 1973. My murderer was a man from our neighborhood. My mother liked his border flowers, and my father talked to him once about fertilizer.'

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
The Lovely Bones by Alice Sebold is one of the most powerful books I have ever read. I am not one for reading about death, ghosts, anything in the slightest bit scary or frightening, and when I heard about this book I did not think it would be for me. But, I read the first page of this book and was hooked, I finished it 5 hours later and I can honestly say it has changed the way I think about heaven, life after death and the ability to move on when somebody you love dies.
It is a thought provoking, tear jerking fictional story of Susie Salmon, murdered at a young and tender age, who narrates the story of her afterlife (for want of a better word) in "her Heaven" and her family's path through life without her. I did not put this book down from the moment I started it, I read alot of books and have never been so hooked on anything before. The idea is so original, you will not have read anything like it. The emotional ride that Susie and author Alice Sebold take you on is a real rollercoaster, you will cry tears of sadness and joy, feel anger and fear, love the story and possibly hate it too. If you have children you will cuddle them extra hard on a night. If ever you have lost someone close then read this book.
Alice Sebold is not attempting to make you believe in anything, this is not a religious book, or a story to be afraid of (even if you have lost a child yourself), it is simply a fictional novel, of the way things could possibly be. The whole story centres around a sad event, a brutal murder of someone young and vulnerable, but this is not a dark book, it will make you cry, and make you happy. Susie is a strong character, easy to like and easy to understand, someone most people can relate to.
I can honestly say this book will stay with me forever, I loved reading it, and am very happy to recommend it to everyone. Happy reading!
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Format: Paperback
I must admit that strangers starred at me as tears flowed while I read the book on the train on my way home. I have never read such a captivating book, I simply just had to finish it in one day.
Till date this is Alice Sebold's only fiction novel that I know of, the other is non-fiction and is called 'Lucky'. In it holds the key to why she could write and transmit to us a nightmare horror, for she too was raped on her way home.
I cried for the main character, Susie, because she was frozen in a child like body, while watching her sister and brother grow up, the end of her parent's marriage and eventually her mother's transformation. In 'Lucky' you will read how the author's own mother battled with alcohol and personality problems. Both books are entwined, I think, one true, the other make believe, both the author's attempt to deal with ghosts of the past as well as the unanswered question, what if she had been murdered that day?
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Format: Paperback
This is a beautiful novel. Once in a while a really special first novel emerges and this is one such novel.
From the first page when the narrator reveals herself to be dead; brutally raped and murdered as a school girl, the reader knows that this is something quite different and compelling. This is a book that is virtually impossible to put down and it stays with you when you're not reading it. You will search out time to read it.
Alice Sebold's novel works on may levels. At the simplest level there is a thriller within the novel in the shape of 'Will the murderer be caught?'
At the heart of the book is the tale of a family living their lives after the murder of their daughter/ sister and how this changes everyone's story. This is where Sebold excells. The descriptions of the love and friendship between a father and child are beautifully well observed and painfully moving. As is the account of what it means for a parent to lose this.
The Lovely Bones is also a tribute to women and children who have experienced violence.
Sebold covers so much ground here and even manages to tell the story of Susie Salmon's murderer.
You may think that this is a heavy book, but nothing could be further from the truth. The prose is deft and clipt. At the same time the description of Susie's heaven is beautifully poetic.
This is a book full of light and hope. Susie Salmon will emerge as one of modern literatures favourite characters and her story will stay with you long after the last page is read.
Read Lucky and you will learn how and why Alice Sebold created such a wonderful generous world from a tragic beginning.
Read and enjoy.
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Format: Paperback
Following the murder of Susie Salmon, we watch her family cope with their grief and loss. However this is no ordinary crime novel, we follow Susie's family over the years through her eyes as she views them from her heaven. The novel draws you into the characters' world and you feel yourself become part of the family so feeling their loss and frustration as the murderer evades capture. I found this book to be very atmospheric and emotional. I think this book haunts you for a long time and although very different it's atmosphere reminded me of the classic Harper Lee novel "To kill a Mockingbird".
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By Kona TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 21 Mar. 2004
Format: Paperback
The Lovely Bones is narrated by Susie, a fourteen year old girl who has been murdered. From heaven, she describes her attack and her family and friends' attempts at dealing with her loss in such a simple, matter-of-fact way that the reader will surely melt into puddles of tears.
The author's writing style is friendly, chatty and irresistible; I couldn't put it down until I was finished. It is a very quick read - the kind of book you wish wouldn't end. I loved the first half and cried through it, liked the second half, and understood the ending (but selfishly wish it could have been different).
This is a book about a dead child, but it is not at all macabre; it is warm, loving, honest, and hopeful. Those who have lost a loved one may well find comfort by reading The Lovely Bones. I recommend it to those who enjoy insightful, well-written fiction.
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