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Magnificent Joe by [Wheatley, James]
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Magnificent Joe Kindle Edition

4.3 out of 5 stars 22 customer reviews

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Product Description

Review

'A study of male friendship turned sour, this novel chills and convinces.'

(Financial Times)

'A dark, angry novel, tightly wound.'

(Guardian)

'Wheatley is that increasingly rare type of young writer: he has experienced life, and it shows.'

(Daily Mail)

'A great debut - If this book is anything to go by [Wheatley] will have a bright future.'

(A Fiction Habit)

'Wheatley paints an interesting portrait of a stable situation disintegrating despite the best attempts to hold it together. Magnificent Joe is its author's first novel, and leaves me wondering where he might go next.'

(Follow the Thread)

'Raw and powerful, yet compelling and emotional.'

(New Books Magazine)

'This fine first book, half bildungsroman and half "state of England" novel, tells the story of Jim and his mates growing up in a village in the north of England - Wheatley can sure turn a phrase - A sweetly sad story.'

(Publishers Weekly)

'Joe's the only magnificent one in this novel about working-class life – a grim and gritty novel, with a slight ray of hope at the end.'

(Kirkus Reviews)

'A brutal, sometimes moving book...written with a spare, unsentimental swagger and plenty of confrontational coal-black humour.'

(Metro)

'Taut, tense and tragic - a triumphant debut.'

(Ben Myers, author of Pig Iron)

'Strong and spare - witty and utterly convincing.'

(Jane Rogers, author of The Testament of Jessie Lamb)

Review

‘entertaining’ Independent on Sunday


Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 1450 KB
  • Print Length: 292 pages
  • Publisher: Oneworld Publications (1 Mar. 2013)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00BEUR7OM
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars 22 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #265,243 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
A book that is full of plot rather than waffle. It keeps you engaged from the outset and does not let you go. Sometimes shockingly honest in the way it renders the characters and their unrestrained opinions and speech. The cruel and crude banter is all there. Ugly prejudice of all descriptions simmering away. Unreconstructed male workplace relationships that extend into the home via the pub. Everything thought, said and done distorted by the refractive index of beer. Political correctness is absent. The language can be strong but not as strong as you find almost anywhere in real life, particularly building sites.
It's not all grit. A dark, humorous thread pops out now and again. Ultimately, it is uplifting.
Would make a great film. It's almost a script.
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By MisterHobgoblin TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 27 May 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Magnificent Joe is a bit of a misnomer. The novel's actually about Jim, a young man who once had promise but blew his prospects in a moment of teenage madness. He finds himself stuck in the Durham village of his childhood, working as a bottom of the heap building labourer and hanging with his childhood friends because he doesn't have any better options. Jim seems content to tread water through his life, living only for the sake of his next beer.

The novel is mostly about the relationships between Jim, his friends Barry and Geoff, and Geoff's wife Laura. The four of them don't necessarily like one another very much and seem quite dissatisfied with life. But like Jim, they pretty much accept the cards that life has dealt them. They work hard but make room for banter in the mess hut and in the pub. The subtle development of these relationships and the latent resentment that each of them feels become the fuel that drives the novel.

Joe is a bit of an afterthought. Joe has some form of learning disability and lives with his mother, apart from this group of friends. The connection is that Jim's family were close to Joe's family and even though Jim's parents are long gone, Jim still feels a responsibility towards Joe and his mother. At best, though, Joe is a secondary character and it's not obvious how he has earned the moniker of "magnificent". The blurb might lead a reader to expect a new Incredible Adam Spark; or perhaps even a Christopher from Curious Incident. But no, Joe is fairly unremarkable and the novel would have been more aptly titled Unlucky Jim.

The novel is short and the narration is mostly a tight first person perspective from Jim. It works well and gives a good insight into Jim's personal battle against his self-pity.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This is a good easy read, the characters were typical of that trade. I just got a little lost at first with the flashback and forward, but thats my fault not the author's.....I should have bought it in book form then I would have been able to flick back, can't be done on a kindle. Recommend.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Not my usual type of read but could not put it down. Who to pass it on to as my usual elderly female friends might not enjoy the swearing but this was a necessary part of the story. Will certainly be looking out for more of James Wheatley's work.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I enjoyed this book, was quite real, quite dark, perhaps depressing in parts if you are in the wrong mood, but a really good story as you see the main character struggle through life. I enjoyed this book and would recommend
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I got this on my kindle after reading a review in the independent, stating it was a modern day of mice and men. And yes it is in many ways. There is a definite George and Lennie relationship between Jim and Joe. But it's modern and raw in its plot and development. It's honesty is sometimes shocking. The rawness is compelling and the attachment you have to the characters too is strong.

I loved it and would recommend it highly.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Excellent characterization, occasionally lyrical writing and a world minutely observed. Flashes of dark humour relieve this ultimately tragic tale of life in a redundant pit village.
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Format: Paperback
I have not yet finished the book but still feel ready to write the review. From the cover the story looked really promising, but sadly I was disappointed once inside. I thought the book started off well and I enjoyed the first half but it just petered out from there. I wanted to hear more about Jim's trial and time in prison. Although he looks out for Joe, it comes across as though he finds Joe a nuisance and I don't get the sense there's a strong bond between the pair. Really disappointing book.
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