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No Telling Paperback – 6 May 2004

4.0 out of 5 stars 9 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 528 pages
  • Publisher: Vintage; New Ed edition (6 May 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0099428830
  • ISBN-13: 978-0099428831
  • Product Dimensions: 12.9 x 3.2 x 19.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,180,058 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Review

"Meticulously observed...a riveting tour de force... Impossible to put down" (Daily Telegraph)

"A wonderful, clear-eyed portrayal of a child's bewildered negotiations with the adult world, shot through with evocative details... No Telling is beautifully written, extremely moving...not merely readable, but gripping" (Independent)

"An extraordinarily beautiful and moving novel, the best yet from one of the finest and most underrated writers working in English today" (John Burnside Scotsman)

"Wonderful...the imaginative tour-de-force Thorpe achieves with No Telling confirms his status as an A-Team novelist" (Financial Times)

"It is beautifully done. Thorpe perfectly captures the inconsequential nature of adolescence...powerful reading" (The Economist)

Book Description

A gripping coming-of-age novel about families and the secrets they hold by the author of Ulverton.

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Customer Reviews

4.0 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
.
The story of a boy whose life is surrounded by unmentionables (thus the title). Everyone tells him not to speak about what he sees, to keep it to himself--the sister's illegitimate baby, the devoutly Catholic mother who insists that the baby is hers, the sister's radical-crossed-over-to-anarchy politics, her madness, the racist pretentious womaniser fraudster uncle-and-stepfather.
Yet all this comes naturally to him, for it is all that he has known . . . at least until the awakening. Throughout, innocence makes Gilles yet unable to see or realise these events. And Thorpe's literary prowess manifests itself by managing to show us the whole story through the eye-level of the boy--adolescence taking centre stage in his life, almost oblivious to all that the reader is already painfully aware.
Intense in its casualness, poetic in its innocence. Brace yourself for beauty when the boy speaks of his observations and
perceptions. It was a most riveting moving read.
.
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By A Customer on 30 July 2004
Format: Hardcover
Once again Adam Thorpe has astonished us with his talent. NO TELLING is a powerful, complex and beautifully written novel. The story is woven with the intricacy of a spider's web. He is an author who observes and creates with natural fluency. His prose is taught yet poetic. The novel is a voyage. As you travel with the young, innocent Gilles you embark on a journey where there is no going back. It is the story of a family unable to disassociate themselves with the past, living in the shadow of undiscovered truths, while set against the turbulent backcloth of Paris in the throws of the 1968 riots. As we follow Gilles' development, both physical and psychological, this mystery gradually begins to unravel. Adam Thorpe's charecters are no cardboard cutouts, they live and breathe with freshness and vitality, creating a tension that lingers on long after you have turned the last pages.
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Format: Hardcover
.
The story of a boy whose life is surrounded by unmentionables (thus the title). Everyone tells him not to speak about what he sees, to keep it to himself--the sister's illegitimate baby, the devoutly Catholic mother who insists that the baby is hers, the sister's radical-crossed-over-to-anarchy politics, her madness, the racist pretentious womaniser fraudster uncle-and-stepfather.
Yet all this comes naturally to him, for it is all that he has known . . . at least until the awakening. Throughout, innocence makes Gilles yet unable to see or realise these events. And Thorpe's literary prowess manifests itself by managing to show us the whole story through the eye-level of the boy--adolescence taking centre stage in his life, almost oblivious to all that the reader is already painfully aware.
Intense in its casualness, poetic in its innocence. Brace yourself for beauty when the boy speaks of his observations and
perceptions. It was a most riveting moving read.
.
Comment 4 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
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Format: Paperback
Don't be fooled by the quiet beginning - Gilles, a 12-year-old boy in a small French suburb is on the cusp of adolescence, living with his mother, his Uncle Alain, who has replaced his recently deceased father, his older sister Carole, and, soon, another baby, Nicholas.

But who's baby is Nicholas? And did robbers really break into the showroom next door and steal all his Uncle's industrial vacuum cleaners? And if so, why won't the insurers pay up? And when Carole has to go and live in what his mother calls the `Sanitorium', why does she tell Gilles that Carole has said terrible things, and yet she won't tell Gilles what they are? Secrets are kept and spilt by everyone in this fascinating and remarkably gripping and moving novel, Even Gilles has secrets - he keeps his sister's ballet shoes under his bed, looks at the book of artfully posed ladies in Uncle Alain's office drawer and conceals a picture of a Russian ballerina that he cuts out of a library book.

The events of the novel gather pace in the run up to 1968 - the year of France's student revolution and the Vietnam protests. Then, in the last third of the book Gilles and his mother are accidentally caught up in one dreadful night of revolutionary activity. The reader is allowed to know more than Gilles, but only by piecing together scenes and events that, on their own, mean little. The novel is beautifully constructed to allow this gradually dawning bigger picture to emerge as Gilles grows another year older and closer to the truth. One believes absolutely in the characters, all of whom are artfully and authentically rendered, although we see everything from the viewpoint of Gilles.

This is a stunning book, well worth reading for the sensuality, the gentle creativity of its lucid prose alone.
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Format: Kindle Edition
No Telling is beautifully written. Thorpe delves into, and meticulously reproduces, the thoughts, feelings and insights of a boy in early adolescence growing up in a family which guards its secrets. In the effective leap into the present, with which the book ends,Thorpe cleverly leaves some of those secrets unclear and whilst the adult Gilles seems to have unravelled most of them he throws in a few more for the reader to try to decipher. The events of '68 seen through the child's eyes are are graphic and gripping. Thorpe's humour is evident in his dialogues and his sense of history weaves its way through the novel.
I finished reading No Telling last week and I still miss Gilles.
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