Pobby and Dingan Hardcover – 5 Oct 2000
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"Quirky, moving and completely unexpected. It will charm all but the most dedicated cynic" (Sunday Telegraph)
"From its bold premise to its brave ending, Pobby and Dingan is full of surprises" (The Times)
"Quirky, moving and completely unexpected. It will charm all but the most determined cynic" (Daily Telegraph)
"With Pobby and Dingan, Ben Rice makes a strong claim to be a leader of the new generation. This novel marks one of those debuts that may well turn out to have been of the greatest significance" (Robert McCrum Observer)
"A delicate fable about faith-it shows the search for the impossible to be both touching and necessary" (The Sunday Times) --This text refers to the Paperback edition.
'Intensely moving and brilliantly realised - a pocket masterpiece' Observer --This text refers to the Paperback edition.See all Product Description
Top Customer Reviews
Pobby & Dingan is set among the opal mines of Australia, where young Kellyanne Williamson escapes her - hinted at - unhappy life at school, to focus on her two eponymous imaginary friends. But when they fail to come home in the ute with Dad, Kellyanne takes sick. Narrated by her - at first scornful- older brother, Ashmol, we see the townsfolk rallying round to find them, and restore Kellyanne to health...
Specks in the Sky seemed to start off as a vastly more compelling tale, but all seemed to fall apart at the end (whereas the strongest part of Pobby & Dingan was the final page.) Here a lone mother and her two daughters, out on a run-down camel ranch in USA, look up one day to see fourteen parachutists, led by the Commander, landing in their backyard. But are these charming and helpful young men all they seem?...
Aimed at the teenage reader; perhaps they would have been better left as magazine stories (which is where they first appeared: in Granta and the New Yorker). But quite readable.
Admittedly the second story in this book ('Parachutes') is disappointing, but don't let that put you off. 'Pobby And Dingham' may be short, but it's perfectly formed.
What is real and what exists only in the imagination? Ashmol Williamson, a young boy living with his parents and sister Kellyanne in an opal mining community in Eastern Australia, has been told countless times by his father that 'there's something in that earth with the name Williamson on it.' Needless to say, the 'something' is taking rather a long time to materialise. Meanwhile, Kellyanne walks around the town of Lightning Ridge with her imaginary friends Pobby and Dingan. Her behaviour exasperates her family but she is treated with indulgent seriousness by the 'older softer folks' who even greet Pobby and Dingan in the street and give them lollipops. Ashmol just thinks his sister is a 'fruit-loop'. Kellyanne's quaintness, and the family's increasing sense of frustration as she persists with her fantasy, are portrayed with gentle humour in the early part of the story. But when Pobby and Dingan are 'lost' and Kellyanne becomes ill, the family hits a crisis.
In 'Pobby and Dingan', Ben Rice has written with confidence and subtlety. Each detail is well-chosen and relevant. Rice has the ability to define character with a few simple references. There is the 'Pommy' mother with her regrets about the privileged life she has left behind in England coupled with her affection for the family and belief in their Aussie way of life. There is the fat funeral director, Mr Dan Dunkley, eyeing up an extraordinary opportunity to get rich quick.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Brilliant story that changes how you think about reality, and a macabre fairy tale about gender stereotyping. Wonderful writing!Published 5 months ago by Amazon Customer
When Kellyanne's imaginary friends disappear, she quickly slides into a mysterious illness. Although big brother Ashmol has never believed in Pobby and Dingan himself, he decides... Read morePublished on 25 July 2012 by neverendings
This is a well meaning novello, but it really is more suited to the younger reader. The characterisation of the main characters are a little patronising. Read morePublished on 30 May 2010 by JF
Not very impressed - not much meat in these stories. Just my opinion but I won't be reading any more by this author.Published on 3 Feb. 2009 by Sue M
I love this little book, have read it more than once, lent it more than once and given it as a present more than once. Read morePublished on 31 July 2007 by Lucy Feather
heartbreakingly beautiful and moving, this book is one of my very favorites. filmic descriptions of down under coupled with truly original characterizations serve the reader well... Read morePublished on 11 Mar. 2004 by Jill McIntyre
Don't let the length of this book put you off. It is short, very short, more of an extended short story, but it is beautifully written, ideal for reading over a cup of tea one... Read morePublished on 7 Jan. 2004 by Luanne