- Audio Download
- Listening Length: 10 hours and 8 minutes
- Program Type: Audiobook
- Version: Unabridged
- Publisher: ISIS Audio Books
- Audible.co.uk Release Date: 3 Jun. 2010
- Language: English
- ASIN: B003PM9OE8
The Girl with Glass Feet
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Top Customer Reviews
I don't think I was sufficiently in touch with my imagination the first time I read this book - and after a second read I still can't connect with miniature flying cattle!! However, this is a hypnotic novel with an atmosphere all of its own and Shaw writes finely honed prose. His writing is very English and the story is told at a gentle pace. I think it's a young person's read, but that could be because the author himself is only in his twenties.
Exuberant Ida MacLaird, from the mainland, meets an introverted photographer, Midas Crook who was born and bred on St. Hauda's. She tries to rescue Midas from the past and he tries to rescue Ida from the future. If you changed her condition to an earthly incurable desease, I feel the story would stand alone - without the flying cattle!
But this is an imaginitive first novel full of love, but also the power, limitations and consequences of love. Although only around 300 pages it isn't an easy, or even a comfortable read at times, but it is hauntingly beautiful when Shaw paints his fictional setting in those cold Nordic hues.
I found most of the characters interesting as they were flawed; not all likable, although they were engaging - but oh how the author makes the women suffer! I also think there must be 'something' in the names of the progtagonists, 'Midas' & 'Ida' besides touch - as her name is within his, but I didn't work it out.
For me, Shaw's debut novel lacks experience, but is rich in invention; set to improve.
The fantastical nature of Ida MacLaird's predicament is brought to life by the quality of the writing and an admirable attention to anatomical detail, making suspension of disbelief surprisingly easy. This is some achievement and a major strength of the book. Ali Shaw makes you believe in and care about his characters, as a result this is a moving and emotionally satisfying read.
In some ways the whole novel is an extended poem to a landscape that is both real and fantastical and echoes with it's character's past and present, their potential and their frozen emotional states. Ida's presence is transformative, most particularly for Midas, just as she herself is transformed in a terrible and tragic way.
At times along the way, the merging of reality and fantasy does throw up the odd inconsistency and unanswered question. But then, as Ian McCulloch once said when asked about his lyrics, "Who wants to explain poetry?"
Read it and enjoy.
Ironically, the central story is sometimes one of the less weird aspects of "The Girl With Glass Feet," a delicate spun-glass novel by Ali Shaw that barrels over the border of magical realism right into all-out fantasy. Shaw's prose is nothing short of exquisite, but the magical atmosphere also serves to make the characters -- even the protagonists -- feel like elegant little dolls, and not like people.
Midas Crook is the town weirdo, that guy who can only connect with the world around him through the lovely pictures he takes. But then he encounters Ida, a beautiful, drably-dressed girl wearing enormous boots, and after taking a picture of her, he falls in love. Unfortunately, Ida did not come to the island because she wanted to -- her feet have turned into glass, and apparently it's going to spread upward until her entire body is transmuted as well.
Naturally, Midas joins her on her quest to find some sort of cure for her affliction, which she believes can be found on the island that she originally came from. As the two race against time to find a cure, they encounter a strange web of island inhabitants -- and love begins to bloom between the two. But is it worth loving someone when they only have a brief time left?
My brain wants to call "The Girl With Glass Feet" a tale of magical realism, but it veers so far into the realm of fantasy that the tag barely fits. There are tiny flying cows, glassy corpses buried in the mud, and a creature that turns everything white -- and of course, the central love story is complicated by the fact that Ida's body is slowly turning into a glass statue, irreversibly and inexorably.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
This is a slightly odd fairy tale/magic realism/romance which definitely has charm and is very engaging. The main character in the book, in my opinion, is the setting: St. Read morePublished 3 months ago by V. G. Harwood
This is one of my favourite books of all time. An unlikely love story. An unlikely setting. An unlikely ending. Read morePublished 5 months ago by Dolly
A very imaginative book, with great imagery and an unformulaic story created by this author. If you enjoy a tale by a writer who thinks 'outside the box' try this one.Published 16 months ago by LDCS
Beautifully written.A really unusual and compelling story.Published 17 months ago by Mrs Dawn Coutts
exciting cannot wait to retire in a few weeks, 14, to read it.Published 21 months ago by Grace Bird
fascinating book - very surreal and genuinely moving. It works as a fantasy story and an allegoryPublished 21 months ago by pam