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The Girl with Glass Feet

3.7 out of 5 stars 121 customer reviews

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Product details

  • 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

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
I thought this was an unusual story that was beautifully written and stayed with me long after I'd finished it. I do agree in part with some of the reviews but the book is described as a fairy story for adults and it is just that. I found Ida's condition and the random elements of magic and mystery connected to the Islands perfectly in keeping with the whole story. I didn't feel any need to question them or expect an explanation. As a first novel I thought it was exceptional and I enjoyed it far more than many stories I've read by more established and experienced authors who, in my opinion, excel in writing ability but don't necessarily have the same imagination to create such a strange and beautiful story. Read it and make your own mind up, but definitely an author to watch out for.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
"The Girl with the Glass Feet" is a grown up, European fairy tale set on a fictional northern archipelago where nature asserts itself in strange ways. Although a magical tale, the story is modern, containing real life experiences. I believe it's Ali Shaw's debut novel after his English Lit. degree.

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.
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Format: Hardcover
'The Girl with Glass Feet' is an accomplished and beautifully written first novel. The snowbound archipelago of St Hauda's Land is poetically rendered and elements of fantasy or magical realism are effectvely counterpointed by a keen photographer's eye for naturalistic detail and a well judged sense of psychological realism.
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.
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By EA Solinas HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWER on 16 May 2010
Format: Paperback
Boy meets girl. Boy and girl fall in love. Girl is slowly turning into a glass statue.

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.
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