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Three Bags Full Paperback – 1 Mar 2007

4.4 out of 5 stars 23 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Black Swan (1 Mar. 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0552774006
  • ISBN-13: 978-0552774000
  • Product Dimensions: 10.6 x 2.3 x 17.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (23 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 122,739 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Review

"Swann's light touch keeps cuteness at bay, and the whimsical conceit is nicely sharpened by literary allusions and running theologial jokes."

"Moments of high comedy come thick and fast ...this entertaining, light-hearted mystery is told from a refreshingly novel perspective."

"If you like a good murder mystery ... then you'll love this original and fun philosophical tale."

"Touching...as if Agatha Christie had rewritten The Wind in the Willows. I ended by loving it."

"Refreshingly, joyously different ... a witty, perceptive tale."

Book Description

A detective story with a difference - the detectives are all crime-busting sheep ...

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Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
Highly original drama set on Irish cliffs - when George the shepherd is found dead then his flock get busy looking for clues as to what happened. Led by Miss Maple there's a great cast of sheep. The drama reaches a peak at the Glennkill Sheep of the Year Contest. It's entertaining, well written and never too far fetched to stretch the reader's willingness to believe what's happening. I'll never see sheep the same way again.
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Format: Paperback
I'm fortunate in having an older sister who buys me interesting and off the wall crime books for Christmas and Birthdays. This is certainly the most original I've ever read. It begins almost as a children's story - it is told from the point of view of the human victims flock of sheep-; but before long very adult threads are gently woven in. The sheep are, necessarily, clever, but the anthropomorphism works and they provide a diverting view of how people work. The writing is good and the outcome not obvious. I thoroughly enjoyed this book to the extent of, for the first time, writing a review. Connor:-)
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This unmissable book is a murder mystery, in which the detectives happen to be a flock of Irish sheep (I knew I was going to like it from the moment I read the list of "Dramatis Oves"). And no, it isn't aimed at children or young adults, nor, though it has richly comic elements, is it purely comedy. We are very much in the sheep viewpoint, in that there is no scene at which sheep are not present, though, being humans, we sometimes see what we are watching differently from them. Not better, just differently. It is because we see through their eyes that we know, long before any of the humans, that two characters are related – the sheep can at once tell that they have the same smell. And though, obviously, these aren't your average sheep, they don't think like woolly humans either:

"If it's a hole in his memory we ought to stop it up with more memories," said Cordelia. "You stop up a hole in the earth with more earth."
"But you don't stop up a rat-hole with more rats," said Cloud.
"You could," Cordelia insisted, "if they were very fat rats."

They use their own experience of the world, and of humans (and some, like the Hebridean ram Othello, have more than others) to try to make sense of the sudden death of their shepherd George and the peculiar behaviour of the surviving inhabitants of Glennkill (the macaronic pun on kill and cil, the Gaelic for church, is no accident). They also pool their varying talents. Chief detective Miss Maple, who didn't get her name for the reason you think, is intensely curious and intelligent; Othello knows more about people than most; Mopple, a merino with an insatiable appetite, also has a good memory. And then there's the enigmatic Melmoth….
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Format: Paperback
swann has a unique writing style that allows you to move beyond the seemingly impossible idea that sheep can in fact be intelligent and solve murders and really creates a bond between the characters and you as a reader. It's a lighthearted murder mystery for all those who love sheep, cannot stomach the gore of other crime books or are just looking for something different. I would totally recommend this book to all!!
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
There is only one word to describe this book: delightful. Admittedly, the murder mystery itself is a bit thin, but that actually doesn't matter - I don't think anyone would expect this to be a common detective story, anyway (because sheep don't usually solve murders - or at least not to our knowledge).

This book made me laugh, made me think, made my heart bleed at times, but above all, it made me feel fairly sheepish. It's definitely a must-read, and thinking about it, it actually says quite a lot about human priorities and all those misunderstandings that prevail in our society. The sheep's perspective is delightfully simple and really does make sense most of the time!

And there's even something to learn from this book: You've got to look at things (and not only Things) from a different angle at times. And: A sheep is more than a pie in the making.

Ms Swann, I'm waiting for the sequel!
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Funny and original, a mystery with the main characters of sheep. I loved the sheep, the way they have different personalities, and you can really feel the sheepiness of them. The author must know her ovines!
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Format: Paperback
Translated from German, set on the Irish coast, and featuring a flock of sheep as protagonists, this debut channels Agatha Christie, Gary Larson (of "Far Side" fame), and "Murder, She Wrote" in a story about the murder of a shepherd and his flock's attempt to unmask his killer and bring about justice. The sleuthing sheep are a great conceit, and one that, for the most part, carries the book through the somewhat meandering and slow-developing story.

Things kick off with the shepherd dead in his field with a spade through his heart. It's certainly amusing to watch the sheep try and understand the reactions of the various humans who discover the body and the reactions the killing provokes amongst the townspeople. In homage to their beloved master and inspired by a detective story he read to them, they vow to see justice done (even if they are somewhat hazy on what that means). The sheep are greatly handicapped by their limited exposure to human affairs, not to mention generally poor memories and short attention spans. However, this is somewhat balanced by their noses, which can scent lies, fear, and other human qualities. Led by the inquisitive ewe Miss Maple (that's Ms. Marple, in case you missed it...), they are soon skulking around the village, peering in windows, and eavesdropping left and right.

The book runs into a little bit of trouble in its need to maintain the sheep's perspective on events -- which makes things somewhat more oblique and drawn out than might be ideal. The central story is also sidetracked somewhat when the long-lost brother of the flock's lead ram mysteriously reappears and starts making all manner of enigmatic statements. But it's all generally entertaining enough to maintain the reader's interest until the end.
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