The White Darkness Hardcover – 1 Sep 2005
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Geraldine McCaughrean has long been a fine novelist; The White Darkness makes her a great one as well. Wickedly funny and diabolically clever, effortlessly erudite and richly imagined, wryly wise and unsentimentally emotional, this has to be one of the most remarkable novels for children published in the last fifty years. (Nicholas Tucker )
The new novel from this major award-winning author, the story of a teenage girl with an obsession with the Antarctic.See all Product Description
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Top Customer Reviews
I found the characters had great depth to them, in particular Sym and her very mad uncle. There is a malevolence and menace to the uncle that gradually comes to the surface. When you finally do see the extent of his insanity it is terrifying.
Sym's descriptions of the Antartic are vivid and questioning...why does nature go to all the trouble of being so beautiful when no one is there to see it? She is a likable character, realistically awkward and ugly-duckling like, refreshing in her naiviety.
Give this book a try. You wont be disappointed.
I am devoted to books with Polar, frozen settings, and I do very much like fine writing for teens which does not patronise, dumb down, or underestimate the intelligence of that audience. As McCaughrean is definitely a writer without an ounce of `talking down to' in her writing, and is moreover a writer who makes any reader - teen or far beyond the YA world, work and pay attention whilst at the same time being driven on by `what happens next and to whom' urgency, I really expected to love this book
And I did and I didn't. The central character, Sym, is intelligent, wounded, rather a loner, and out of step within the world of her peers, who appear to be an unlikeable, superficial, tiresome bunch,
Sym is extremely likeable, an attractive combination of maturity and integrity but despite some sort of emotional wisdom, she is extremely innocent of `street smarts', and therefore extremely vulnerable to those without the integrity she has. And that is pretty well every character in the book.
She has a rich inner fantasy life. Her father died when she was quite young, and she has constructed a strong inner male hero, protector, guide, who teeters between father figure, someone SHE protects, and possible future lover.Read more ›
Naturally, given the above explination, you can probably guess that my favourite thing about the book is the main charector, Sym. And you would be right. This is the first and only book I have read that the main charector is deaf. It pefectly portayed what living with hearing aids at fourteen (and younger, both of us starting to wear them at seven, when kids aren't so polite about them). Of course several of the subtle annoyences with hearing aids where left out, such as if you try to talk to anyone on the phone you can't wear them and have to take them out (very very annoying).
Sym is also very easy to relate to with her puzzlement at teenage culture (sure a rather tamer version then what really happens but these are her friends). Trying to understand girls infactuation with gangaly, acne-ridden, brutish (and evil) boys that expect you to be begging you to worship (and other stuff) is perfectly portrayed.
The actually story of the novel is a charming adventure with Sym (and the reader) oblivious to what is going to happen. It is fantastically well written and the story is perfectly layed out.
This book easily gets five stars and an instant reccomendation for anyone.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Wow. This is an awesome story. Pre-Hunger Games this is way more interesting and way more exciting and requires a lot more input from the reader. Read morePublished 2 months ago by firstname.lastname@example.org
This book grips from the outset. McCaughrean skilfully enables the reader to see more than the narrator, and tension quickly mounts as we wonder at Uncle Victor`s motives. Read morePublished 16 months ago by D Wood
The descriptions of the cold and the scenery of Antarctica were excellent, but there were inconsistencies
and some of the story line had weak spots. Read more
I don't like The Guardian much but I find it absolutely impossible to disagree with their verdict of this book - summed up in one word: "astonishing". Read morePublished on 5 Feb. 2013 by V. G. Harwood
Since reviews here seem very polarised, I thought I'd add my two cents. Caveat: I am an adult, and quite possibly would have looked at this book differently when I was 12 or 13,... Read morePublished on 6 Nov. 2010 by Amazon Customer
This is a Special Book that any Teenage Child would Love or Cherish. I'm glad I Waited until I was Eighteen to Read the Book. It would Benefit from a more Aged View. Read morePublished on 16 Nov. 2009 by Mr. R. J. MCGARRY
An utterly strange and gripping book. Sym has a man in her life, a companion who loves and guides her all the way to the Antarctic with her uncle (not her actual uncle), only, this... Read morePublished on 16 Nov. 2009 by Jo Bennie
The best thing about this book were the descriptions of Antarctica. After that I'm afraid it was downhill for me. Read morePublished on 26 Jan. 2009 by A. Murray