- Paperback: 272 pages
- Publisher: Gollancz (13 Mar. 2014)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0575115327
- ISBN-13: 978-0575115323
- Product Dimensions: 19.9 x 2.2 x 12.9 cm
- Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars See all reviews (36 customer reviews)
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 311,042 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
The Year of the Ladybird Paperback – 13 Mar 2014
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Not only is this novel a fabulous evocation of the sweltering, endless summer of 1976 and the fag-end of the British holiday camp era, it is also a rights of passage novel and a wonderfully moving exploration of guilt, forgiveness and redemption. (THE LADY)
Graham Joyce's The Year of the Ladybird showed that he is one of the best writers of ghost stories we have. (Adam Roberts The Guardian) --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.
A ghost story with a difference from the WORLD FANTASY and multiple BRITISH FANTASY AWARD-winning author of SOME KIND OF FAIRY TALESee all Product description
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Top Customer Reviews
Graham Joyce is asking the question 'what happens when the past reaches out to touch the present?' and does it in a way the reader keeps turning the pages to find out more. He also does an excellent job of blurring the lines between fact and fiction which adds a surreal, nightmare quality to his writing.
The location of the plot is Skegness and the era 1976. The times are well captured with the authentic atmosphere adding a sense of texture and depth to the novel.
1976 was a particularly rough summer in terms of the scorching hot temperatures and lack of water in many areas. The combustible setting of hot and dry provides something of a clue as to the combustible nature of the plot as it begins to unfold.
Into the mix arrives a young man, fresh from his studies, looking for a summer job in one of the run down holiday parks. He's a man with secrets buried away in his past, much of which he's unaware of, and as he begins his new job it's just a matter of time before the skeletons begin to appear from out of his past and the plot takes off at pace.
Add some seriously nasty political factions, with extreme views, the building temperature, the decaying holiday park and a young man on the road towards a discovery that will rock him to the core and you're only just peeling away some of the layers.
I thoroughly enjoyed the read, quick and easy to read, with plenty of tension, shadow and shade and a novel I'd recommend to anyone who enjoys a darker, surreal mystery with some lighter horror elements.
Anyone who remembers the summer of 1976, recalls that seemingly endless time when each day started and ended with cloudless skies, rocketing temperatures, drought warnings and hosepipe bans. It was a magical year and Graham Joyce captures the essence of it in this work, together with sinister overtones of forgotten memories, a recession and the National Front.
As usual his descriptive prose is sublime and his characterisation unparalleled. The protagonist is a student working in a holiday camp in Skegness, despite his mother and stepfather's grave misgivings. As always in a Graham Joyce book, nothing is quite as it seems however, who is the man in the blue suit carrying a length of rope and who is the small boy with him? The front cover proclaims 'The Year of the Ladybird' - A Ghost Story, it is all that and much, much more.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Great read but be aware this is the same story as The Ghost in the Electric Blue Suit!Published 14 months ago by Amazon Customer
For most of its length this is an enjoyable, easy read. The period and setting are convincingly evoked and there are some memorable characters. Read morePublished 15 months ago by S Litton
Well written. Superb evocation of the time. Really enjoyed it.Published on 31 Dec. 2014 by Jane Cannon