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The Daydreamer
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on 30 January 2013
Poor value book purchase as very brief story, aimed more at children than adults. I read it in a couple of hours and it definitely doesnt rank as one of his best.
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on 8 January 2013
A recognisable fable, re told with great sympathy and beauty. Suitable for older children, teens as well as us adults.
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on 17 April 2013
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on 29 December 2014
I've loved some of Ian McEwan's other books (Sweet Tooth, On Chesil Beach, etc) but couldn't get into this at all. It was also quite slim for the cost - you could easily read it in an afternoon.
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on 16 July 2017
In the preface, McEwan wonders how often adults actually read the classic children's fiction that they may gush over - are they praising the books themselves or waxing nostalgic about the idea of their former selves engrossed in such books? With this in mind, he has written The Daydreamer, a book designed to be enjoyed by both adults and older children. He succeeds magnificently.
The daydreamer is Peter Fortune, an imaginative 10 year old boy who grows up to be an inventor, whose daydreams are so vivid that he lives them. In the seven stories in this book, he gets attacked by the dolls in his sister's room that he has always found a bit sinister, he makes his family disappear using vanishing cream, disarms the school bully with some well-chosen words, attempts to catch a burglar, changes body with the old family cat and his baby cousin, and one morning on a summer holiday, wakes to find that he has become a young adult and experiences love for the first time. Peter learns and gains empathy from each of these experiences - before becoming a baby, he despised his cousin; shortly before becoming a young adult, he was feeling sad knowing that his exciting childhood would end, all adults seemed to do on holidays was go for walks, read the newspaper and talk.
These stories are entertaining, quirky, and can indeed be enjoyed by children and adults. I've just lent my copy to a non-native English speaker and plan to buy a copy for my niece's 9th birthday.
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on 21 November 2014
I love it
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on 5 April 2017
Bought as a present
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TOP 500 REVIEWERon 4 December 2016
First of all I should say I had no idea that this was aimed at children when I picked it up, as it had the usual Vintage Fiction cover/font/art work that much of his other work has. Secondly I'm glad that McEwan does not make a habit of venturing into this genre as I really don't think it's his natural environment and it doesn't do his skills justice at all. Often the writing felt really hammy and clunky, in its worse moments, like a bad parody of YA fiction but then the last two stories in the collection did seem to bring the overall standard up and make it not quite so bad but still this is pretty disappointing by McEwan standards and may well leave you feeling puzzled too.
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on 3 March 2016
Amusing for me as it reminded me a lot of my own daydreamy child, but also for anyone who's ever been a child, it's a good evocation of the fertile imaginative play of ten year olds. Most of the stories involve metamorphoses of some kind (hence the quote from Ovid at the start), and learning to see things from another point of view (a baby, a cat, the school bully). And the peek into the adult world at the end is bittersweet.
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on 8 May 2011
I read this book for a book club, where we had to read anything by Ian McEwan. I'd heard his novels were "heavy" and so far we'd read pretty dreary novels in the book club, but I read that this particular book was "funnier than Rohl Dahl. (Sorry If I misspelled that!). I am also a teacher of children so I thought it would be an interesting book. Well I found this book to be DELIGHTFUL! It's about a boy whose imagination takes him into very interesting situations that are as real to him as breathing. He learns a lot from his imaginations, mostly about empathy. It really showed me how some kids do think, and how they do learn. It had a cute sense of humour and was a quick read. It's the kind of book you would gladly pull out a chapter and reread it just to put yourself in a good mood. As a grandmother I loved the description of the main character being his cousin, a baby. I also liked the description of him being his old cat. The standing up to the bully chapter (which seems compulsory in these sorts of books) was also great, and worth reading to all bullied kids. Highly recommended to adults, not just kids!
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