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What I Did
Format: Paperback|Change
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on 4 October 2011
As an adult (and parent) I become totally gripped by the story - and the characters -and time and again I was deeply moved by the twists and turns it took. The genius of the piece is that blow me down, it's a six year old telling the story !! You are missing out if you let that prospect put you off, you really are, because here it was an integral part of the confusion, misunderstanding, poor communication and heartbreak that made this novel work. Of COURSE what the six year old says is sometimes silly and irritating; 6 year olds sometimes are! But the point seemed to me to be that even though adults - parents, in-laws, social worker, lawyers - are meant to be much better at communicating they aren't ...and that's why Billy's story is what it is. Even when Billy's dad does appear to really connect with another adult it is through his mobile phone which is permanently with him as a source of comfort (and achingly familiar) work stress. This story held up a mirror to me and I think it will to anyone who is sometimes a bit tired, a bit grumpy and not Mary Poppins. The other really clever thing about the book is that no-one is judged. and no part of the 'system' is hung out to try. This is not a socio - political polemic; it's just a blimmin' good story. so just read it.
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on 15 February 2012
This is a v good book, both unsettling and laugh out loud funny in parts. The real horror of this situation is that the child has no concept of the damage he is causing to himself or those around him and this is nimbly, starkly and humorously expressed by the writer all through the eyes of the natural history obsessed six year old. I am going to order some of this writer's other work and would definitely recommend it, although it might give some parents even more sleepless nights!
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on 12 February 2018
a great read
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on 2 November 2012
I started this book with great expectations but unfortunately I was disappointed. The idea of how someones life can be turned upside down so quickly from what was perceived by the father as a justified reaction and to a childs language discription of events was brilliant. Unfortunately I felt the whole book could have been reduced by at least 50% due to unnecessary long passages of unimportant script. The ending was an anticlimax to what most people would have thought was the obvious solution.
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on 29 March 2013
I skipped so much of this boring fantasy dialogue by the six years old boy. Maybe the plot would have been more meaningful if I had been a mother with a six year old to compare to the main character. Didn't enjoy it at all.
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on 17 September 2014
Written from a kid's point of view, and very deftly. A great page-turner, head and shoulders above The Slap (in my view), which is on a similar theme.
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on 9 September 2011
'What I did' is brilliant, terrifying and funny! I couldn't put it down. I have enjoyed all of Chris Wakling's books but this one was risky - telling the story from a six year old's point of view. Yet he delivers. I was completely convinced by the main character and mortified for a decent family struggling after a bad yet completely spontaneous action.
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on 12 February 2013
every parent will be able to identify with this nightmare - the casual happening that grows like Topsy and brings worlds crashing around. But few will have seen it from the perspective of the child involved and in quite such vivid colours as we get here.
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on 26 May 2012
Very moving and enjoyable read, skilfully written. Amusingly told from the point of view of a child, with a page turning ending.
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on 15 March 2013
I mean apparently this book is written by what? A nine year old? Seriously i have never met a 19 year old with that vocabulary let alone a nine year old.... I bought it cause i heard the author (father) whatever you call him interviewed on my national radio and he made it sound sooooo believable. Sorry mister but i've had this book for over a year now and no matter how many times i lift it i still put it down for my crime/thrillers.... Atleast they are marketed as fiction!
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