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  • Clay
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Customer reviews

4.1 out of 5 stars
4.1 out of 5 stars
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on 8 August 2007
Having read 'Skellig' and other novels by David Almond, I was certainly excited by the prospect of another. However, I found 'Clay' to be very strange, unpredictable (some, though, would say this was a good thing) and very different to what he has written before.

Where before his novels have succeeded in enrapturing me, I found 'Clay' a little dull, and a little too strange to really feel drawn into. I found it difficult to associate with many of the characters, although Davie was quite a strong one.

I do feel the need to congratulate the author for writing this bold novel, and I am sure many people will really enjoy it. It's just a matter of taste!
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TOP 1000 REVIEWERon 24 February 2007
"I am here master, command me."

Thirteen-year-old Davie and his best friend, Geordie, have a wild time when Stephen Rose moves into Crazy Mary's house; she's the craziest woman they know. When the church paster informs Davie that he is expected to be friends with this new, weird kid, he is in shock.

When Stephen shows Davie how they both have powers to make things come to life, Davie's life starts falling apart. He and Geordie are not friends anymore, he's stealing from his church, the girl he loves thinks he's crazy, and he and Stephen Rose are making a life-size monster--and it makes absolutely no sense at all.

When this brilliant idea of bringing something to life turns into a total meltdown and starts to kill someone, Davie has no choice but the obvious. What will he do, or what can he do?

This is a great book that I think explores the unknown imagination. It is a well-written story that has exciting detail in each chapter.

Reviewed by: Holly
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on 28 November 2005
Clay is at times an unsettling book, scary even. It's the story of Davie, Georgie and the new boy in town, Stephen Rose. Where is Stephen from, what's his past and why is he so confident that he can help Davie and Georgie deal with the monstrous Martin Mould and his gang? Slowly, the truth behind Stephen's past starts to emerge. Davie finds himself drawn to Stephen's strange world of Clay figures. Overall Brilliant!
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on 11 November 2009
When I first started to read this book it reminded me of the things they used to make us read at school - kind of old fashioned, and definately a boys' book, I thought, but very quickly I was drawn in by the plot and the characters until I couldn't put it down. The use of language is fairly simple, and yet the story is very profound, and pretty creepy and scary too. I found I could identify well with the main character Davie, who is sweet and good hearted, and I was totally creeped out by the sinister Stephen and his crazy mind-control powers, not to mention his gift for making things out of clay. I recomended it to my twelve year old son, who read it and enjoyed it and has asked me to buy him more books by the author.
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on 1 August 2006
I haven't read anything else by Almond and only bought this because of my own interestin clay...I found it took me a bit of guessing to get what I assume is the Newcastle accent he writes the direct speech in, as I am not English mothertongue, but even so, I found it absolutely gripping (unlike Alex who wrote previous review) and ended up reading it in a day and a half...I think it helps to understand the subtleties of the story if you were raised as a catholic...don't know. I loved it and although the "magic" in it is disturbing, I think it adds to the interest of the book. I think it describes the characters and their age whith great insight but wouldn't necessarily rate it as children literature....
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on 11 January 2012
I couldn't get into this book at all. A sad teen comes to town and two altar boys are asked to befriend him. The sad boy, Stephen Rose, sees something he likes in Davie. Stephen can magically bring clay creatures to life. He convinces Davie that he too can bring creatures to life and together they create Clay - a life-size figure who is totally innocent but Stephen has evil uses for him. Can Clay be stopped? You know something I wasn't bothered what happened to Clay or any of the characters.
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on 16 August 2006
An awesome read, in short. The author of "Skellig", one of the most recognisable Young Adult books in print, David Almond, has written this book, "Clay", with arguably even more character and purity than his previous writing.

The characters are developed in a flowing, almost beautiful way. It lays the foundations for each character in turn of their appearance, then stops short of providing a full description of each person. While this seems to be a puzzling move at first, it doesn't take long to realise the author has deliberately done this to leave the reader guessing about them. This, accompanied by the "dark" nature of the book, is a harmonious joining and changes the complexity of the book entirely.

The plot is thick and something the reader can easily get their teeth into and submersed in. The author has recieved numerous allegations of apparent close relations with his most famous work, "Skellig". And, while this is evident, the book is written not so to milk the cash cow of the refreshingly original book, but instead to broaden its horizon - to put into a different perspective.

Boy, does it achieve it. A truly riveting read, but similarities with "Skellig" and a slightly dis-jointed writing style unfortunately drops the bar down a little. Nonetheless, this is an essential purchase.
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on 14 February 2008
I loved this book. I've just finished reading it as a teacher who is sharing it with a group of 12year olds. They're loving it too. Main themes; life/death and reality/fantasy and the interplay between these. I thought it was gorgeously written and had elements of Steinbeck woven into the descriptions of nature that David Almond writes so well. It is a frightening book in some ways but also one which deals with the reality of childhood in ways which some writers are afraid to approach. I loved the understated beginnings and complications of first love surrounding both davie and stephen's individual stories. Wonderful. Wish I'd written it!
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on 11 December 2013
Clay is a gothic fantasy novel aimed at teenagers and young adults (I would recommend 14+ because of language and themes) written by the marvellous David Almond, who also wrote the fantastic 'Skellig'.

Clay tells the story of Davie - a teenage boy living in Felling near Newcastle, and his encounters with the mysterious and unusual Stephen Rose, a boy with a big secret.

I would recommend this novel to fans of fantasy literature and fans of David Almond's work!
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on 20 March 2008
Cant believe how unsettling i found this book. Best book ive read in years. I know its marketed as a kids book, but im 42 and it managed to press all the buttons more than any other book ive read in the last few years. Its so successful because it manages to say things simply, quickly, but profoundly. If only most adult fiction could do that.......
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