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3 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Incredible writing and astounding story., 15 Aug. 2012
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This review is from: The Language of Dying (Kindle Edition)
Every now and again, a book will come along and knock me sideways...

I'm sad to say I haven't read any of Sarah Pinborough's novels before now. I've been aware of her (as a writer) for a long time, just never got around to reading her books. A week or so ago, I was browsing the ebooks, as is my want, and happened across The Language of Dying. Read the synopsis, and with interest piqued, bought it.

Started reading it last night, and was instantly transfixed. I'm not sure what it was about that opening chapter...the cold sense of dread, of darkness waiting to devour the voice speaking, there was just something about the opening few pages which struck me still. It's a remarkably simple situation. A woman sitting at the bedside of her dying father. Then there's the hint of some horror lying beyond the window she stares out of.

And I'm hooked.

As it plays out, it becomes apparent the story is being told not to us as a reader, but from a daughter to her father. About her horrific marriage, the relationships between her siblings and how that has affected her as the middle child of five, and the darkness which she seems to carry throughout her life.

It's mostly about death of course. How it not only impacts on those who are dying, but arguably how the process effects those being left behind more. The fragility of life laid bare, as the now grown children come together through death. The interplay between these characters is quite remarkable writing, with the break down of each sibling never overplayed.

However, with all it's excellent character and storytelling attributes, this books main quality is found in its writing. The way in which Pinborough beautifully constructs sentences conveying raw emotion, ripping internally as you read them, is nothing short of astounding.

For a short novella, Pinborough manages to effortlessly draw you in and give you a reading experience not always seen in the shorter novel form. Not since reading Stephen King's 'Different Seasons' have I had such a visceral reading experience of a novella.

This is by far the best novella I've ever read. It's a reading experience like no other. Hours later, and I'm still turning over parts of it in my head. It's incredibly tough to read, especially if you've experienced the death of close loved one. I can't recommend it enough. This is the first of Sarah Pinborough's work I've read, yet with just a novella, she has crowbarred her way into my favourite writers list.

Go buy it!
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Location: Liverpool, England

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