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Blackmoor [Kindle Edition]

Edward Hogan
4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)

Kindle Price: $8.42
Sold by: Simon and Schuster Digital Sales Inc

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Book Description

Beth is an albino, half blind, and given to looking at the world out of the corner of her eye. Her neighbours in the Derbyshire town of Blackmoor have always thought she was 'touched', and when a series of bizarre happenings shake the very foundations of the village, they are confirmed in their opinion that Beth is an ill omen. The neighbours say that Beth eats dirt from the flowerbeds, and that smoke rises from her lawn. By the end of the year, she is dead.
A decade later her son, Vincent, treated like a bad omen by his father George is living in a pleasant suburb miles from Blackmoor. There the bird-watching teenager stumbles towards the buried secrets of his mother's life and death in the abandoned village. It's the story of a community that fell apart, a young woman whose face didn't fit, and a past that refuses to go away.


Editorial Reviews

Review

"Hogan's writing is so forceful that the extraordinary elements of his plot are made utterly convincing, and more mundane aspects sparkle under his acute observation. Vincent enjoys the 'blind affection' of a slug he allows to climb on him, 'the searching of its beaded horns across his finger'; Beth feels that an empty room 'crushes her like water pressure.' The strength of the imagery supports the non-linear narrative; when the reasons behind the strange state of affairs are revealed, they slot into place with satisfying plausibility. But Hogan refrains from offering complete explanations of why things are as they are, a restraint which respects the complexity of the causes and effects that form individuals, families and communities, and the doubts that remain in the minds of the characters. In this powerful and sensitive novel, twenty-eight-year-old Hogan has achieved a striking debut" - Times Literary Supplement

"The novel seeps into your mind like the subterranean gas beneath the village. It's hard to shake." - Nottingham Evening Post

"While the delivery is graceful, the sense of understated, growing menace is what really holds this book together...As everything else crumbles, the elements of [Vincent's] teenage world start to slot into place, bringing warmth to an already deeply felt novel." - New Statesman

"There's a subtle magic to Hogan's prose, and a passionate concern for the part of the world where this novel is based, which invites comparisons with D.H. Lawrence - but that would be lazy...it has confidence, mystery and an entrancing sense of itself." - Independent on Sunday

About the Author

Edward Hogan is 26 years old and a graduate of the MA creative writing course at UEA and a recipient of the David Higham Award. BLACKMOOR is his first novel. He is a teacher and lives in London.

Product Details

  • File Size: 375 KB
  • Print Length: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster UK (September 3, 2009)
  • Sold by: Simon and Schuster Digital Sales Inc
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B007YLTIV0
  • Text-to-Speech: Not enabled
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  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #838,883 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

4.2 out of 5 stars
(4)
4.2 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Nothing To It May 23, 2011
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This book - which I hesitate to quite dub a novel - is an extreme example of a couple rather irritating features of modern fiction: 1.) A lovely, intriguing concept, bolstered by glowing puffs by reviewers followed by, not poor execution, but no execution. Without giving anything particular away from what is supposed and touted to be a sort of mystery novel, there is nothing mysterious revealed here at all. Further, there is absolutely no suspense or mystery at all in Blackmoor itself, the book or the town. Indeed, the book might be accurately described as a scraping away, from the first chapter to the last, of whatever sense of mystery or suspense the reader feels. The novella-length book is far too short for the characters to develop any psychological depth whatsoever. So, Beth, Vincent and George all leave the reader not with a feeling of lingering mystery, but simple emptiness. There never was anything to them after all. 2.) Creative writing class prose which, indeed, offers ever so many pretty sentences, but the sentences don't connect to anything more substantial than themselves, or perhaps a hastily penned atmosphere, which feels as shallow as the characters herein. In other words, what this book lacks is depth of any sort.

Two stars for the pretty, in spots, prose. But this is a book that is as soon forgotten as it is closed.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Worth reading March 2, 2014
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Well written , unusual storyline . The history of the timeline was interesting . Read it on one single day.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Blackmoor February 17, 2013
Format:Kindle Edition
Being an albino, Beth has been avoided and looked upon with suspicion in the small Derbyshire town she's lived in all her life, her husband George the only person who is interested in her beyond a curiosity. But the birth of her son and a bad case of postpartum depression, along with the environmental changes taking over the small town all conspire to end in her death. This is an interesting study in the small insignificant things in a person's life that come together to form change and loss. The interaction between George and his son, Vincent, or lack thereof, highlighting the simultaneous avoidance and cleaving desperation that surrounds the memory of Beth. Thought provoking, with rich imagery and a blunt style, oftentimes conveying an uncomfortably accurate assessment of the grittiness of life, stripped of the glamour we wish it had. Great read!
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Format:Paperback
The story opens as Vincent Cartwright enters his teenage years. Vincent leads his awkward, bullied life, not far from the site of Blackmoor, a former Derbyshire pit village that no longer exists. The life and death of his mother Beth in that same village has always been a dark secret about which Vincent's farther George does not speak.
What happened in Blackmoor? What happened to the village, to its community and to Beth Cartwright? As Vincent grows older, he becomes more curious about the past and seeks to find out the truth behind his mother's life and death in this mysterious, abandoned mining village.

This book moves between the present - where Vincent and his father George struggle to deal with life a decade after Beth's death, and the past and the events leading to Beth's death. This is a moving story about a young woman who was different and the causes and consequences of not belonging. This is also a story of a teenager seeking for answers.

I found the writing in this debut novel wonderful, and I look forward to reading more of Mr Hogan's work. This novel won the Desmond Elliott Prize for debut novelists in 2009.

Jennifer Cameron-Smith
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