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The Tenderness of Wolves: A Novel Paperback – Bargain Price, March 4, 2008


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Paperback, Bargain Price, March 4, 2008
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 400 pages
  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster (March 4, 2008)
  • ISBN-10: 1416571302
  • ISBN-13: 978-1416571308
  • ASIN: B001K3IHUQ
  • Product Dimensions: 8.5 x 5.3 x 1.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 14.4 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (117 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,002,246 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Starred Review. The frigid isolation of European immigrants living on the 19th-century Canadian frontier is the setting for British author Penney's haunting debut. Seventeen-year-old Francis Ross disappears the same day his mother discovers the scalped body of his friend, fur trader Laurent Jammet, in a neighboring cabin. The murder brings newcomers to the small settlement, from inexperienced Hudson Bay Company representative Donald Moody to elderly eccentric Thomas Sturrock, who arrives searching for a mysterious archeological fragment once in Jammet's possession. Other than Francis, no real suspects emerge until half-Indian trapper William Parker is caught searching the dead man's house. Parker escapes and joins with Francis's mother to track Francis north, a journey that produces a deep if unlikely bond between them. Only when the pair reaches a distant Scandinavian settlement do both characters and reader begin to understand Francis, who arrived there days before them. Penney's absorbing, quietly convincing narrative illuminates the characters, each a kind of outcast, through whose complex viewpoints this dense, many-layered story is told. (July)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Bookmarks Magazine

Long-listed for the Orange Prize and winner of the Costa Award (formerly Britain's Whitbread Award), Tenderness of Wolves, Stef Penney's first novel, has garnered acclaim in Europe and the United States. A screenwriter, Penney casts the harsh Canadian landscape in vivid, cinematic hues while portraying a small society born of isolation, corporate greed, and an unforgiving environment. Although a murder mystery with many plot twists, the novel most successfully reveals complex human desires, motivations, and relationships. Some critics faulted Penney's "noble savage" stereotypes, clichŽd dialogue, and unremarkable ending. However, as the Minneapolis Star Tribune notes, "Sometimes the journey is just more interesting than the destination."

Copyright © 2004 Phillips & Nelson Media, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.


More About the Author

Stef Penney was born and grew up in Edinburgh. After earning a degree in philosophy and theology from Bristol University, she turned to filmmaking, studying film and TV at Bournemouth College of Art. On graduation she was selected for the Carlton Television New Writers Scheme. She is a screenwriter. The Tenderness of Wolves is her first novel.

Customer Reviews

The author does a great job describing the multitude of characters, and really makes you feel the cold winter that the story is set in.
C. Shelnutt
I've hated for it to end, and have read the last chapter very slowly, thinking it will have to be quite an extraordinary book to capture me as this one has.
bookloverintexas
So much more than a mystery, I loved the interweaving stories and the way the very different characters were thrown together because of one murder.
Bethany

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

64 of 66 people found the following review helpful By Steven James on August 29, 2007
Format: Hardcover
While I thoroughly enjoyed this book once I got into it, it was a challenge to figure out what was going on. The story itself is really interesting and the setting is fabulously well-drawn, but there are so many names to remember that it is kind of tough going, at times. The first 50 pages or so are completely hard to follow, but stick with it and it will begin to gel later on. Each chapter is told from a different character's point of view, and while interesting, it makes for a lot of head scratching. The names of many of the characters are similar, and we often go through 100 pages or more before a character is mentioned again. I would recommend this to the more sophisticated reader. This is not a book to be casually leafed through while sitting on the beach at Waikiki. One other thing, I can't imagine why the publishers decided to make this book a "summer release". The setting is so dark, cold, and snowy that it's difficult to even imagine what these people are feeling as we are suffocating of heat here in the Pacific Northwest in August. Overall, after a slow start, this book got under my skin and is now one of my all-time favorites. But it's not for everyone.
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23 of 23 people found the following review helpful By Nicole Maier on July 13, 2007
Format: Hardcover
This novel ws very entertaining and kept me reading. I agree that after finishing I wondered why some of the many plots were relevant, because they didn't seem to come to a conclusion. It's an unsual story with many twists and likable characters. I was very engrossed in the characters' stories and would have liked to find out what happened to them. The ending just gave me hints ... instead I got the resolution of the murder mystery which wasn't that original. In any case, I don't mean to make it sound as if I didn't like it. I did, in fact I couldn't put the book down, it's a very likable story. If you're looking for a good and easy read I recommend this book. If you're primarily looking for a gripping murder mystery then better go and look for something else.
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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Lawrence J. Frank on June 9, 2008
Format: Hardcover
This book starts out as a mystery, then becomes a coming of age story, and finally a romance - none of which are ever truly resolved. The author successfully creates the harsh environment of the Canadian winter and develops interesting characters, but the plot fall flat and leaves these characters with nowhere to go. The mystery is not really a mystery, the romance is not really a romance, and leaves the reader with far to many questions that one wonders why the author bothered to create so many plotlines that she didn't want to explore futher. A decent try for a first novel, but I felt this was much closer to a character study for a screenplay than a novel to be read.
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19 of 22 people found the following review helpful By Dr. L on May 15, 2007
Format: Hardcover
Evocative and atmospheric, I agree with other reviewers there, but also found Wolves disconnected (too many stories) and slow at times. Yes this reflects the landscape they lived in and the character's lives, but I really like to get in touch with the people I'm reading about so I care about them or their story. I got lost in the wildnerness here. It's an obviously intelligently-written book and some of the paths it took were entriguing, but others seemed meaningless when I turned the last page. 3.5 stars.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Cris Carl on February 26, 2009
Format: Paperback
Tenderness of Wolves was eloquently written - that being said, it was also dreary and painful, which I could have found appreciation for if the ending wasn't so lackluster and flaccid. Tremendous build-up with no pay-off. I read this because of a reccommendation by Stephen King in an article he wrote. The story leads you into a state of emotional rip-off.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By bookloverintexas on November 6, 2008
Format: Paperback
The power, simplicity, beauty, and exquisitely hypnotizing imagery of this book makes me want to cry as I finally, reluctantly lay the finished book down. I've hated for it to end, and have read the last chapter very slowly, thinking it will have to be quite an extraordinary book to capture me as this one has. This wonderful multi-layered story (and each new layer is as compelling as the last) is set in 1860's Canada just below the Hudson Bay. A trapper has been murdered in the tiny settlement, and we are taken on an exciting unpredictable journey searching for the killer. The environment is brutally harsh, yet we feel the beauty and lure of the country as well; each fascinating character brought to life vividly and unforgettably; I feel as though I've been in their presence..I can feel and touch and smell each one...can look into their eyes, feel their breath, the beauty and the evilness. Oh! What an experience! The same lady that recommended this book, via a blog regarding "The Story of Edgar Sawtelle" recommended "Out Stealing Horses". I'm hopeful, and will get back to you on that one. I wish I knew how to contact this person and get more of her recommendations!
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19 of 23 people found the following review helpful By betc2 VINE VOICE on October 19, 2007
Format: Hardcover
I was initially intrigued with this book, but after a while it really began to drag. Someone else used the word "slog," and I think that is quite appropriate. The author tries to juggle too many sub-plots, characters and coincidences. Perhaps this is intentional. She chooses to evoke a slower, simpler time. But with all the violence and plot twists, it should have been a more exciting read. Disappointing.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Michael Lima VINE VOICE on January 3, 2009
Format: Paperback
Do you remember the Seinfeld episode where Elaine kept yelling "Just die!!" during the English Patient? If you do, then you'll have a good idea what my reaction was to The Tenderness of Wolves.

With a murder and a disappearance in the first 50 pages, the book starts out promising. However, after those 50 pages, the book degenerates into several story lines, each tenuously linked to one another. Stef Penny then spends the next 321 pages slowly discoursing on each of those storylines. Some, she resolves within the greater context of the story: others, she doesn't. But, each of these plot threads is teased out in an excruciating manner. By the time I got to page 200, I was screaming "Just solve the mystery!!"

If you like lots of atmosphere, glacial pacing, and pretensions of grandeur in your murder/mysteries, then The Tenderness of Wolves is for you. For most of us, other murder/mysteries will more than adequately replace The Tenderness of Wolves.
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