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The Toll Bridge Paperback – April 1, 2009


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Amulet Paperbacks; Reprint edition (April 1, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0810983583
  • ISBN-13: 978-0810983588
  • Product Dimensions: 8.3 x 5.5 x 0.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 11.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,122,425 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

British writer Chambers (Dance on My Grave) stresses the "adult" in Young Adult in this finely calibrated novel. Along with its salty language and unreserved descriptions of sex, this work is informed by a sophisticated literary sensibility that will keep mature readers on their toes. Chambers twines themes from classical mythology and Kafka, crafting a haunting, multi-layered investigation of the mercurial nature of identity (serving this theme, for example, the three protagonists give one another new names). The bookish main narrator, Jan (short for Janus, the two-faced god of bridges)-formerly known as Piers-takes a job as the keeper of a toll bridge on a private estate far from his stultifying home. There he is befriended by Tess (originally Katharine), the caretaker's daughter. Enter Adam (birth name Aston), a roguishly handsome drifter, who moves into the gatekeeper's cottage with Jan, and the triangle is complete. Against his better judgment, Jan, like Tess, falls under Adam's spell. "Not just because the sight of him turned me on but because I'm human," he explains. "The fact is we're all succored by sex, and some of us are finally suckered by it too." A torrent of dramatic developments leads to a surprise resolution, in which Jan and Tess find out just how "suckered" they have been. Provocative in the best sense, this novel suggests even more than its intricate plot spells out, leaving readers with much for pleasurable contemplation. Ages 13-up.
Copyright 1995 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Review

"It is impossible to do justice to this brilliant, complex novel ... surely one of the most original and rewarding teenage novels of the year" Books for Keeps "This is Chambers writing at his awe inspiring best" Viewpoint --This text refers to the Unknown Binding edition.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on April 15, 1998
Format: Hardcover
The first time I read this book I had just turned thirteen. It was very different from anything else I had read. I identified very well with 17-year-old Jan, and was fascinated by the deep thoughts the book evoked in me. Now, five years later (I read the Swedish translation, which was published in '92) I still identify with the main character. I have read the book five or six times, and each time is a new and different experience; as I mature, so does the book, and aspects I never saw before are brought into the light.
"The Toll Bridge" provides a very rich reading experience, dealing with everything from depression and finding oneself, to Kafka and human relationships. It's a page-turner, with unexpected events colourfully bursting out with each new word. The next sentence cannot be predicted, and the end surprises me every time I get to it.
After my first encounter with this book I have expanded my reading, enjoyed many Nobel laureates, and other acknowledged literary works. I place this novel on the same piedestal as Marquez's "One Hundred Years of Solitude" and Morrison's "Beloved." What separates "The Toll Bridge" from these others might be the fact that it is more welcomed by the "non-reading public."
I recently recommended the book to my boyfriend (more or less forced it onto him), he hadn't touched a book since high school, and even then not very willingly. Two nights later I woke up from his sobs, when I asked what the problem was he simply answered: "I can't help it, I just finished the book, and it's just so beautiful."
If that's how much it affected a macho 25-year-old, just think of what it will do to you.
I recommend this book to every person in every age-group. It's an experience you shouldn't miss. Read and enjoy.
Linn
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Giuliana tarascio on March 29, 2000
Format: Hardcover
The Toll Bridge is a story about development. The main character, whom is named nicknamed "Jan" within the book decides to seperate himself from his previous life, to clean the slate and start over, to find out who he is and what he really wants for himself. This becomes possible when he gets a job collecting tolls at a bridge (hence the title), which also offers him accommodation in a house where he lives alone. However this isolation is shattered with the arrival of Adam, a character who represents the complete opposite of Jan. The Toll Bridge is about the relationship that develops between Adam and Jan, and Gill who is the daughter of the owner of the Toll Bridge. However the bridge is not only physical, it also represents the mindset of Jan as Gill puts it "You don't know whether you're coming or going." Like a bridge that has two paths to take. Into the future, or back into the past. As the book develops, the characters interact with each other and bring up many issues that are relevant to development of the individual. However, an incident at a party soon smashes the world of the Toll Bridge into pieces, and Jan and Gill soon discover that Adam is not the same person they grew to know - Adam is on the other side of the bridge. This is my favourite book because it contains so many sub-plots that create a complete picture of the development of the individual personality, and evokes thoughts within the reader about their own "character".
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Format: Library Binding
The years in wich you leave school and start working, or maybe better the years that you leave your parents, start building your own life are probably the most intresting years of ones life. Some people wonder what they want to do and take some time to find out. Jany is such a boy. He decides to leave his parents, at least for a while, and he takes a job at a tollbridge. It is easy working and he can be alone and think about his future. His self-chosen lonlyness is rudely broken at the arival of Adam. Adam seems to have some troubles, so he moves in the toll house together with Jany. Then there is Tess. Between these boys and girl starts a strange kind of friendship, all are very different people. The story is written from the perspective of Jany (mainly, some parts are written by someone else), we learn what he thinks. we are a whitness of the changing of his personality, a change due to his confrontation with Adam, and the 'catalyst' Tess, catalyst in his developing towards a grown up. The book is great because the characters are real, it are real people. Reading it they are for a while part of your life. Jany is very open and fair in what he tells what happens, what he feels and what is spinning in his mind. You can feel page by page what is going on inside him. The only thing I didn't like when I read the book was that one of the characters stoped existing at the best part of the book, without any warning that they would not live happyly ever after. But that is an important literal trick; Jany wants to find out who he is, Adam wants to forget who he is. This book is a book for all ages, although it's probably written for the age 16 - 20. It is a must-read if you like other books of Aidan Chambers (like 'Now I Know', or 'dance on my grave') or if you like to read books with a more difficult structure
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By Giuliana tarascio on March 29, 2000
Format: Hardcover
The Toll Bridge is a story about development. The main character, whom is named nicknamed "Jan" within the book decides to seperate himself from his previous life, to clean the slate and start over, to find out who he is and what he really wants for himself. This becomes possible when he gets a job collecting tolls at a bridge (hence the title), which also offers him accommodation in a house where he lives alone. However this isolation is shattered with the arrival of Adam, a character who represents the complete opposite of Jan. The Toll Bridge is about the relationship that develops between Adam and Jan, and Gill who is the daughter of the owner of the Toll Bridge. However the bridge is not only physical, it also represents the mindset of Jan as Gill puts it "You don't know whether you're coming or going." Like a bridge that has two paths to take. Into the future, or back into the past. As the book develops, the characters interact with each other and bring up many issues that are relevant to development of the individual. However, an incident at a party soon smashes the world of the Toll Bridge into pieces, and Jan and Gill soon discover that Adam is not the same person they grew to know - Adam is on the other side of the bridge. This is my favourite book because it contains so many sub-plots that create a complete picture of the development of the individual personality, and evokes thoughts within the reader about their own "character".
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