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Tom Fleck Paperback – January 11, 2011

4.9 out of 5 stars 23 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

'Atmosphere abounds and pace and good story telling are maintained throughout a book that is difficult to put down; description is plentiful and often poetic. Readers will delight in the descriptions of the land, the plants, the birds and animals and will enjoy the contribution of Tom's dog, 'Meg'.'

The Eildon Tree,
arts of the Scottish Borders.

From the Author

'Tom Fleck' came, in part, as a response to what greets me when I walk into bookshops: glossy covers of historical novels that push jewelled Tudor cleavages at the reader - and within, yet more tangled intrigues of royal courts. I seldom feel an emotional connection with these great lords and their ladies. Where are the stories of the ancestors of ordinary people? I don't see any. So I've written a story of the life and adventures of forgotten men and women, people without heraldry, people who left no record except for the blood that, at least poetically, might still flow in our modern veins. --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 266 pages
  • Publisher: YouWriteOn (January 11, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1908147768
  • ISBN-13: 978-1908147769
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.6 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 14.4 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (23 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #8,718,375 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Tom Fleck is a young man with an adult's load of responsibility resting on his shoulders. The weak don't last long in the early sixteenth century. Life could be as short as it was cruel. But Tom is not one to complain. He works hard every day and does what he can to take care of himself and his sister. Though life is difficult, Tom still dreams of one day falling in love and having a family and farm of his own one day.

A found Tudor ring may end up being the answer to all Tom's prayers, but only if he can find a way to stay alive long enough to get there. In hopes of a large reward, he sets out on a journey to return the ring to its rightful owner. After making arrangements for his sister to be taken care of, Tom begins his journey with his faithful dog Meg close at his side. He doesn't plan to get tangled up in the war, but his talent with the bow is noticed and before he knows what happened he and Meg are caught up in a battle he doesn't expect to walk out of.

Harry Nickolson's talent in my opinion is his way of bringing the people and land to full 3D life. I didn't so much read a story about Tom Fleck as I did live it with him. Tapping into the emotions of a reader is what most authors try for but only a select few succeed in. Sights and smells were described so well that I felt like I was walking the countryside right along beside Tom and Meg. My stomach churns as the tension level rises and Tom and Meg look death in the face on a blood-soaked battlefield. One couldn't help but worry for his dog during all the chaos, but the reader isn't the only one. Hardened men looking death in the face do what they can to help watch out for her. Pain and fear are real, enough so that one can smell the blood and death heavy in the air.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
... there's a new kid on the block.

Tom Fleck is a jewel of a book and Harry Nicholson is a gem of a writer. This book is at least the equal of most historical novels I have read - and that is quite a few.

One feels that one is alongside Tom and Meg during their adventures which culminate in the bloody battle of Flodden Field - the largest ever fought between England and Scotland.

One feels, smells and hears not only the battle but the flora and fauna of the North East countryside: the very basic life of the silent majority - the poor - of those times. One sees and enters, through Tom's unlikely friendships and romance, the more elevated existence of the rich and haughty few.

The background rings very true. I love learning history while getting a rollicking read. I suspect there is more where this came from and can only say to Harry - "Bring it on!"

Excellent!
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Tom Fleck, set in 16th Century England, is not peopled with knights and ladies, but there is no lack of noblemen, like my grandmother used to say, "He's a gentleman. You know what that means, a gentle man." By telling the Battle of Flodden from the perspective of conscripted serfs who had no choice about fighting, Harry Nicholson provides an entirely different view of a period that's almost always characterized by the nobility, not the common man.

Tom Fleck is a man of exceptional intelligence and will. Unlike most subject "employees" of the manors, he hasn't yet succumbed to the drudgery of the endless work he endures as part of his station in life. Against all odds, he decides to improve his lot. As Nicholson's readers, we get to follow along on Fleck's adventures with his trusty hound. He learns early that showing off can get you in trouble as he outshoots a bunch of yeoman archers preparing for battle and gets immediately conscripted to fight in the battle he's run away to avoid. He earns the respect of the people he encounters and enters into friendships that allow men who live on the edge of disaster to help and support each other. In a hard country, Fleck finds reason to smile as he observes, with us, the natural world around him. We get detailed descriptions of that natural world and of the cultural articles the people use in their daily lives. We see the wooden bowls and the thatch roofs and the fires that can easily turn a family out of house and home.

And, finally, forced into a battle he's done his best to avoid, we see through the eyes of a man, standing on the ground, with cannon balls falling around him, and legions of warriors forming a wall of deadly points coming at him, how it is to live under the thumb of the nobility.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
From byres to black cattle to ox-drawn carts to grey ponies in paddocks to drovers and horse thieves to bodkin arrows and Scottish pikes and English bills, Tom Fleck delivers an honest look into medieval England and a bloody battle won by the English this time – unlike the Braveheart battle at Bannockburn, nearly 200 years earlier.

Having spent my childhood near Cleveland (Ohio, not England), I felt a sense of connection with this story and, despite a teenaged aversion to history – which I have fortunately outgrown, I enjoyed taking a journey back in time to the Battle of Flodden Field, one I didn’t know about when I played golf many years ago on the nearby links of Cleveland, Berwick-on-Tweed, and other courses on England’s northeastern shores.

I also commend the author for including the prevalent anti-Semitic attitude so pervasive in the Middle Ages, one that flourished in early 20th century Germany and exploded in the Holocaust of the 1940s. Is it much different today? What progress has humanity made? Witness the brutal murders of journalists in Paris last week.

The author also mentions that Juliana of Norwich – a Christian mystic, now revered by both Anglicans and Catholics – may have been a convert from Judaism. Even though little is known of her early life, her grey stone statue sits in the front of the cathedral in Norwich, a town that was the second largest city in England in late 1300s.

So, there you go: a medieval battle (the little bills were more effective than the monstrous pikes), a Christian-Jew romance, and a sprinkling of mysticism thrown in for good measure. You can’t go wrong in reading Harry Nicholson’s Tom Fleck.
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