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The Children's Book Paperback – August 10, 2010

3.9 out of 5 stars 336 ratings

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Editorial Reviews

Review

“Majestic . . . Dazzling . . . Wonderful . . . . What you see here . . . is the strength and fire of Byatt’s imagination.” —The San Francisco Chronicle

“Bristling with life and invention. . . . A seductive work by an extraordinarily gifted writer.” —The Washington Post

“[Byatt’s] magnum opus. . . . Lushly detailed. . . . Every stitch of this tapestry is connected to the whole.” —The Seattle Times
 
“[A] masterpiece. . . . Her best yet.” —Newsday

“[A] ravishing epic. . . . This is a classic Byatt fusion of fact and uncannily luscious imagery, mixed in the ideal proportions: not too hot, not too cold—just right.” Salon
 
“A stunning achievement: a novel of ideas that crackles with passion, energy and emotive force. . . . I did not want The Children’s Book to end . . . I wanted more of this ambitious, compelling novel, certainly Byatt’s best since Possession, and possibly her best ever.”  Patricia Hagen, Minneapolis Star Tribune
 
“Unforgettable. . . . Eloquent. . . . Majestic and immensely ambitious . . . with masterly skill and literary tact. . . . A monument of a novel.” —The New York Review of Books
 
“Supremely fulfilling . . . wondrous . . . rich with period detail and sublime storytelling. . . . A mesmerizing exploration of, well, everything: families, secrets, love, innocence, corruption, art, the desire for knowledge, nature, politics, war, sex, power. Even puppetry.” The Miami Herald
 
“Spellbinding. . . . Alive . . . Potent. . . . Byatt is a master storyteller.” O, The Oprah Magazine
 
“Sweeping. . . . A literary feast. . . . Byatt fills a huge canvas with the political and social changes that swept the world in those years . . . She elicits great compassion of the individual beings caught in that tableau. It’s not a tale you’ll soon forget.” USA Today
 
“Intricately crafted, deeply satisfying. . . . Encompassing in scope and watch-maker precise in detail. . . . Fans of Possession, you’ve got yourself a new bedtime story.”  Yvonne Zipp, The Christian Science Monitor
 
“Rich, expansive. . . . Byatt is a spinner of multiple tales, adding gorgeous layers and dimensions to this fictional world.” The Los Angeles Times
 
“Engaging and rewarding.” The New Yorker
 
“A rich and ambitious work, steeped in ideas and capped with a lacerating final act. . . . Byatt’s penetrating, unsentimental style hits its mark. [The period] details are never less than fascinating.” Time
 
“A complete and complex world, a gorgeous bolt of fiction. . . . The magic is in the way Byatt suffuses her novel with details, from the shimmery sets of a marionette show to clay mixtures and pottery glazes.” The Atlantic Monthly
 
“Only Byatt could stuff this massive book so full of detail, character, and history while never losing track either of human feelings or of the sweeping, precipitous decline of the culture she documents.”The Onion A.V. Club
 
“Fascinating . . . An exhilarating panorama . . . Passionate, intelligent. . . . A richly peopled narrative that encompasses an unusual breadth of artistic, intellectual, social, and political concerns . . . [Byatt is] a master builder, laying each brick of her tower with consummate skill. Here is a novel in which everything matters.” Boston Sunday Globe
 
“Uncompromisingly erudite. . . . Like Possession, The Children’s Book is a tour de force of literary chameleonism and social history. . . . [It] brings to vivid life the often irreconcilable demands of being an artist and being a human being.” The Wall Street Journal
 
“Wonderful, engaging. . . . A fine, rich, fully accomplished novel.” The Dallas Morning News
 
“A kind of tragic fairy tale, and Byatt does fairy tales wonderfully.” Newsweek
 
“A fascinating literary achievement. . . . [With a] captivating sense of language and narrative. . . . A more genuine look at young adulthood than any teenage wizards could hope to provide.” Richmond Times-Dispatch
 
"Riveting. . . . As this complex novel builds toward its finale, it forgoes one of Olive's enchanting endings in favor of something closer to life." Time Out New York
 
"Stunning . . . . Magnificent. . . . Intricate. . . . Matching and arguably surpassing Possession in breadth and ambition."  Bookforum
 
“So well-researched that The Children’s Book could well have been a consummate history of the [Edwardian] era. . . . The book brims in rich pictorial description . . . But more than that, Byatt’s book is an astute moral lesson.” Chicago Sun-Times

About the Author

A. S. Byatt is the author of numerous novels, including the quartet The Virgin in the Garden, Still Life, Babel Tower and A Whistling Woman; The Biographer’s Tale; and Possession, which was awarded the Booker Prize. She has also written two novellas, published together as Angels & Insects; five collections of shorter works, including The Matisse Stories and Little Black Book of Stories; and several works of nonfiction. A distinguished critic as well as a novelist, she lives in London.

Product details

  • Publisher ‏ : ‎ Vintage; Reprint edition (August 10, 2010)
  • Language ‏ : ‎ English
  • Paperback ‏ : ‎ 896 pages
  • ISBN-10 ‏ : ‎ 0307473066
  • ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-0307473066
  • Item Weight ‏ : ‎ 1.66 pounds
  • Dimensions ‏ : ‎ 5.2 x 1.9 x 8 inches
  • Customer Reviews:
    3.9 out of 5 stars 336 ratings

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Customer reviews

3.9 out of 5 stars
3.9 out of 5
336 global ratings

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Top reviews from other countries

Cleona Wallace
5.0 out of 5 stars A little rambling, maybe, yet a wonderful read.
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on June 26, 2017
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Kym Hamer
4.0 out of 5 stars Captivating
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on June 16, 2017
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3.0 out of 5 stars "A war of ideas, and a war that consumed the world "
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on March 17, 2015
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R. A. Davison
5.0 out of 5 stars A extremely intelligent, well written piece of work with great characterisation
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on March 24, 2012
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Mr. K. O. Hodgson
5.0 out of 5 stars make the effort, read this book !!
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on May 16, 2016
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