- File Size: 6269 KB
- Print Length: 315 pages
- Publisher: AMMFA Publishing; 1 edition (January 14, 2014)
- Publication Date: January 14, 2014
- Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC
- Language: English
- ASIN: B00CBDD73Q
- Text-to-Speech: Enabled
- Word Wise: Enabled
- Lending: Enabled
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,450,659 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
|Print List Price:||$15.99|
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Head of Words Kindle Edition
Kindle Feature Spotlight
|Length: 315 pages||Word Wise: Enabled||Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled|
|Page Flip: Enabled||
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Daniel Barker lives in a tiny one-bed apartment in Bristol,London and survives on unemployment benefits. He shares his meager space and cash with a dozen roommates; an eclectic bunch of men and women, each with an interesting story of how they came to live with Dan. It's not hard to imagine the craziness of the cramped household, but there is an undercurrent of something not-quite mentioned brewing among the adopted family.
Like all of Chris Ward's stories, Head of Words was cleverly layered to keep the reader interested in the truth of the story. In this book, you may think you know what is going on, but you will want to be sure, so hold on as the storm arrives.
In the case of Head of Words, I felt like a co-conspirator with author Chris Ward. I guessed what he was going to do with the story line, and I kept going for two reasons: first, because this new novel is such a good read; and only secondarily because I wanted to make sure that I was right.
I was, and I loved the novel.
Head of Words is narrated by Daniel Barker, a university drop-out who's set up a "doss house" in a very small apartment in Bristol. For my readers on the western side of the Atlantic, that means he takes in as roommates just about everyone he meets. At the opening of the novel, there are thirteen people living in the one-bedroom flat, plus a small dog: Daniel himself; the angry and dangerous Shane; Stevie, who dreams of being a rock singer; Aunt Rita and Uncle Rick; the cynical Clive, Dan's oldest friend who's endlessly playing chess with Uncle Rick; the bickering, indecisive twins, Ernie and George; Polly, the exotic pole dancer; Angelo, the great seducer; Bernard from Jamaica, who has an inexhaustible supply of weed; the eccentric tinkerer Franz; and the latest addition, Lisa, the talented artist.
The book chronicles the adventures, stresses, arguments and compromises inevitable among such a large group in a small space. Aunt Rita establishes some kind of order, cooking meals that somehow stretch one income to feed thirteen people and a dog. Angelo alternately pursues Polly and Lisa, while dodging a former lover's phone calls; Shane gets into fights, justifying his actions by claiming he's defending the group; and Stevie exasperates everyone with futile striving for rock stardom.
Ward writes a story or two for almost every character. He shows us how each one came into Dan's life and, usually immediately, into his house, too. Every character is believable and developed, except maybe for Clive -- as Dan's oldest friend, he should have more ink in this book.
The writing is funny, touching, moving and absolutely compelling. Ward is obviously a professional writer, and although (I hate to admit it) I had never heard of him before he contacted me with an advance review copy, I find he's already published several collections of short stories. From the style, any reader can see he knows the craft of writing. Another example of the kind of writing that the publishing companies and critics SAY they want to see, but don't actually support.
Head of Words is one of those books you cannot put down. And if you, too, guess the twist, I don't think you'll be able to close it on that account.
Chris Ward knows how to keep readers on for the ride.
I’ve been having a bit of a run lately with books that have been unusual and this is another one of those. I had never heard of this author before, but thought the book description sounded quite intriguing, and it certainly turned out to be a very unique story.
The writing is really straightforward, and Daniel’s narration as he introduces the listener to his family and his life is very entertaining and fun to listen to, especially if you are familiar with life in Britain. I loved his slightly sarcastic tone and was smiling through a lot of the first part. Then the tone really changes in the second part, and there are some great twists and a rather lovely ending. Very cleverly constructed.
First-time narrator, Tim Bick, did a great job of portraying Daniel as a believable, sometimes conflicted character. The narration was straightforward and natural but interjected sufficient emotion in the right places. I would certainly listen to other audio books narrated by Mr. Bick in the future. There were no issues with the production.
There is some violence, some sex and some swearing but nothing too graphic, even for sensitive listeners.
I would recommend this if you are interested in mental health, but also if you are looking for something out of the ordinary that combines humor, psychology, mystery and unconventional characters. A very interesting listen! 4.5 stars
Audiobook provided for review by the audiobookreviewer dot com
Most recent customer reviews
With thirteen in a single bedroom apartment things can get a little cozy, especially when each...Read more