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The Magic Toyshop
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on August 7, 2013
The writing in this book is beautiful but the story doesn't always work. The reader is in the head of a 15 year old girl most of the time. She is living with her Aunt and Uncle and the Aunt's two brothers. The insights she has about the sequence of events that led to her being there are beyond a 15 year old with her background. The interactions between the people in the house are very odd and not very well explained. There is never an explanation of how the Aunt and Uncle happened to meet or marry and that becomes relevant. The ending comes out of nowhere. It is a beautifully written mess.
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on September 18, 2002
It's truly excellent because of the fairy tale/children's story element. It's also a story about life in England for young people in the early 70's. Suddenly, what was at the center of English social life is in ruins, and young people with imagination find themselves as misfits. This is merely my take on what the novel might represent. If you are not interested in reading books this way, you will still find The Magic Toyshop mesmerizing, entertaining, controversial, or whatever type of reading experience you wish to have. Get it.
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on June 28, 2013
After I wrote a mock fairy tale a professor I had suggested I read Angela Carter. She felt that I would love the satire and female strength within her books. So far I agree, this book is a funny, sweet, but in your face approach to certain genres. It is a really fun read, but doesn't waste your time. This book has many layers to it and it is breaks a lot of fairy tale taboos. It is not a children's book.
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on November 27, 2014
Graphic story to begin with. Entertaining.
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on August 22, 2017
An incredible book. It's inspiring, well written, and positively intriguing.
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on December 17, 2012
Angela Carter is one of my favorite authors. Her writing and use of language is truly astounding! Definitely highly recommended for fantasy lovers.
2 people found this helpful
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on September 5, 2007
There is not much to the overall plot of this book. The strength of it lies within the wierd characters and dialog among them. I felt a few things were thrown in for shock value like the unexplained severed hand in the kitchen drawer or the 'don't see it coming revealed secret' at the end... that could have been either left out entirely or at best given us a hint about the secret.
The peek hole was just down right creepy and some of the descriptions like the uncle's false teeth in the jar in the bathroom made me shudder. I had trouble with Melanie's attraction to her aunt's dirty brother with his nasty breath and teeth and unwashed stinky body. However it was this sort of thing that draws you in and makes you love the book because it IS SO macabre!
The ending is lousy but in reality the whole story was not that great but it's the characters and their weirdness that will keep you reading so even with a bad ending you will go away whispering... wow...
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on January 27, 2016
This book is just frankly silly! I read it as part of some research for a project. I enjoyed 'Nights at the Circus' a lot more.
I felt that the writing, though visually engaging, was poor.. If you are looking for subtlety and nuance, forget it with this novel.
I do find Carter's work entertaining but the character development is limited and each individual in this particular book is a huge cliche.
I had hoped to find the strangeness of the subject I.e. The making of extraordinary and sinister toys and puppets, much more compelling but I was disappointed.
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on April 2, 2013
I heard a story by Angela Carter on the BBC about a female vampire. I loved it and with the reviews I expected this to be just as good. It left me flat and bored. Too much talk about dirty feet, and dirty clothes, nothing at all sensual.
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on October 3, 2014
Book quality was great, in terms of binding and materials. I also really liked the book itself: it's highly engaging and intense. Four stars because there's nothing wrong with it but it isn't great enough to warrant 5 stars.
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