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What They Do in the Dark: A Novel Hardcover – March 19, 2012

2.8 out of 5 stars 58 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews


“This arresting and disturbing debut novel focuses on two 10-year-old girls in a gritty 1970s Yorkshire town... Coe has many credits as a screenwriter, so the tight structure and exquisite tension-building throughout might be expected, but her pitch-perfect, unsentimental evocation of the pleasures, confusions, yearnings, and vulnerabilities of girls is what makes this a stunningly accomplished novel.” (The Atlantic)

“One of the most compelling novels published this year... Its savage wit and transporting eye for detail are the things that keep you along for the ride.” (The Times (UK))

“[An] impressive debut… A dark, disturbing look at a 1970s childhood, as a tetchy relationship between two schoolgirls culminates 
in a truly shocking ending.” (Marie Claire UK)

“This darkly funny, sordid, brutally honest concoction comes to a conclusion that nobody could predict, yet it could not have ended any other way, given what happens to Gemma and Pauline as their lives intertwine in a downward spiral toward disaster.” (Shelf Awareness)

“...Coe plots these ruined childhoods in a convincing fashion, including everything from drugs to divorce to molestation, without a heavy hand. She has an adept eye for psychological progression...” (Publishers Weekly)

“One of the most masterly, disturbing pieces of fiction I have read in a long while... will leave you haunted long after you've read the final page.” (Sunday Times (UK))

“Despite the undercurrents of violence and sex, this is really a story about character: how childhood innocence is lost, cynicism gained, morality discovered and then, perhaps, lost again… a terrific debut, full of energy and color; as propulsive as a thriller.” (The Guardian (UK))

“...superbly plotted, building, from seemingly disparate elements, with a dread inevitability to a tense and shocking finale.” (The Daily Mail (UK))

“A brilliant novel… The first half of the book is pure delight… But in the second half, you gradually realize this is not a gentle comedy at all. Indeed, the last 20 pages are among the most horrifying I have ever read.” (A. N. Wilson - Reader's Digest UK)

About the Author

Amanda Coe is a screenwriter and filmmaker whose television credits include the British series Shameless. She is the author of a collection of stories, A Whore in the Kitchen, and the novels The Love She Left Behind and What They Do in the Dark. She lives in London with her husband and two children.

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 256 pages
  • Publisher: W. W. Norton & Company; 1 edition (March 19, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0393081389
  • ISBN-13: 978-0393081381
  • Product Dimensions: 5.9 x 1 x 8.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 2.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (58 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,552,812 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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on July 26, 2011
Format: Kindle Edition
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VINE VOICEon September 17, 2011
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