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Kit's Wilderness [Audiobook, Unabridged] [Audio Cassette]

David Almond , Charles Keating
3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (79 customer reviews)

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Book Description

March 7 2000
Read by Charles Keating
5 hours 4 minutes, 3 cassettes

The Watson family moves to Stoneygate, an old coal-mining town, to care for Kit's recently widowed grandfater. When Kit meets John Askew, another boy whose family has both worked and died in the mines, Askew invites Kit to join him in a game called Death. As kit's grandfather tells him stories of the mine's past and the history of the Watson family, Askew takes Kit into the mines, where the boys look for the childhood ghosts of their long-gone ancestors.

Written in haunting, lyrical prose, Kit's Wilderness examines the bonds of family from one generation to the next, and explores how meaning and beauty can be revealed from the depths of darkness.

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From Amazon

Like David Almond's 1998 Whitbread-winning Skellig, this powerful, eerie, elegantly written novel celebrates the magic that is part of our existence--the magic that occurs when we dream at night, the magic that connects us to family long gone, the magic that connects humans to the land, and us all to each other. As Kit's grandfather puts it, "the tales and memories and dreams that keep the world alive."

It seems fated that 13-year-old Christopher Watson, nicknamed Kit, would move to Stoneygate, an old English coal-mining village where his ancestors lived, worked, and died. Evidence of the ancient coal pit is everywhere--depressions in the gardens, jagged cracks in the roadways, in his grandfather's old mining songs. A monument in the St. Thomas graveyard bears the name of child workers killed in the Stoneygate pit disaster of 1821, including Kit's own name--Christopher Watson, aged 13--the name of a distant uncle. At the top of this high, narrow pyramid-shaped monument is the name John Askew, the same name of Kit's classmate who takes the connection between this monument and life--and death--very seriously.

The drama unfolds as the haunted, hulking, dark-eyed John Askew draws Kit and other classmates into the game of Death, a spin-the-knife, pretend-to-die game that he hosts in a deep hole dug in the earth, with candles, bones, and carved pictures of the children of the old families of Stoneygate. Kit the writer and Askew the artist belong together, Askew keeps telling him. "Your stories is like my drawings, Kit. They take you back deep into the dark and show it lives within us still.... You see it, don't you? You're starting to see that you and me is just the same." Are they, though?

Kit's Wilderness conjures a world where the past is alive in the present and creeps into the future--a world where ancestral ghosts and even the slow-changing geology of the landscape are as tangible as lunch. Powerful images of darkness exploding into "lovely lovely light" filter throughout the story, as Almond boldly explores the dark side and unearths a joyful message of redemption. (Ages 11 and much, much older) --Karin Snelson --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

From Publishers Weekly

Revisiting many of the themes from Skellig, Almond offers another tantalizing blend of human drama, surrealism and allegory. He opens the novel with a triumphant scene, in which Kit Watson, the 13-year-old narrator, and his classmates, John Askew and Allie Keenan reemerge from "ancient darkness into a shining valley," as if to reassure readers throughout the course of the cryptic tale that the game of "Death," so central to the book, is indeed just a game. Nevertheless, he takes readers on a thrilling and spine-tingling ride. When Kit moves with his mother and father to the mining town of Stoneygate to keep company with his newly widowed grandfather, he feels drawn to John Askew who, like Kit, comes from a long line of coal miners. Askew presses Kit to take part in a game of "Death," for which the participants spin a knife to determine whose turn it is to "die." The chosen one then remains alone in the darkness of Askew's den, to join spirits with boys killed in a coal mine accident in 1821. Some regular players consider the game to be make-believe, but Kit senses something far more profound and dangerous, and the connection he forges with the ancient past also circuitously seals a deeper bond with Askew. Allie acts as a bridge between the two worlds, much as Mina was for Michael in Skellig. The ability that Askew, Kit and his grandpa possess to pass between two seductive worlds, here and beyond, in many ways expands on the landscape Almond created in Skellig. The intricacy and complexity of the book's darker themes make it a more challenging read than his previous novel for children, but the structure is as awe-inspiring as the ancient mining tunnels that run beneath Stoneygate. Ages 12-up. (Mar.)
Copyright 2000 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

Customer Reviews

Most helpful customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars kits wilderness review Feb. 12 2004
By A Customer
Format:Mass Market Paperback
Kits wilderness is a fantasy book.The story starts of when Kit Watson moves to stonygate. His ancestors all lived in stonygate too and they all worked in the pit mines. Soon after KIt moves to stonygate he meets a boy called John Askew, he introduces Kit to a dangerous game called death. In this game Kit and other children from the old familys from stonygate have to sit in a circle in a cave and Askew will spin a knife, if the knife land on you than you would go to the middle and experiance death. KIt experiances death but unlike the others he sees the dead children of the past Askew also sees these children, this is because they are both the living dead. The game of death is stoped when one of the school teachers finds out they have been playing it. Everyone blames this on Kit because it was his teacher that stoped the game.
Kits problems increase when his grandad becomes ill he goes into moments when he is completly blank and lost in the past.This is worring for Kits family and they know that he will soon die.
The ghost of the past come to haunt Kit, Askew and Grandpa but one of the ghost seems to be more like a gardian angel to Kit, Askew and grandpa.Silky (gardian angel)comforts Grandpa and kit when they go into there living dead moments.
Kit is the central character in the novel, he's very good and kind but he gets drawn to the darkness, for example John Askew and the death game. Askew is quite a frightening figure like a caveman.He is always out walking in the wilderness and wears black all the time.Allthough Askew is frightening he has server family promlems. in the end kit and Askew stay down in the mines all night and there is a frantic search for them! Are they going to be saved or will they stay down in the mines forever!?! I recomend this book to someone who likes an adventure and a mysterious book!!!!
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4.0 out of 5 stars Kit's Wilderness Review Feb. 12 2004
By A Customer
Format:Mass Market Paperback
The story of kit's Wilderness is a fantasy and a adventure for Kit. The story starts off for Kit Watson when he moves to Stoneygate. He becomes friendly with a boy named John Askew. John Askew is the leader of the game called "death" he goes to the game with his friend called Allie. Later in the novel it is Kit's turn to die. Kit does die. His problem increases when kit's granpa becomes ill. He starts having blackouts. Kit is followed to the game by his teacher called "Burning Bush" Kit is awoken when he is dead. John Askew says that this means that Kit will be in a living dead for the rest of hiS life. So in Kit's dream a gohst called Silky comes and huants him. Silky leads Kit into darkness and leaves Kit more and more confused at what is going on around him. John Askw runs away and Kit is the one to bring him back. So in the end they have a Happy Christmas or do they? My favourite charactor in the novel is Kit he is the main charactor in the book because in the book the author is always talking bout him. John Askew seems frightening, almost "caveman" kind of person but his family aren't the best to live with. His dad abuses him so he has a tough time. Granpa lets the past come alive for Kit, he is always telling Kit storys untill he becomes ill.... The books most important themes are about life/death and frienship. The most exciting part of the novel occurs when Kit and Askew learn what it is really like to be friends and what friendship means. David Almond's type of writing is very distinctive because he can always make you feel Kit's feelings and how hw cope's with them. I would recommend this book to people who like exciting and mysterious books, because it is very unique in it's style. So read this book to find and what it is like to be Kit and how to cope with his problems!
By Sophie Daniels
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3.0 out of 5 stars Alright, But Not The Best Feb. 12 2004
By Geoff
Format:Mass Market Paperback
Kits Wilderness by David Almond is a very imaginative and interesting story book with many different genres like its a fantasy because of all the ghostsand dreams. But its also an adventure as the relationship between Kit and John Askew and also about the game of Death and Lak. I think this Book is for most over the age of about 11.
Kits Wilderness starts of with Kit as he moves into the town of Stonygate to live with his grandpa. He then meets John Askew who introduces him to the game of death. It then all becomes worse for kit as his grandpa becomes ill and has to go to hospital. Then the ghosts of the past come and haunt Kit. Then John Askew runs away and Kit finds him in an abandoned mine where they become blood brothers then they are found and brought back home for a happy ending (But Grandpa Dies!)
Kit is the central charactor in the novel as every thing seems to link to him in one way or another. His friend Askew is also one of the main charactors, he seems a very scary type of person but turns out good in the end. Kits Grandpa is ill in most of the book but he makes the past alive for Kit.
In order i think that frendship, family relationship, the past and death are the most important themes in the novel.
In this book i think that the most exciting part is the story about Lak as i found it very interesting. David Almonds style of writing is very original as he has some very short sentences and some very long ones too.
I would recommend this book to some but not all readers as parts of it become very confusing and mixed up.
Overall a just above average book.
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Most recent customer reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Kit's Wilderness
"Kit's Wilderness" is a book that will make you feel uneasy and a little frightened; it speaks to those fears of getting in with the wrong group and doing things that we are too... Read more
Published on June 6 2008 by Pauline
3.0 out of 5 stars Kit's Wilderness
Kit's Wilderness is a strange book because it is a bit of a fantacy and an adventure in one. The story starts off when kit moves to stoneygate and he doesn't really know anyone. Read more
Published on Feb. 12 2004
3.0 out of 5 stars kits wlderness
Kits wilderness is a fantasy book with a touch of magic and some adventure, David Almond who has also written books such as Skellig is the author of Kits Wilderness. Read more
Published on Feb. 12 2004
2.0 out of 5 stars kits wilderness
Kits wilderness is one of the wierdest books i've ever read! I don't think it has a storyline or a genre either. Read more
Published on Feb. 12 2004
2.0 out of 5 stars Kit's Wilderness
This book is about a bot who moves to stoney gate,and his life gets turned upside down. He is called Kit Watson and this book is an adventure of him trying to settle into his new... Read more
Published on Feb. 12 2004
2.0 out of 5 stars Kit's wilderness
This book is is about a boy who moves to Stoneygate, and his life gets turned upsidedown. he is called Kit Watson and the book is an adventure of him trying to settle into his new... Read more
Published on Feb. 12 2004
4.0 out of 5 stars Kit's Wilderness
Kit's wilderness is a great book to read. I think anybody who likes mystery would enjoy this book. There are a lot of characters in this book and they all have different... Read more
Published on Feb. 12 2004
3.0 out of 5 stars Kits Wilderness
Kit's Wilderness by DAvid Almond is a cross between an adventure and a fantasy book, and is only suitable, I think, for readers who like fantasy as well as adventure not one or the... Read more
Published on Feb. 12 2004
4.0 out of 5 stars Kit's wilderness
When Kit Watson moved to Stoneygate he only knew that his Grandpa lives there. After a while at toneygate Kit becomes friends with school rebel John Askew, introduces him to the... Read more
Published on Feb. 12 2004
4.0 out of 5 stars Kit's Wilderness
Kit's Wilderness is a great book for people who like magic, fantasy and who like to work things out for yourself.
The characters in this novel are very interesting. Read more
Published on Feb. 12 2004
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