The Killing Doll Audio Cassette – Audiobook, Feb 1 1999
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|Audio Cassette, Audiobook, Feb 1 1999||
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From Library Journal
This is vintage spooky Rendell (One Across, Two Down), made even better by the fine reading by Ric Jerrom. Pup Yearman sets up a temple of occultism and casts spells, which convince his unbalanced sister Dolly that he can actually do magic, even commit murder. As Pup tries to get out from under the burden of his sister's belief, Dolly falls further and further into madness. Meanwhile, in an apartment nearby, Diarmit Bawne (and his alter ego, Colin Moore) hears his own much deadlier demons and keeps his knives and cleavers sharpened against them. Listeners will love this journey into the dark side, where reader Jerrom never falters in his eerie evocation of the all-too-believable characters. Recommended for all fiction collections.AHarriet Edwards, East Meadow P.L., NY
Copyright 1999 Reed Business Information, Inc.
"Rendell's psychological insights are so absorbing, it's easy to forget what a superb plotter she is" The Times "Ruth Rendell's books are not only whodunits but whydunits, uncovering the motive roots of murder" Mail on Sunday "Ruth Rendell is surely one of the greatest novelists presently at work in our language. The extraordinary depth and accuracy of her psychological portraits is matched only by the rare inventiveness of her storytelling" Scott Turow "Once her characters start twisting on every-tightening tracks, their fates are brilliantly sealed, and it's never obvouis who'll be the victim or the culprit. Rendell's greatest trick is making an unforeseen outcome feel predestined" Financial Times "The most brilliant mystery novelist of our time" Patricia Cornwell --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.See all Product Description
Top Customer Reviews
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The Killing Doll is a relatively hard novel to pin down. Most of Rendell's novels outside the Wexford series tend to be. This one is, on the one hand, a book about the Faustian pact of young Peter Yearman who sells his soul to grow taller, and soon becomes drawn, along with his adoring older sister Dolly, into the world of the occult. However, as Peter grows up he turns away from the magick he once believed in, and goes out into the real world. Unfortunately, Dolly - shy and friendless, nervous of going outside of the house due to a large birthmark on her cheek - cannot separate herself from it - she still believes his seeming powers are genuine. As events conspire to tip her further over the edge - from very early on it is clear that isolated Dolly, who talks to her dead mother and comes to make dolls representative of those she hopes Peter's magic will harm, is a little Schizophrenic - the novel from then on dwells in the very dark places of madness, as all the characters move along happily with their dangerous delusions, until the final catastrophic chapters in which all the events are brought to a shattering climax.
I adore her books. I have a passion and thirst for them which will not be slaked, and I defy anyone to deny that she is not one of the best novelists writing today. Fine, I have no problem with people disliking her books (after all, some people of course won't like keeping company with strange, slightly warped characters who tang with a disturbing, uncomfortable reality) if they find the things they cover slightly disturbing, but anyone should at least be able to admit the incredible quality which lies at the core, whether they like the subject matter or not. It is quality that sings to me, sings to me of damaged people and twisted things, terrible worlds of Shakespearean irony (the tradition of the great Tragedy is alive and well in Rendell's novels) , and lives lived at risk from those around us who need just a subtle trigger to send them to madness. She is an insightful, clever and diabolically vicious writer who never shies away from showing us a different side of life, and The Killing Doll is another work of genius.
The main characters are a motley crew. Pup is a young man who wants to be a geomancer (like a magician) and whose belief in magic is the catalyst of all the terrible things to follow. Dolly is Pup's sister who is reclusive due to a birthmark on her cheek which has left her confidence in shreds. Diarmit is a man who has never been the same mentally since a bomb exploded near him when he was a boy in Ireland, and who finds comfort only by carrying around a dangerous set of knives. It is scarcely necessary to mention that these characters end up embroiled in a diabolical plot that is psychologically fascinating.
I would recommend this to dedicated Rendell readers because this book is really, really great. To first time Rendell readers I would suggest starting with some of her newer books (such as Sight for Sore Eyes) and working back to this one because the book is a bit old fashioned in its language and clothes the characters wear etc, but this is not a big problem.
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