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The Thief of Broken Toys Paperback – May 15 2010

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 149 pages
  • Publisher: ChiZine (May 15 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0981297897
  • ISBN-13: 978-0981297897
  • Product Dimensions: 18 x 12.4 x 1.5 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 136 g
  • Average Customer Review: Be the first to review this item
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #1,213,806 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product Description

About the Author

Tim Lebbon is a NEW YORK TIMESbestselling writer from South Wales. He's had twenty novels published to date, including THE ISLAND, THE MAP OF MOMENTS (with Christopher Golden), BAR NONE, FALLEN, HELLBOY: THE FIRE WOLVES, DUSK, and BERSERK, as well as scores of novellas and short stories. He has won four British Fantasy Awards, a Bram Stoker Award, and a Scribe Award, and has been a finalist for the International Horror Guild and World Fantasy Awards. In 2011, his book THE THIEF OF BROKEN TOYS (ChiZine Publications) was nominated for the World Fantasy Award in the novella category. He has also been a judge for the World Fantasy Award. In 2004, FANGORIA named him "one of the thirteen rising talents who promise to keep us terrified for the next twentyfive years." Only nineteen years left to go . . . better get busy. Forthcoming books include THE SECRET JOURNEYS OF JACK LONDON for HarperCollins (coauthored with Christopher Golden), ECHO CITY for Bantam in the US and Orbit in the UK, COLDBROOK for Corsair in the UK, 30 DAYS OF NIGHT: FEAR OF THE DARK for Pocket Books, the massive short story collections LAST EXIT FOR THE LOST from Cemetery Dance and GHOSTS AND BLEEDING THINGS from PS Publishing, as well as several other projects not yet announced. He has written several screenplays, and is currently developing two TV series with a British TV company. Several of his novels and novellas are currently in development for screen in the USA and UK, and he is working on new novels and screenplays.Find out more about Tim at his website:

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) HASH(0xa0de699c) out of 5 stars 13 reviews
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xa0da56e4) out of 5 stars Heart-breaking adult fairytale Aug. 3 2010
By Wayne Simmons - Published on
Format: Paperback
The Thief of Broken Toys is a novella that charts the journey of central character, Ray as he tries to come to terms with the grief of losing a child. The setting is a small, costal village in Wales with its rural backdrop providing a suitably minimalist canvas to paint this heart-breaking yet simple tale upon. Most of the focus remains on Ray and his relationship with his deceased child, Toby, and estranged wife, Elizabeth. Ray still lives alone in the family home, while Elizabeth finds comfort in the arms of his best friend, Jason. Toby's room remains exactly the same as the boy left it, with his box of broken toys (all of which Ray promised to fix but never did) providing the major plot device for the story.

This is a beautifully written adult fairytale which, for me, echoes a lot of Asian horror cinema which I have enjoyed through the years. It's a genre tale of sorts yet easily defies pigeonholing. Ultimately, this is a story about heartbreak and the ways people cope with loss - some distract themselves, others try to atone. There's no heavy message or resolution for such, only a journey, and thus proves both emotionally engaging and satisfying.

Overall, this is a brutally accessible, heart rending story, presented in a quality format by Chizine, who, from what I've read thus far, are one of the best emerging publishers of dark fiction. Highly recommended.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xa0c0b744) out of 5 stars A beautifully written dark supernatural tale of loss Oct. 20 2011
By G. Guthrie - Published on
Format: Paperback
This is an emotional tale of despair and hope - where the loss of a child creates the despair, and a mysterious man who fixes toys brings hope. This was a beautifully dark tale that reminded me a lot of another emotional dark tale by Lebbon called the Reach of Children. Both stories use a little supernatural and grief stricken people who have lost members of their family to tell a tale.

In this case the main character is named Ray and he walks the hills behind his house in a small fishing village in Scotland; grief stricken over the death of his son which led to the departure of his wife when neither could snap out of the sadness they were in. Ray at this point can't move on. He now lives alone in his house and can't get the memory of his dead son out of his mind and he is spiraling into a deep depression that he will not be able to get out of. Although, one day while walking the hills he finds a man who asks for a broken toy from his son, and soon the fixing of these broken toys brings Ray hope. But all is not what it seems and has a different ending than what one expects.

I really liked this tale a lot. When Lebbon writes a tale about death and loss he does it wonderfully. This was a dark beautiful tale that was very enjoyable to read.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xa0ceb2a0) out of 5 stars Very odd. Nov. 26 2012
By Amazon Customer - Published on
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Ultimately, I found the story pointless. Perhaps it was just a cathartic vehicle for the author (I don't know, I haven't researched his life) in which case, it probably should have been written and put aside. A troubling story, tormented and unhappy characters and an unsatisfying ending which left more questions than were answered. Again, perhaps that was the point, but I prefer my books to have some kind of meaning to them.
HASH(0xa0e4fe64) out of 5 stars Horror Novel Reviews: Honesty in the Terror Aug. 1 2013
By Horror Novel Reviews - Published on
Format: Paperback
Every day we make promises, little promises meant heart and soul, but that are lost in the noise of life. Then, when tragedy comes, be it death or the loss of a relationship, we remember. We bargain in reverse, convinced the inevitable wasn't so, if only we had fulfilled any one of those forgotten promises. "If only" can possess us. We become our broken promises.

In Tim Lebbon's The Thief of Broken Toys, we find a man, Ray, grieving the death of his son and the decay of his marriage, unable to move on from either. Ray is given an opportunity most of us are not, to see those little broken promises fulfilled and his fractured life repaired. There is a price to be extracted, of course. There is always a price.

The Thief of Broken Toys is not a horror tale in any traditional or popular sense. There are no abominations from beyond space and time, no serial killers stalking. The ghosts are the ghosts we all carry. Here, the horror has already come by the time we are witness to Ray's life, come but not gone. It lingers, Ray subject to it every day. This horror is one mundane but far more fearsome than any of the aforementioned imaginary terrors, because we know it is real, one that can strike any of us.

In the few short days we spend with Ray our hearts break for his loss, both what he lost before we met him and what he loses after. His son may have passed on, but Ray tells his estranged wife, and us, "There is a life after..." We see the dissolution of this life after. As the last paragraph closes, we are left to mourn for Ray, who has no idea what he has lost.

Lebbon shows off expert prose and storytelling in this tale of a man unable to find balance and what that inability costs him. Though only 140-plus pages, it would be a disservice to The Thief of Broken Toys to say it is "only" that length. Lebbon packs more emotion and character into 140 pages than many authors do in works of much longer length. Every line, every word is written by a master at the top of his craft.

Written by Bruce Priddy from Horror Novel Reviews. Horror Novel Reviews does not receive payment for reviews. All books are promotional copies.
2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xa0f26444) out of 5 stars Wasn't what I was expecting Aug. 5 2010
By Mandaberry - Published on
Format: Paperback
Sounds a little creepy, right? I know I thought it did, but I was very disappointed. If anything it's a sad story about loss and grief, but not really creepy at all. Perhaps my hopes were too high? I did find this in the Sci-fi/Fantasy section of the bookstore, but now that I've read it I don't understand why it was there. It was a very quick read, so I don't feel too let down. I did pay for it though, so I am a little bummed.

The narration annoyed to no end. It reminded me of a tour guide, "And now we see..." Did not care for that. I think a little more description or insight into the "thief of broken toys" would have made it more interesting. I did enjoy the scenes of reminiscence about his son, which were sad and bittersweet. I think this would have been better if it were longer. I understand that this a novella and that it was supposed to be short, but I think so much more could have been done with this story. If you are more of a fan of psychological character studies, then you may enjoy this. If you're a fan of straightforward supernatural stories, then this really may not be for you. If you enjoyed the Monsters of Templeton by Lauren Groff you would probably like this book.