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Always the Sun Hardcover – Oct 2004

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99 by Wayne Gretzky 99 by Wayne Gretzky

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 328 pages
  • Publisher: ISIS Publishing (October 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0753171619
  • ISBN-13: 978-0753171615
  • Shipping Weight: 789 g
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Product Description


"Brilliantly and sympathetically written, it will strike cold fear into the heart of every parent." --"Daily Mail" "Filled with moments of powerful empathy . . . contrasted with moments of heart-sinking savagery, Cross's writing is relentlessly absorbing." --"The Big Issue" "Cross's grimly readable novel settles into a parent's nightmares and ties apprehensive knots in the reader's stomach." --"The Guardian" "Cross persuasively depicts the subtle drama of family life and gently builds up three-dimensional characters." --"The Observer" "Set to be his most successful yet . . . harrowing but gripping." --"Time Out London" "A meaty, tautly-drawn tale that is both menacing and darkly powerful." --"The Herald" "A gripping journey to the limits of paternal emotions." --"The Mail on Sunday" "Magnificent."--Tibor Fischer

Brilliantly and sympathetically written, it will strike cold fear into the heart of every parent. "Daily Mail" Filled with moments of powerful empathy... contrasted with moments of heart-sinking savagery, Cross s writing is relentlessly absorbing. "The Big Issue" Cross s grimly readable novel settles into a parent s nightmares and ties apprehensive knots in the reader s stomach. "The Guardian" Cross persuasively depicts the subtle drama of family life and gently builds up three-dimensional characters. "The Observer" Set to be his most successful yet... harrowing but gripping. "Time Out London" A meaty, tautly-drawn tale that is both menacing and darkly powerful. "The Herald" A gripping journey to the limits of paternal emotions. "The Mail on Sunday" Magnificent. Tibor Fischer"

About the Author

Neil Cross is the author of several novels including Always the Sun and Burial, as well as the bestselling memoir Heartland. He has been lead scriptwriter for the two most recent seasons of the acclaimed BBC spy drama series Spooks and continues to write widely for the screen.

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 2.0 out of 5 stars 4 reviews
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Good Idea but Very Poorly Written, with Characters You Really Couldn't Care Less About Nov. 7 2008
By James N Simpson - Published on
Format: Paperback
This looked like it would be a good book when I read the blurb on the back about a kid being bullied and the father going to extreme lengths to stop it. Unfortunately the kid being bullied/stopping it part of the plot is a very minor part of the whole storyline. The majority of the story revolves around Sam, a very stupid and selfish man having to deal with the consequences of his actions by digging himself in deeper rather than just following a clear path out of it. Sam the father seems to have blinders on the whole story, any normal person would have seen the entire situation for what it was early on. The other main problem is the story is written in a poor writer style Sam said this, Jamie said this, Sam walked over here and so on style rather than through the eyes of one or more characters.

Basic plot is Sam a man who recently lost his wife, along with his 13 year old son Jamie, decide to move from London to a bigger cheaper house in an English country town where Sam grew up. Jamie only agrees to the new house if he can have the master room. Sam being a spineless father with no parenting skills does this, along with whatever else Jamie insists on. Sam has no control of Jamie at all, Jamie only listens to his aunt and basically treats his father like dirt. Jamie also doesn't like going to school, so when Sam is told his son will be kicked out but hey, maybe its not all his fault, Sam should maybe ask him about this other kid at school, Sam jumps into cotton wool parent mode. Stupidly he decides to confront the father at his workplace telling him to bring his brat into line. Understandably the father isn't impressed and tells him so, Sam then decides to have a go at the bully in a pub toilet which is where the situation escalates into Sam's vendetta in his son's name against this well liked town family.

It's not just Sam however who is a weak character, so is his son Jamie. You can understand why this kid had no friends at school (when he decided to go that is) and became a target for the bully. In fact he shows later when out riding his bike and encountering the bully's brother that he is in fact just as big a bully as the bully (although he does get his comeuppance from that victim's best friend) when given the opportunity. This is where the story gets so ridiculous, the father now should know what his son is, so why he would go down the ridiculous angle he did, plus it was pretty obvious from that encounter that the bullying would have been pretty much over anyway as Jamie had been more humiliated by his own actions than anything the bully could do at school. Of course though the father's got to keep igniting the fire.

The only redeeming thing for the storyline which lifts my rating slightly is the ending. Justice prevailed in the end with everyone getting exactly what they deserved as a result of their actions.

And what's with the title, is it a typo, is Sun supposed to be Son? Got nothing to do with the big ball of fire in space throughout the entire novel.
4 of 6 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Inconsistent Jan. 11 2005
By KasaC - Published on
Format: Paperback
This book has some very fine writing in it. Its inclusion on the Booker Award's long list is verification of that. However, while the character of Sam, the father, is examined in detail, his son Jamie is a cypher and by the end is even more elusive. Motivations which drive the action are hazy, making the plot spin off its center. People acting against their type need more clarification. Rare flashes of humor appear, usually involving peripheral action as central theme is grim. I liked it, would recommend it, but still cannot give it a higher rating because of the inconsistency.
2 of 6 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Appalling... Aug. 11 2005
By HORAK - Published on
Format: Paperback
Mr Cross's novel inflicts on the reader a dreary litany of scenes in which people dress, eat, watch TV, smoke, drink wine or beer and utter the blandest of banalities of which the following quotation is quite representative: "People are freaked out by a train crash, which is a rare occurrence and unlikely to happen again any time soon. More people die every day on British roads than die annually on the railways. But rail crashes are newsworthy. After a crash, nervous passengers take to the roads. The roads are a great deal more dangerous than railways. And the more congested the roads are, the more dangerous they are. Simple really."

One example of the many enlightening passages in this novel...
0 of 2 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Not one of Cross's best Nov. 5 2013
By David Rourke - Published on
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Have liked Neil Cross's previous work, buried particualrly but found this one too slow and didn't pass my 100 page test!!

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