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In the Place of Fallen Leaves by Tim Pears

In the Place of Fallen Leaves (1993)

by Tim Pears

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184764,254 (3.87)2
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Showing 1-5 of 7 (next | show all)
Told from the point of view of teenage Alison, this book is set in the end of the hot summer of 1984 (in the UK). I found the book unimpressive, despite realistic people and fairly well-flowing conversation. There were some odd changes of perspective which shouldn't be possible in a first-person novel, and flashbacks which didn't quite work, confusingly interspersed with the present. It was also quite hard to read at times with strongly accented Devonshire speech. ( )
  SueinCyprus | Jan 26, 2016 |
Just beautiful, I can't think of any way to sum up how rich this book is. Pears is the prince of legant simile. ( )
  Becchanalia | Jul 15, 2013 |
If Thomas Hardy read up on magic realism, took antidepressants, and was interested in writing sympathetic, believable characters, he might write In the Place of Fallen Leaves. In other words, it's a Thomas Hardy novel for people who don't like Thomas Hardy novels (such as me.)

I especially enjoyed reading it because it's set a bit to the south-west of where I'm currently living in Devon, and was full of fascinating local color.

Beautifully and unusually written; I highly recommend it! ( )
  raschneid | Mar 31, 2013 |
Crikey! 4.06 was the average rating for this book before I rated it. I'm shocked!! It's not bad, but actually I'd say it's not that good. At the Nancy Pearl cutoff I was ready to discard it and pull something decent off my TBR pile, but the high LibraryThing rating and the impressive string of reviewer quotes convinced me to keep on reading. About 10 pages later I was sure I'd taken the right step in continuing to read. "It's just a bit slow getting started", I thought. However, as I approached the end of the book, several dreary reading days later, I realized that Nancy Pearl was correct after all. As I look back on this book I am more inclined to categorize the writing as pretentious and flowery, rather than "the work of a born writer" that A.S.Byatt would have me believe, or "...beautifully written, hypnotic as Proust..." that Jane Gardam says (who the hell is Jane Gardam? and do I want to be hypnotized anyway?).

I didn't warm to any of the characters, and indeed I didn't really get to know them that well. There is a mildly interesting story in this book and I suppose it says something about rural England (but I can't verify this, as I've never been there myself), but to me the novel doesn't really contain any compelling reason to take it off the shelf.

Anyone want my copy? ( )
  oldblack | Dec 26, 2012 |
'Atmospheric' is the best word I can think of to describe the world laid out in this book. That and 'fabulous'. It's one of those stories that seems to have no real plot to it but kind of meanders until you realise that you've gone somewhere without being quite aware of the journey. It's set in the hot late summer of 1984 in a Devon village with eleven year old Alison leading us around her family and friends. The story is coming-of-ageish I suppose, but it's delightful. Definitely an author to read more of. Exceptionally well written too.
  nocto | Dec 15, 2010 |
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It is the summer of 1984, one of the longest and hottest of the 20th century. Unemployment reaches record levels, the nation's teachers are on strike, police and miners fight running battles, and time in a Devon village is apparently slipping backwards.… (more)

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