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The Uninvited by Liz Jensen
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The Uninvited (edition 2013)

by Liz Jensen

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1642272,634 (3.47)8
Member:bibliobeck
Title:The Uninvited
Authors:Liz Jensen
Info:Bloomsbury USA (2013), Edition: 1, Hardcover, 320 pages
Collections:Your library
Rating:****
Tags:read 2012, reviewed for Bloomsbury

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The Uninvited by Liz Jensen

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English (21)  Danish (1)  All languages (22)
Showing 1-5 of 21 (next | show all)
This book was immense. I really had no idea how it was going to go at all, it was a bargain 99p book from The Works, didn't think id even like it but my friend had read it and said it was good and i needed something new so i just grabbed it as a spur of the moment thing.

It was fantastic! Nothing like i thought it would be, i thought it was going to be a horror but it was definatly a psychological thriller. Creepy, scary and a stark realization when you get to the end that maybe we do need intervention before we ruin the planet, this takes that to a whole new level though.

I loved the characters, they felt so real, Hesketh is written so brilliantly he could be someone i know easily. His aspergers and his habits fit really well with the story and add so much to it without taking away from the plot. Freddy and his decline is literally heart breaking and i felt for Hesketh so much it was actually really emotional to read by the end. It definatly was a lump in the throat moment.

I'm still kind of sad about the ending, i really wanted it to be happy and rosy because i adored Hesketh so much, unfortunately it wasn't to be.

I cant recommend this book enough. Im so glad i picked it up. Fabulous author, fantastic book, must read! ( )
  shelley.s | May 7, 2014 |
Quite an intriguing concept that unfolds gradually as the story progresses. The characters and story are well-developed and well-written enough so that I wanted to keep reading in order to find out what the hell was going on, and what happens next. ( )
  dianestm | Feb 15, 2014 |
Supremely creepy! The children in this book are enough to give any parent pause. You know that when a book begins with a seven year old murdering her grandmother with a nail gun to the neck, you're in for an interesting read. The narrator, the autistic savant Hesketh, is empathetic to readers sensitive to his crippling logic and inability to relate to others emotionally. Beyond the horrorish/ science-fiction type plot line lies a touching tale of one man's love for his troubled stepson.

The Uninvited is definitely an enthralling read recommended for fans of suspense, psychological thriller, horror and dystopian fiction. ( )
  myownwoman | Jan 29, 2014 |
bookshelves: winter-20132014, under-1000-ratings, tbr-busting-2014, published-2012, britain-scotland, taiwan, recreational-homicide, casual-violence, mental-health, lifestyles-deathstyles, fraudio, britain-england, psychology, boo-scary, anthropology, mystery-thriller, sci-fi, dystopian, filthy-lucre, forest, mythology, religion, arran, sweden, trolls, fantasy, dubai, environmental-issues, suicide, little-green-men, cannibalism
Read from July 01, 2012 to January 20, 2014

Description: A seven-year-old girl puts a nail-gun to her grandmother's neck and fires. An isolated incident, say the experts. The experts are wrong. Across the world, children are killing their families. Is violence contagious?

As chilling murders by children grip the country, anthropologist Hesketh Lock has his own mystery to solve: a bizarre scandal in the Taiwan timber industry. He has never been good at relationships. Asperger's Syndrome has seen to that. But he does have a talent for spotting behavioural patterns, and an outsider's fascination with group dynamics.

Nothing obvious connects Hesketh's Southeast Asian case with the atrocities back home. Or with the increasingly odd behaviour of his beloved step-son, Freddy. But when his Taiwan contact dies shockingly, and more acts of sabotage and child violence sweep the globe, Hesketh is forced to make connections that defy the rational principles on which he has staked his life, his career and - most devastatingly of all - his role as a father.

Part psychological thriller, part dystopian nightmare, The Uninvited is a powerful and viscerally unsettling portrait of apocalypse in embryo.

Origami Crane

Origami Praying Mantis

Origami Hermit Crab

In the Dubai gymnast leap sequence Tokoloshe was mentioned three times.

From wiki: In Zulu mythology, Tokoloshe is a dwarf-like water sprite. It is considered a mischievous and evil spirit that can become invisible by drinking water. Tokoloshes are called upon by malevolent people to cause trouble for others. At its least harmful a tokoloshe can be used to scare children, but its power extends to causing illness and even death upon the victim. The way to get rid of him is to call in the n’anga (witch doctor), who has the power to banish him from the area.

The children start forming a collective consciousness, show signs of arrested development and an addiction for salt.

Hesketh narrates the first person action from an anthropological and autistic viewpoint and it works very well. In Wyndham's 'Midwich Cuckoos' the story is satisfactorily resolved (view spoiler), all tied up with bows; here was a somewhat wobbly ending as the author mounted her own environmental soapbox, her viewpoint working through the Professors notebooks and Hesketh's epiphany. Lost a star right there. It has been a while since I read The Rapture but I have a feeling the same thing happened there too. Time for a re-visit of that before I spend future money on habitual preachy endings.

That said, 95% of this was very exciting and fresh.

4* The Rapture
4* The Uninvited

Trivia: Liz Jensen is married to author Carsten Jensen:

5* We, The Drowned
3* I Have Seen the World Begin

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  mimal | Jan 20, 2014 |
Showing 1-5 of 21 (next | show all)
This unsettling mystery-thriller possesses elements of horror as well as apocalyptic overtones. The protagonist of Liz Jensen's The Uninvited (Bloomsbury USA, $25) is Hesketh Lock, a brilliant fellow with Asperger's syndrome who works as a claims investigator for a British firm. He can't help but look for patterns and rely on observations when he detects something abnormal about some recent, exceptionally bloody violence from very young children.
 
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Epigraph
Our birth is but a sleep and a forgetting 
The Soul that rises with us, our life's Star 
Hath had elsewhere its setting 
And cometh from afar . . . 
Hence in a season of calm weather 
Though inland far we be 
Our Souls have sight of that immortal sea 
Which brought us hither 
Can in a moment travel thither 
And see the children sport upon the shore 
And hear the mighty waters rolling evermore.

William Wordsworth, Ode: Intimations of Immortality from Recollections of Early Childhood

There is always one moment in childhood when the door opens and lets the future in.

Graham Greene, The Power and the Glory
Dedication
For Clare Blatchford Rees
An inspiration
First words
Mass hysterical outbreaks rarely have identifiable inceptions, but the date I remember most vividly is Sunday 16th September, when a young child in butterfly pyjamas slaughtered her grandmother with a nail-gun to the neck.
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Book description
A seven-year-old girl puts a nail-gun to her grandmother's neck and fires. An isolated incident, say the experts. The experts are wrong. Across the world, children are killing their families. Is violence contagious?

As chilling murders by children grip the country, anthropologist Hesketh Locke has his own mystery to solve: a bizarre scandal in the Taiwan timber industry. He has never been good at relationships, Asperger's Syndrome has seen to that. But he does have a talent for spotting behavioural patterns, and an outsider's fascination with group dynamics.

Hesketh has no obvious reason to connect the South East Asian case with the atrocities back home. Or with the increasingly odd behaviour of his beloved step son, Freddy. But when his Taiwan contact dies shockingly, and more acts of sabotage and child violence sweep the globe, Hesketh is forced to make connections that defy the rational principles on which he has staked his life, his career and — most devastatingly of all — his role as a father.

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In the wake of a series of baffling murders committed by children, anthropologist Hesketh Lock investigates a scandal in the Taiwan timber industry and wonders at his stepson's odd behavior before making a shocking connection upon the death of his Taiwan contact.… (more)

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