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The Game by Diana Wynne Jones
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The Game (original 2007; edition 2007)

by Diana Wynne Jones (Author)

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
6853513,926 (3.61)28
Member:SandyAMcPherson
Title:The Game
Authors:Diana Wynne Jones (Author)
Info:Firebird (2007), 179 pages
Collections:Your library
Rating:****
Tags:Fantasy, Magical Adventure, Ancient myths, British author

Work details

The Game by Diana Wynne Jones (2007)

  1. 00
    The Poor Little Rich Girl by Eleanor Gates (bmlg)
    bmlg: a young girl's quest among mythical creatures, themes of family alienation and reunion
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» See also 28 mentions

English (34)  Swedish (1)  All (35)
Showing 1-5 of 34 (next | show all)
Although written perhaps for the 12 to 14 year-old ages, the myth of the Golden Apples is an adult-oriented theme. Younger teens will relate to Hayley, the heroine, and her difficulty coping with family and a bossy grandparent; the aunts are amusing and offer warmth for Hayley. Typical DWJ that interjects a magical game. ( )
  SandyAMcPherson | Jun 19, 2017 |
I have to say - I'm a bit disappointed with this book - Diana Wynne Jones is such an amazing author - but this is not one of her best.

We have a fairly standard story - an orphan girl is brought up by her strict grandparents who won't let he do anything fun, or by herself. When she makes a new friend, her Grandma sends her to her cousins (of which she knew nothing about). They introduce her to "The Game" of which her uncle Jolyon, the leader of this family, would disapprove greatly if he knew about.

As usual, Ms. Jones gets the children correct - they are written as real children, with everything that goes with childhood...

Where the book is disappointing is the story - there is this great buildup, with the inevitable confrontation with Jolyon happening in only the last few pages. Of course, Halley finds her parents, and life is good again.

Outside of the story, this book is missing an emotional core - the characters seem flat, the story itself has lots of potential, but falls flat.

This is not a good book to read as an intro to the author (My favorite by Ms. Jones is Dark Lord of Derkholm) but if you like the author, give it a try. ( )
  TheDivineOomba | Aug 4, 2016 |
Hayley is a young orphan living with her grandmother, whose strict rules and serious manner have whittled all the fun out of Hayley's life. Luckily, her grandfather loves to teach her the oddest things--including a glimpse at the "mythosphere". From that first glimpse, Hayley is drawn into the magical game her cousins play in secret. The children keep the game (in which they travel to various mythological places) a secret from their older relatives, but slowly their game is revealed to be part of a larger power struggle within the family. This is written for a slightly younger audience than most YA, and Jones's trademark whimsical world building is wasted on recreating existent myths.


I loved reading this, but the ending felt rushed. ( )
  wealhtheowwylfing | Feb 29, 2016 |
A very short book; it's cute and has an interesting take on mythology, but I found myself wishing there was more to it.
Hayley is a young girl who has been sent away from her strict grandparents' home into a bewildering situation - a house full of loud and cheerful cousins and other relatives. At first she's overwhelmed, but she's quickly won over by the society of the (mostly) friendly other children - and recruited into playing a secret - and forbidden - game. But when they are betrayed, Hayley learns more than she would have guessed about herself and the nature of her family.
Recommended for anyone who's fascinated by the mythology surrounding the constellations. ( )
  AltheaAnn | Feb 9, 2016 |
Thoroughly enjoyable fantasy romp from the mistress. Jones doesn’t subvert conventions, either: she just ignores them. Anything can happen, and her stories can go anywhere, and the whole solar system and the entire world of myth and magic are the playground in this novella. ( )
  Nigel_Quinlan | Oct 21, 2015 |
Showing 1-5 of 34 (next | show all)
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Diana Wynne Jonesprimary authorall editionscalculated
Berry, RickCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Thom, LoriCover designersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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This one is for Frances
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When Hayley arrived at the big house in Ireland, bewildered and in disgrace, rain was falling and it was nearly dark.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0142407186, Hardcover)

Hayley’s parents disappeared when she was a baby. Since then, she has been raised and homeschooled by her grandparents. Grandad is overworked and travels a lot; Grandma is much too strict and never lets her meet any children her own age. When Hayley does something wrong—she is not quite sure what—they pack her off to her aunts in Ireland. To Hayley’s shock, her family is much bigger than she thought; to her delight, the children all play what they call “the game,” where they visit a place called “the mythosphere.” And while she plays the game, Hayley learns more about her own place in the world than she had ever expected. This original novella by Diana Wynne Jones is sharply funny, fast-paced, and surprising until its very end—like all of this acclaimed author’s work.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:12:16 -0400)

Sent to a boisterous family gathering in Ireland by her overly strict grandmother, orphaned Hayley feels out of place until her unruly cousins include her in a special game involving travel through the mythosphere, the place where all the world's stories can be found, and where some secrets of her past are revealed.… (more)

(summary from another edition)

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