#BookReview This Census-Taker by China Mieville #ripxiv

ABOUT THE BOOK

For readers of George Saunders, Kelly Link, and Karen Russell, This Census Taker is the poignant and uncanny new novella from award-winning and bestselling author China Miéville. After witnessing a profoundly traumatic event, a boy is left alone in a remote house on a hilltop with his increasingly deranged parent. When a stranger knocks on his door, the boy senses that his days of isolation are over—but by what authority does this man keep the meticulous records he carries? Is he the boy’s friend? His enemy? Or something altogether other?

published by Del Ray Books

MY REVIEW

A strange and unsettling reading experience, but one that is pretty absorbing and shocking in equal measures! I’m still a little unsure as to what happened at certain points and think it may be one of those that is left open for interpretation!

At the heart of the story is a young boy who grows up witnessing brutality at home on a daily basis. The family are very insular and live out of the village, but he often sits and watches them play and wishes to join in. He also witnesses his father carrying out savage acts of brutality. AT one point this gets too much for the boy who runs into town telling everyone he’s just seen a murder at his home – when they investigate there is no trace of blood so did he imagine it?

The father is a very manipulative man and watching his way of life was terrifying. The young boy tries to run away with the help of some local children he befriends but there’s always something getting in his way. The only person who seems to want to listen is a man who shows up at the house one day to ask his father questions, but while he wasn’t there the boy opened up instead and the story then takes on a new focus as to what is this man after.

With so much left open for you to interpret whatever way you wish, there was still enough to keep me absorbed in this bizarre little book and eager to read more from this author to see if this way of writing is normal for him!

★★★

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#BookReview Mr Godley’s Phantom by Mal Peet #ripxiv

ABOUT THE BOOK

It’s 1945 and Martin Heath, like many men at that time, is struggling to settle, to find his place again after the horrors of war. Then an old comrade sends him a letter and tells him of a position that’s just come up in the remote wilds of Dartmoor – working for an elderly fellow called Mr Godley. “Are you a good driver, Mr Heath?” It’s a simple question and a simple task and the doorway to a dark mystery that may just turn out to be the escape he was hoping for – but at what cost?

published by David Fickling Books

PURCHASE LINKS

Amazon UK

hive.co.uk

whsmith

MY REVIEW

The cover of this book caught my eye in the library, and I found it to be a little gem of a book! Really subtle, atmospheric and easy to read so praise be for covers luring me in to discover new favourites!

Set in 1945, Martin Heath is back from the war and is a broken man considering all he has seen and been through. In the days before counselling and times of ‘stiff upper lip’ you just had to get on with life. An old comrade tells Martin of a job that might suit him so he heads off to Devon where he’ll work for Mr Godley – a man who lives in a quiet spot and has very little human contact, and initally scares Martin with his appearance and behaviour.

Martin is in awe of Mr Godley’s car – a much loved Phantom that is his pride and joy and the pair of them take drives together which allows them time to chat and get to know more about one another – their pasts are never too far away from their thoughts.

The dark undertones are clear throughout in this book – there’s always something feeling not quite right about certain situations, and the flashbacks Martin suffers also add to the unsettling feeling. I loved how the author left certain things down to your interpretation, and with the ghostly character being introduced the story then takes on a whole new feel and the police investigation becomes the main feature.

A very clever and unsettling story which was beautifully staged and stays with you!

★★★★