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An absolutely riveting, heart-rending read, that I got through in one afternoon. Totally gets into the mind of young children - the pleasure for the bully and the inescapable torment for the victim - mocked if he is seen to cry, disbelieved by his elders...
When 11 year old Charles Kingshaw and his widowed mother go to live and keep house for wealthy Mr Hooper and his similarly aged son, it seems (to the adults) an ideal arrangement. But young Edmund Hooper's relentless mental bullying of this boy he sees as an intruder is brilliantly depicted. I started this thinking it was well written but couldn't quite see how it justified being a GCSE text - but as I got further into it, this became very evident. Fantastic read.
I usually turn to Susan Hill for my winter fix of ghosts and misty country settings, so his was a definite departure from the norm. It was however horrifying for different reasons, in that I've never felt so horribly towards a fictional character before. I'm The King Of The Castle is about a little boy and his mother moving to a big house occupied by another little boy and his father. Without giving much more away one boy torments the other with an awful outcome. It highlights the world of children in a way I never would have considered before, but is actually still so relevant today. I felt so upset when I reached the end. If you have enjoyed her other works, read this. If you haven't but want a challenging read, then this is your book.
I found this book very thought provoking, not in quite the same mould as all the other Susan Hill books I have read. The relationship between the two boys is very disturbing and seems to drag you into their world. I can understand the comments Susan Hill makes when she says that some people hate it ( a bit like Marmite) and others like it. You can almost picture the parents and feel their desparation at their unhappy and unfulfilled lives, and their inadequate feelings for themselves and their respective children. The ending is one of those things that you should have seen coming but pretended something better was going to happen. It is in my oppinion a well written book even though it wasn't what I expected.
As an avid fan of Susan Hill books, I was sorely disappointed by this offering. The kindle version is littered with spelling and grammatical errors which make it virtually impossible to read. The proof reader could not even remember the names of the principal characters. Apart from that, the book was boring and repetitive. It consisted of two small boys bullying each other, and adults simply assuming that all children should be friends if they are the same age.
This is a fantastic book but I do not know how it was transferred into ebook format. It is absolutely riddled with mistakes from start to finish. A monkey with a typewriter could have done a better job.
I have thoroughly enjoyed most of Susan Hills work but this book was quite disturbing. I purchased the Kindle copy and was irritated by the end with the number of typographical errors I encountered. Would I encourage others to buy this book. . . probably not.
I have enjoyed this book although I found it sometimes hard to follow the dialogue. This especially true where there is a run of sentences. You can't always tell who said what. But all the same a most moving and believable story. Thank youSusan