Revolver by Marcus Sedgwick
  

Revolver

Written by Marcus Sedgwick

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Shortlisted for the Guardian Children’s Fiction Prize 2009

A tense, psychological drama set in the snowy wilderness of the Arctic Circle, where a boy confronts a stranger who has come to take revenge on his dead father. Gripping from the start it brings into sharp-focus decisions that 15 year-old Sig must make; decisions that could mean life or death, both for him and his remaining family.

Synopsis

Revolver by Marcus Sedgwick

1910. A cabin north of the Arctic Circle. Fifteen year old Sig Anderson is alone. Alone, except for the corpse of his father, who died earlier that day after falling through a weak spot on the ice-covered lake. His sister, Anna, and step-mother, Nadya, have gone to the local town for help.

Then comes a knock at the door. A man with a gun at his hip. As Sig learns the truth about his father and this man he realises he has a choice and his mind his drawn to that of his father's prized possession locked in a box in the storeroom. A revolver and to use it or not....

Reviews

Quality storytelling in this chilling Nordic thriller, tautly plotted with a clever twist. -- THE BOOKSELLER Fiona Noble A tense, psychological drama set in the snowy wilderness of the Arctic Circle... Gripping from the start it brings into sharp-focus decisions that 15 year-old Sig must make; decisions that could mean life or death, both for him and his remaining family. -- Julia Eccleshare LOVEREADING4KIDS Densely written and chilling in every sense of the word, Revolver is a rare little gem for teens and adults alike. THEBOOKBAG It is an account of the power of weaponry to level a playing field, which is something you don't often think about, but it is also a punchily written, first-rate action story -- Toby Clements THE TELEGRAPH this novel of only 167 pages is packed with more excitement and wisdom than many twice the length, and is one of my top recommendations for boys of 10+ this year -- Amanda Craig THE TIMES From the opening scene to the final, heart-stopping climax of this tense, edge-of-seat thriller the suspense is palpable when an avenging stranger with gold lust forces Sig to do the unthinkable. Truly electrifying and unforgettable. THE ROAR Brilliantly written characters, vivid locations and a deep and powerful story make Revolver a book not to be missed. It might be a quick read, but it's one that you won't forget in a hurry, and it's one that I'll be revisiting in the future. Highly recommended. WONDROUS READS BLOG The haunting atmosphere of the desolate Arctic Circle setting is a character in itself in this beautifully crafted thriller. -- Lindsey Stainer BOOKSELLER BUYERS GUIDE The pillars on which Sedgwick builds his work are meticulous research about weaponry, evocative language about this desolate landscape and the skilful balancing of contradictory arguments. The measure of the achievement is that these linguistic and dialectical skills merge into a whole that continuously sustains the reader's interest, a remarkable achievement. BOOKS FOR KEEPS Don't be misled by the slim size of this book - inside it crackles with more razor-sharp tension and tightly coiled plotting than books twice its length. Fourteen-year-old Sig finds his father frozen to death on the icy Arctic lake outside their cabin just before a violent stranger arrives with the disturbing truth about Sig's father's past. All Sig has to defend himself with is the old revolver his father gave him - but is it the answer, or will using it destroy his own values? -- Sally Morris DAILY MAIL (cont) How will he survive now that his sense of right and wrong has been challenged? Bang on target. -- Sally Morris DAILY MAIL Fra from being just a thrilling story of a young man's brutal and revelatory rite of passage, this is a tale of our times... one of conflicting ethics, moral mazes and learning to make your own choices -- Pam Norfolk LANCASHIRE EVENING POST Revolver is a very short book, which may be welcome to some readers after the huge final tomes of Harry Potter and the hundreds of pages of Patrick Ness. But it's not slight: the issue of whether violence is ever unavoidable is both topical and difficult, and this deceptively simple story raises enormous questions. -- Mary Hoffman THE GUARDIAN This book has done something important for me. And it has done it in a way so utterly and compellingly convincing that I shall henceforth consider Marcus Sedgwick a writer of the very highest order...This book should be on the shortlist of each and every fiction prize of the coming year, and that includes adult lists, because the story it tells is entirely unpatronising. -- Michael Thorn ACHUKA If any book deserves to have 'crossover

. -- Michael Thorn ACHUKA Revolver is an intensely atmospheric novel in a frozen landscape and this a desperate situation that keeps you gripped to the last murderous moment. Highly recommended... -- Sam North HACKWRITERS.COM brutal, terrifying story IRISH INDEPENDENT Marcus Sedgwick's REVOLVER is a slim volume and a quick read but don't let that fool you. The plot is so tightly coiled inside it feels as though the whole book could explode with one careless flip of the page. -- Keith Gray THE SCOTSMAN

About the Author

Marcus Sedgwick

One of the World Book Day 2015 Authors Marcus was our Guest Editor in July 2010. Click here to see all his selections.

Marcus began to write seriously in 1994, and his first book, Floodland, was published by Orion in 2000, and won the Branford-Boase award for best debut children's novel. Witch Hill followed in 2001, and was nominated for an Edgar Allan Poe Award.

The Kiss of Death was published in paperback in April 2009, and picked up a thread from his highly acclaimed My Swordhand is Singing (winner of the 2007 Booktrust Teenage Book Award). In between came what Marcus calls “my big one - a project I've been working on for so long my head hurts.” – Blood Red Snow White, which was first published to considerable acclaim in 2007.

2009 saw Marcus turn his attention to books for younger readers with the launch of a humorous new series: The Raven Mysteries, narrated by a grumpy raven, Edgar. Titles are Flood and Fang, Ghosts and Gadgets and Lunatics and Luck. The sixth book in the series, Creepy Caves, will be published in paperback in February 2015.

Marcus Sedgwick won the Branford Boase Award in 2001 with his debut novel, FLOODLAND. In 2007 MY SWORDHAND IS SINGING won the Booktrust Teenage Prize, and in 2011 LUNATICS AND LUCK won a Blue Peter Book Award. Marcus has been shortlisted for the CILIP Carnegie Medal six times. Marcus lives in Taninges, France.

In his spare time, he is also a stone carver and wood engraver and illustrates all his novels! Finally Marcus is also a drummer, and at the moment he plays in two bands: visit www.garrett-music.tv, and www.internationalbandofmystery.com to find out more.

Q&A with Marcus Sedgwick

Many of your novels are inspired by history and by myth and legend - have these areas always been a fascination of yours since childhood and if so how did this passion come about?

I love music, both listening to it and playing it (I'm a drummer). A day without music is not a proper day... I also love travel and try to travel as much as I can manage.

It was a single line, the first line in the book in fact. I'd had it for ages but didn't know where I was going to use it until the character of Edgar came along: "I suspect I may have fleas again".

Absolutely, and it was great fun. After writing a few hardcore goth books, it was great to let my hair down with these stories. And it gave me fresh impetus to go back to the next YA novel, Revolver, with renewed determination to be gloomy!

I write at the weekends, and mostly in the study in my loft, but also sometimes I travel to write - eg much of Revolver was written on trips to Sweden.

I started to write as a teenager a bit, but properly when I was in my mid-twenties. It took a few years to think it might actually happen!

The most important thing is to know your market! Who do you think your book is going to be read by? What else is out there that's like it? Are you writing something that will sell?

It varies from book to book but it's not a chore as I love to do research. It's easier than actually writing the things! For Revolver, the research spanned about 16 months, of little trips here and there and lots and lots of reading!

What was your inspiration for Revolver ?

Finding an empty shell casing on the pavement in St Petersburg. It was a long way from there to the finished book but that was the start of it.

What was your favourite book as a teenager?

Without question, the Gormenghast trilogy by Mervyn Peake.

If you got into Doctor Who’s tardis, where (or when) would you go?
Great question, impossible to answer. So many amazing things to go and see – the building of the pyramids, a Viking boat putting out to sea, Man Utd winning the European Championship in 1968…

Who would you choose to be if you could be a celebrity for the day?

Matt Bellamy on any day with a gig.

If you were invisible for a day what would you do?

I’m invisible most days, so nothing much would change.

1 - I have an embarrassing middle name, but I'm not going to tell you what it is
2 - I am learning Swedish
3 - As well as playing the drums, I play bass guitar
4 - My grandfather invented the hydraulic tipper truck
5 - I have a pet raven called Edgar, though he doesn’t say much, eat much, or indeed, move much. There’s a possibility that he’s stuffed, I guess.
6 - I’m extraordinarily sleepy right now.
7 - I represented England (Juniors) at Fencing.
8 - I totally love football.
9 - I'm allergic to red peppers
10 - I believe there is only one radio or TV station worth listening to: Radio 3.

Author photo © Kate Christer

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Book Info

Format

Hardback
224 pages
Interest Age: From 12

Author

Marcus Sedgwick
More books by Marcus Sedgwick

Author's Website

www.marcussedgwick.com/

Author's Facebook Latest

Publisher

Orion Publishing Co

Publication date

16th July 2009

ISBN

9781842551868

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