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Revolver by Marcus Sedgwick
  

Revolver

Marcus Sedgwick

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Shortlisted for the prestigious Teenage Book Prize 2010.

Shortlisted for the CILIP Carnegie Medal 2010, the Independent Booksellers' Book Prize 2010 and 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.

A message from the publisher:

A true coming of age story set in the snowy wastes of the Arctic with an intriguing question and a stark choice at its very heart. Read it, and think about for a long time afterwards…

The shortlisted titles for the 2010 Independent Booksellers' Award were:

Running Wild by Michael Morpurgo

Dog Loves Books by Louise Yates

Auslander by Paul Dowswell

Dogs by Emily Gravett

The Unfinished Angel by Sharon Creech

Henderson’s Boys: The Escape by Robert Muchamore

Ostrich Boys by Keith Gray

What’s for Dinner Mr Gum? by Andy Stanton

Cosmic by Frank Cottrell Boyce

The Last Leopard by Lauren St John

Revolver by Marcus Sedgwick

The Silver Blade by Sally Gardner

The Teenage Book Prize 2010 shortlist:

Halo - Zizou Corder


Nobody's Girl - Sarra Manning


The Enemy - Charlie Higson

Revolver - Marcus Sedgwick

Out of Shadows - Jason Wallace

Unhooking the Moon - Gregory Hughes

Synopsis

Revolver by Marcus Sedgwick

CILIP CARNEGIE Medal SHORTLIST 2010: Judges’ comments

A sparse, taut and claustrophobic story that really pulls you in and makes the reader inhabit its bleak environment. From its fantastic opening line to the twist at the end, nothing is wasted in this visually arresting book which covers some big moral questions despite its short length.

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

a powerful thriller... Tense, thought-provoking and original. -- Emma Lee Potter * DAILY EXPRESS * An outstanding psychological thriller about the Arctic gold rush -- Fiona Noble * THE BOOKSELLER * ?one of the finest and best-constructed page turners of the year? Tense, succinct, evocative and ingenious, and one to haunt you long after the summer is over? -- Nicolette Jones * THE SUNDAY TIMES * The bleak setting and ominous circumstances will draw immediate comparisons to a Jack London tale, but in a more accessible, spare style. Reluctant readers will be riveted by the suspense and the short chapters. * SCHOOL LIBRARY JOURNAL, STARRED REVIEW * REVOLVER crackles with more razor-sharp tension and tightly coiled plotting than books twice its length * THE DAILY MAIL * A memorable tale, one that will appeal to fans of Gary Paulsen, Jack London, and even Cormac McCarthy. * THE HORN BOOK, STARRED REVIEW * An elegant, brilliantly executed tale... This novel of only 167 pages is packed with more excitement and wisdom than many twice its length. * THE TIMES * Sedgwick lures his readers into deeper thinking while they savor this thrillingly told tale. * PUBLISHERS WEEKLY, STARRED REVIEW * A chilling, atmospheric story that will haunt readers with its descriptions of desolate terrain and Sig's difficult decisions. * KIRKUS REVIEWS, STARRED REVIEW * A gripping thriller * THE GUARDIAN *

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

Paperback
224 pages

Author

Marcus Sedgwick
More books by Marcus Sedgwick

Author's Website

www.marcussedgwick.com/

Author's Facebook Latest

Publisher

Orion Children's Books (an Imprint of The Orion Publishing Company)

Publication date

23rd April 2010

ISBN

9781444000054

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