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The Fire Eaters

Written by David Almond

The Fire Eaters Synopsis

There he was, below the bridge, half-naked, eyes blazing. He had a pair of burning torches. He ran them back and forth across his skin. He sipped from a bottle, breathed across a torch, and fire and fumes leapt from his lips. The air was filled with the scent of paraffin. He breathed again, a great high spreading flag of fire. He glared. He roared like an animal. That summer, life had seemed perfect for Bobby Burns. But now it's autumn and the winds of change are blowing hard. Bobby's dad is mysteriously ill. His new school is a cold and cruel place. And worse: nuclear war may be about to start. But Bobby has a wonder-working friend called Ailsa Spink. And he's found the fire-eater, a devil called McNulty. What can they do together on Bobby's beach? Is it possible to work miracles? Will they be able to transform the world?

The Fire Eaters Press Reviews

David Almond is a fine writer, one of the very finest we have. He is simply incapable of writing a bad sentence. In THE FIRE-EATERS, his sense of place is unerring. ... It is for me David Almond's best book - yes, more compelling than SKELLIG. For this is a complete book, masterful in every aspect. Almond has never been so self-assured... There is the intensity of family life, wonderfully observed and delicately drawn... fear pervades this book, fears we all know, but there is hope too. And we need that. How we need that. -- Michael Morpurgo, Financial Times Magazine 20030628 David Almond's The Fire-Eaters is an exceptional novel. Precisely written, it hauntingly evokes the life of a small community at the time of the Cuban Missile Crisis. -- Lesley Agnew, The Bookseller 20030516 'Once in a while a book comes along that takes over your head and your heart. David Almond's The Fire-Eaters is such a book ... The writing is lyrical and atmospheric and establishes a strong sense of place. The novel engages many emotions and lets you, for a while, live with, and know, this sensitively drawn community.' -- Wendy Cooling, The Bookseller 20030516 'Almond makes familiar issues fresh; his characters are finely drawn and his depiction of place perfectly realised.' -- Julia Eccleshare, The Guardian 20030705 'Written in Almond's very particular style that is both spare and poetic, his powerful evocation of time and place where personal relationships reflect wider issues, will not appeal to thrill-a-minute readers but will engross the more mature 12-year-old plus.' -- Dinah Hall, The Daily Telegraph 20030719 'a tale so marvellously told that it seems a shame to to label it as only for children... Almond is exceptional in his ability to make happiness real, at the same time as suggesting its fragility.' -- Justine Picardie, The Telegraph - Arts section 20030719 'Almond writes as a poet, using rhythm, concrete language and repetition in a manner both earthy and mystical ... Characters are sharply, vividly drawn, from rough, loutish Joseph Connor to bright, independently minded Ailsa Spink, beautifully tough and tender.' -- Toronto Star 20040509 SKELLIG: 'Gripping, beautifully and brilliantly written. Everyone is raving about this unforgettable book.' -- The Sunday Times 20040509 KIT'S WILDERNESS: '...this superb piece of lyrically-written literary fiction captivates children and their parents alike.' -- The Guardian 20040509 HEAVEN EYES: 'David Almond understands the joy and fear of being alive better than most - Heaven Eyes is a mysterious gift of a novel.' -- The Times 20040509 SECRET HEART: 'This gripping book will enrich your soul and fire your imagination.' -- The Daily Telegraph 20040509 'The Fire Eaters was refreshing in its celebration of a loving and functioning family.' -- Catriona Ferguson 20040509

Book Information

ISBN: 9780340773833
Publication date: 15th April 2004
Author: David Almond
Publisher: Hodder Children's Books an imprint of Hachette Children's Group
Format: Paperback / softback
Pagination: 256 pages

About David Almond

David Almond is twice winner of the Whitbread Children's Book Award. His first novel, SKELLIG, won the Whitbread Children's Award and the Carnegie Medal. His second, KIT'S WILDERNESS, won the Smarties Award Silver Medal, was Highly Commended for the Carnegie Medal, and shortlisted for the Guardian Award. THE FIRE-EATERS won the Whitbread, the Smarties Gold Award and was shortlisted for the Carnegie Medal. David is widely regarded as one of the most exciting and innovative children's authors writing today, and his books are bestsellers all over the world. He lives with his family in Northumberland.

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