Half a Creature from the Sea

By David Almond

Illustrated by Eleanor Taylor

An anthology of dark, powerful and moving short stories from a master storyteller and Hans Christian Andersen Award winning author, inspired by his childhood in the north-east of England.

A diverse collection of stories from the author of the internationally award-winning Skellig, deftly interwoven with illuminating autobiographical pieces on the inspirations behind the fiction. David Almond says of this unique volume, "Stories on the page are so beautifully neat. All that lovely black print; those lovely straight lines and paragraphs and pages. But stories are living things, creatures that move and grow in the imaginations of writer and reader. They must be solid and touchable, like the land, and must have fluid half-known depths, like the sea. These stories take place in a real world – but in fiction, real worlds merge with dreamed worlds. Real people walk with ghosts and figments. Earthly truth goes hand-in-hand with watery lies."

Categories: Fiction

For readers aged: 10+

  • Publication details:
  • Format: Paperback
  • ISBN: 9781406365597
  • Published: 07 Apr 2016
  • Price: £6.99
  •  
  • Size: 198 x 129 mm
  • Pages: 240

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Customer reviews

Reviews

'This coming of age collections of stories inspired by Almond’s childhood in the north east, which of course is so prevalent through his work.' The Bookseller

'The work of a writer of great power, and a living insight for teenage readers into the power of imagination and the way that stories grow from seed to fruit' The School Librarian

'The autobiographical notes are stories in themselves, encouraging young writers in their reminder that we all have the material for fiction a short memory away. . . As well as the living roots of the stories, the prefaces reveal where, how or why Almond wrote them, and that some have seen many drafts and may never be finished: more encouragement.' Observer

'If anything will encourage teenagers to start writing, it is this superb masterclass in how setting, dialogue and character can convey powerful emotions in a few words.' Daily Mail

'A powerful collection of stories, interleaved by Almond’s memories of the places he grew up in. It’s a meditation on the power of stories . . . extraordinary dreamy atmosphere and lyrical evocation of life by the sea.' Children’s Books Ireland Recommended Read

'An absolute treat . . . he writes sparingly and beautifully. . . fiction to treasure' Books for Keeps

'The tale-behind-the-tale preludes are intriguing—perhaps especially to big fans and those interested in the writing process—but the stories themselves shine brightest here. Taylor's illustrations, sometimes cartoonish, sometimes more abstract and moody, cast the Almondine experience in yet another new light. This is powerful, top-notch storytelling from Almond, who seems himself to be the titular "half a creature from the sea," in that he, as ever, fluidly blends past and future, the living and the dead, the ordinary and the transcendent.' Kirkus Reviews

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