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Ambervilleby Tim Davys
Synopses & Reviews
What does it mean to be bad?
Eric Bear has it all: a successful career, a beautiful wife, a blissful home. He knows he's been lucky; a while back, his life revolved around drugs, gambling, a gang of stuffed-animal thugs, and notorious crime boss Nicholas Dove.
But the past isn't as far away as Eric had hoped. Rumors are swirling that Dove is on the Death List and that he wants Eric to save him. If Eric fails to act, his beloved wife, Emma Rabbit, will be torn apart, limb by limb.
With a nod to the best of noir and the wisest of allegories, and interlaced with greed and gangsters, Amberville depicts an alternate world that mirrors our own realities and moral concerns, and reminds us of the inextricable link between good and evil.
"Those with an appetite for the bizarre will best appreciate the pseudonymous Davys's offbeat debut, set entirely in a town inhabited by living, breathing stuffed animals. Everyone in Mollisan Town fears the Death List, the legendary roster of residents designated for pickup by the Chauffeurs, from whose red pickup truck no one returns. When word that mob boss Nicholas Dove (yes, a stuffed bird) has been placed on the list, he coerces Eric Bear into helping him escape his fate. Bear, who's put his shady past behind him and turned to a career in advertising, goes in search of answers. The backbiting and betrayal would certainly be at home in a conventional hard-boiled crime novel, but some readers may feel the premise's novelty wears thin after a while. Passages of clunky translation don't help ('From being a suspect rat who through her mere presence transformed the individuals around the conference table to normalcy, here she was in her right element')." Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
When I tell you that Eric is a teddy bear of a guy who doesn't deserve to get sucked back down into the seamy gangster underworld of his youth, I'm being literal: He's an actual teddy bear. The kind you slept with as a toddler. And because he's married to a hot stuffed rabbit under threat from a merciless dove, he's forced to hook up with his old gang: a victimized crow who has turned to embroidery,... Washington Post Book Review (read the entire Washington Post review) a drug-addicted gazelle working in the sex trade, and a snake who's a corrupt government bureaucrat. Stuffed animals all. Weird? Obviously. But oddly gripping and convincing. Amberville, (Harper, $19.99) originally published in Swedish, is the first novel by the pseudonymous Tim Davys. It's a brutal tale, much of which takes place in a desperate ghetto. This is hard to get your mind around when the thugs you read about pass for toys in our world. For instance, when Eric is getting roughed up by the dove's henchmen, "he coughed, not seeing the cotton coming out of his mouth." Should you flinch? Laugh? Both? There's more than stuffing here, though, including questions of good versus evil, life versus death, and sanity versus insanity. Skip that evening Scotch and read this one stone-cold sober — it's plenty trippy as is. Reviewed by Claudia Deane, Washington Post Book World (Copyright 2006 Washington Post Book World Service/Washington Post Writers Group)
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"[A] delightful mystery-thriller set in a city populated by stuffed animals." San Francisco Chronicle
"[A] unique and clever take on classic noir." Bookreporter.com
"The publisher describes it as The Big Sleep meets Animal Farm, and, frankly, we cant do better than that." Booklist
"[N]ever for a moment does the story feel like kids stuff." Kirkus Reviews
Already an international sensation, Amberville is a wildly imaginative noir tale with a twist — a thoughtful meditation on good and evil that marks the debut of a visionary new talent.
“Audacious . . . [a] giddy thrill.” — Los Angeles Times
“Weird? Obviously. But oddly gripping and convincing. … Skip that evening Scotch and read this one stone-cold sober—its plenty trippy as is.” — Washington Post
Amberville, Tim Davyss first novel about Mollisan Town and its stuffed animal inhabitants, is both a noir novel with an unusual cast and an utterly original meditation on good and evil. In the words of Brad Meltzer (bestselling author of The Book of Lies), “When youre tired of run-of-the-mill fiction, its time to read Amberville… a mystery thats completely original.”
About the Author
Tim Davys is a pseudonym. He or she is also the author of Lanceheim, the second book in the Mollisan Town quartet, which will be published in summer 2010.
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