The Crane Wife

Patrick Ness

The Crane Wife

One night, George Duncan - decent man, a good man - is woken by a noise in his garden. Impossibly, a great white crane has tumbled to earth, shot through its wing by an arrow. Unexpectedly moved, George helps the bird, and from the moment he watches it fly off, his life is transformed.

The next day, a kind but enigmatic woman walks into George's shop. Suddenly a new world opens up for George, and one night she starts to tell him the most extraordinary story. 3.7 out of 5 based on 6 reviews

The Crane Wife

Omniscore:

Classification Fiction
Genre General Fiction
Format Hardcover
Pages 320
RRP
Date of Publication April 2013
ISBN 978-0857868718
Publisher Canongate
 

One night, George Duncan - decent man, a good man - is woken by a noise in his garden. Impossibly, a great white crane has tumbled to earth, shot through its wing by an arrow. Unexpectedly moved, George helps the bird, and from the moment he watches it fly off, his life is transformed.

The next day, a kind but enigmatic woman walks into George's shop. Suddenly a new world opens up for George, and one night she starts to tell him the most extraordinary story.

A Monster Calls by Patrick Ness.

Reviews

The Independent

Leyla Sanai

The novel is not excessively spiritual or New-Agey: the sections grounded in realism are enthralling and delightful. George's daughter Amanda is a wonderful creation, a profanity-spouting divorcee whose tough exterior is a protective carapace. Her work colleague Rachel is deliciously bitchy and manipulative. George's assistant, the feckless but likeable Mehmet, is an unwitting source of humour.

20/04/2013

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The Literary Review

Jake Kerridge

Connoisseurs of folktales will recognise the plot of the traditional Japanese story of the crane wife, in which a man finds love after saving the life of a bird; they will know, too, that the story ends with the man betraying his wife's trust by spying on her … It is rare to read a fictional reworking of a myth that doesn't simplify its source, that can do what myths do and convey a truth that the reader responds to but cannot necessarily define. The Crane Wife succeeds in this, which is why it is truly a book for grown-ups.

01/04/2013

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The Observer

Ben East

Naturally the story relies on coincidence and a suspension of disbelief but what's striking is the beauty and humanity of Ness's writing.

21/04/2013

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The Times

Kate Saunders

… a fusion of mid-life crisis comedy and classic storytelling.

30/03/2013

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The Financial Times

Michael Prodger

While there are some borderline drippy sentiments here and there, Ness is a highly accomplished storyteller and the gravitational pull of the earthbound strand of his tale is strong enough to stop it from floating off into whimsy. He also has a rare ability to cut poignancy with humour.

26/04/2013

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The Guardian

Ursula K Le Guin

The tremendous effect of the sliced-up-book-and-feather artworks on everyone's emotions isn't made very believable, and the passages where deep mythic chords are struck ring less true than the scenes having to do with ordinary London life. The merely human characters are vivid and likeable, the story is lively and often quite funny.

20/04/2013

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