My Name is Yip: Shortlisted for the Betty Trask Prize

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My Name is Yip: Shortlisted for the Betty Trask Prize

My Name is Yip: Shortlisted for the Betty Trask Prize

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I’m a huge lover of historical fiction and the Midwest has to be one of my fave time periods so I enjoyed being thrown back into it.

This is violent, anarchic American history with echoes of Sebastian Barry's Days Without End, but Paddy Crewe's take is startlingly original. What a marvel this novel by Paddy Crewe is, what an unlooked-for firecracker of fury and beauty and rage and hope.

The story moves briskly, thanks to very short chapters with concise and perfect titles and a plot that barrels along and really picks up speed at the end, taking your heart with it. Parrick, he was not one to waste his words but spoke of my demise as plainly as of some turn in the weather. On the positive side, the chapters are really short, encouraging you to continue despite the lack of action. My Name Is Yip is a tremendous novel, one that both harks back and burns the way forward, that is built of sentences that sing and roar.

I’ve got to say up front this simply wasn’t a book for me, not that there was anything wrong with it. However, the multitude of events and characters painted a colourful and brutal picture of the American Midwest. This novel makes quite a few stylistic choices that will for sure, put some readers off of it entirely. His debut novel My Name is Yip has been shortlisted for the Betty Trask, the Wilbur Smith, a South Bank Sky Arts Awards, and the Society of Authors' First Novel Award, and longlisted for the Walter Scott Prize.The book is not without some mentions of brutality, violence and mutation which reflects the hostility of the time and is definitely not for the faint hearted.

This book tells a story which is both moving and filled with some really emotional moments, and punctuated with a sprinkling of humour, which lighten some of the tougher moments. Set in the early 19th century in the American mid-West, the novel is narrated by Yip Tolroy, who is looking back at his life, writing with three fingers on a slate. It was fun to see how Crewe imagined it almost 200 years earlier, with all modern manifestations removed.

I had thought this book was historical fiction, but it was more of fiction than realistic or historical. Daniel Wiles, author of Mercia's Take * Unforgettable: rich with imagery, distinctive and convincing * The Times 'Best Books To Read This Summer' * Crewe has created a memorable hero - one who cannot speak, but in nonetheless an eloquent voice on the page. Abandoned by his father at birth and brought up by his forceful if loving mother, Yip grows up to be hairless, severely stunted in growth and without the ability to speak. The folksy narrative writing style reminded me of Sebastian Barry’s Days Without End, which I liked, and gave it the same kind of old-timely feel but I just never got into the story itself.

  • Fruugo ID: 258392218-563234582
  • EAN: 764486781913
  • Sold by: Fruugo

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