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Summary

Andrew Waggoner has always hung around with his fellow losers at school, desperately hoping each day that the school bullies - led by Drake - will pass by him in search of other prey. But one day they force him into the woods, and the bullying escalates into something more; something unforgivable, something unthinkable. Broken, both physically and emotionally, something dies in Waggoner, and something else is born in its place.

In the hills of the West Country a chalk horse stands vigil over a site of ancient power, and there Waggoner finds in himself a reflection of rage and vengeance, a power and persona to topple those who would bring him low.

©2017 Paul Cornell (P)2017 Dreamscape Media, LLC

What members say

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Utterly brilliant

I made the mistake of beginning this audiobook last thing at night, the evening before a day I'd made a lot of plans for.

So gripping that I listened throughout the night, cancelled everything I'd planned that day.

Thoroughly enjoyed it!

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Not the book I expected.

Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

This is an interesting clash of school life with the old magic of an Alan Garner book. Grange Hill, it is not. You really have no idea of where it is going until you are almost at the end. A compelling read.

What was one of the most memorable moments of Chalk?

The initial incident that sets of the chain of events in this story is horrific and had me cringing while listening to it.

Which scene did you most enjoy?

The scenes with Angie explaining how the number ones question/answer "magic" worked and the Halloween disco ate the end of the book.

If you made a film of this book, what would be the tag line be?

High School the Musical - The British Version (Done right)

Any additional comments?

Having read this book, I think that Paul Cornell needs to be in some form of therapy. I certainly need it now.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars

maybe just not for me

while the narrator does a really good job, he only works with what he's given. The book didn't impress, at least not as a horror book.
I feel it's impossible not to compare it to Carrie, as the themes are similar. The main problem in my opinion is that I found the main character to be very difficult to empathize with. He is an average kid that goes through a traumatic experience, and then gains the means for revenge. However, he keeps acting on most occasions like before the events, or better said, he lacks a coherent reaction through the book, up until the end. If I were to nominate the genre, I would call it dull-horror.

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

Good, but not his best.

Would you consider the audio edition of Chalk to be better than the print version?

This is still a great tale, read beautifully

How would you have changed the story to make it more enjoyable?

There is a little too much focus on a genital injury!

What about Jonathan Broadbent’s performance did you like?

Excellent reading

Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

Paul Cornell avoids predictable story lines and I loved the esoteric story arc throughout. It made sense on a subconscious level but was constantly mystifying otherwise.

Any additional comments?

Good, but not his best. The Wytches of Lychford was fantastic, I would recommend that above this novel.

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    2 out of 5 stars

struggled to finish

was a good book but storyline let it down alittle. could of stop listening halfway through. not for me.

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  • Timothy
  • 27-01-18

Chalk draws a blurry line.

I picked up this book on the recommendation of several Best of horror lists for 2017. Overall I enjoyed the book but i am left feeling a bit underwhelmed. Several reviews touted the brutality that peppers the book but it is evident that Cornell is somewhat out of his element. His sparse prose works well when describing the bleary English countryside but renders what should be horrific moments of violence feel a bit too mundane, with the exception of Andrew's opening disfigurement which will make every reader squirm. Cornell also captures the effects of bullying on both abuser and the victim very well. while several elements did feel a bit too forced--I laughed aloud when it is revealed that one of Andrew's classmates can predict the future using number one radio singles lyrics--the overall surreal atmosphere of the book does pull the reader in very effectively. Worth a read but not for everyone.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful