The Other Hand
By Chris Cleave
Sceptre publishing, 2008
This post is about a book that failed to make the shortlist of the Man Booker list, but I was asked to read it this week, and it took precisely two nights. Nearly 400 pages of prose that transported me to a lifestyle I hadn’t realised existed, in a way that I felt both comfortable reading, but it made uncomfortable reading as well.
I must state at the very beginning that I cannot talk about the plot. As odd as that sounds, I have been asked not to, as you will be if you decide to buy this book. To quote directly from the back cover of my copy is says:
‘We don’t want to tell you what happens in this book. It is a truly special story and we don’t want to spoil it’
That, in itself, is enough to make you want to look inside, and I am sure that you will not be disappointed. It is one of those books that you will sit on the sofa and forget your coffee, lunch and possibly even your children over. It is a bit of a leap of faith to buy a book without knowing even the plot line, but I can assure you that this tale will be one you will not have heard before, and although written in a style that is not new to me, it is an easy flowing, absorbing way to spend hours in a different place.
Rather than exposing the plot to public debate, I am more than looking forward to joining in commentary and debate with any of you that have read it and would like to discuss it further. I will ask a pertinent question at the beginning of the conversation to establish that you are not just fishing for the plot line. I’m sure you will understand.
There are a couple of issues I have with the book so therefore...
BookerBookBloke verdict: 9/10
Why not try one of my short tales at: