Read Is by Joan Aiken Free Online
Book Title: Is|
The author of the book: Joan Aiken
Edition: Red Fox
Date of issue: June 27th 1993
ISBN 13: 9780099109211
Format files: PDF
The size of the: 2.39 MB
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Reader ratings: 4.7
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I love the Edward Gorey cover. Aiken and Gorey go together perfectly well. Aiken and Gorey sounds like the name of some sort of weird and gothic medical drama, sort of like House, if House investigated talking warts and haemogoblins and phantom limbs where you have an extra pair of hands doing unimaginable things you can feel but not see.
Is, half-sister of Dido, embarks on an adventure all her own, a particularly dark one as the children of London have been lured to the new kingdom set up in the north of England where they are enslaved and forced to work in mines and foundries, dying, as the book makes clear, at an appalling rate. True to form, the arch-villain turns out to be another Twite, Is' uncle, Roy, who has set himself up as king of an industrial underground nation, busily building up his army so he he can march south and gain more.
A lot of this seems oddly archaic nowadays. The heroine is small of stature, barely educated, but smart, indomitable and fundamentally decent - so she doesn't go around kung fu-ing bad guys and dispensing rough justice. There are also quite a few coincidences in the book forwarding the plot, which wouldn't be tolerated in a modern, tightly plotted, everything-must-have-a-reason novel. Aiken is less concerned in the versimilitude of her plot mechanics than in just getting on with the story, and who is to say she's wrong? I noted the coincidences and then moved on because I cared more about the story than the plot, too.
I really enjoyed Is, and I know there's another Is book before getting back to Dido and Simon, and I'm very much looking forward to it.
Aiken and Gorey. For when your medical problems got problems. Peculiar problems.
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Read information about the authorJoan Aiken was a much loved English writer who received the MBE for services to Children's Literature. She was known as a writer of wild fantasy, Gothic novels and unforgettable short stories.
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Her most famous classic, THE WOLVES OF WILLOUGHBY CHASE has been in print for over 50 years with an AUDIO recorded by her daughter Lizza.
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Follow THE JOAN AIKEN BLOG at http://joanaiken.wordpress.com/
For Joan's life and full Bibliography visit http://www.joanaiken.com/
Joan's Life in brief:
She was born in Rye, East Sussex, into a family of writers, including her father, Conrad Aiken (who won a Pulitzer Prize for his poetry), and her sister, Jane Aiken Hodge.
She worked for the United Nations Information Office during the second world war,and then as an editor and freelance on Argosy magazine before she started writing full time, mainly children's books and thrillers. For her books she received the Guardian Award (1969) and the Edgar Allan Poe Award (1972).
Her most popular series, the "Wolves Chronicles" which began with 'The Wolves of Willoughby Chase', was set in an elaborate alternate period of history in a Britain in which James II was never deposed in the Glorious Revolution,and so supporters of the House of Hanover continually plot to overthrow the Stuart Kings. These books also feature cockney urchin heroine Dido Twite and her adventures and travels all over the world.
Another series of children's books about Arabel and her raven Mortimer are illustrated by Quentin Blake, and have been shown on the BBC as Jackanory and drama series. Others including the much loved 'Necklace of Raindrops' and award winning 'Kingdom Under the Sea' are illustrated by Jan Pieńkowski.
Her many novels for adults include several that continue or complement novels by Jane Austen. These include 'Mansfield Revisited' and 'Jane Fairfax'.
Aiken was a lifelong fan of ghost stories. She set her adult supernatural novel The Haunting Of Lamb House at Lamb House in Rye (now a National Trust property). This ghost story recounts in fictional form an alleged haunting experienced by two former residents of the house, Henry James and E. F. Benson, both of whom also wrote ghost stories. Aiken's father, Conrad Aiken, also authored a small number of notable ghost stories.
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