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Amberville This is one of the top five weirdest books I have ever read It takes place in a world of stuffed animals but that has both almost no bearing on the story and is key to the main plot What I mean is that it's never revealed that actually they're toys in a toystore or a messed up version of the 100 Acre Woods The fact that they are stuffed animals is not part of some plot twist The thought that it might be a twist kept distracting me the entire time trying to find out the clue But at the same time the entire plot of the book which in a way I don't wish to spoil revolves around life and death depends entirely upon the fact that as stuffed animals they can't be killed in the ways that we canContributing to the strangeness of the book is the fact that it shifts from omniscient 3rd person to first person POVs in various chapters Two main characters are always in first person and a few auxiliary characters are in first person But the bulk of the main protagonists have 3rd person omniscient POVs Part of the trick there is that it's generally assumed that 3rd person narratives are reliable narrators But it eventually becomes clear that some of the first person chapters are unreliable narrators And the reasons for the unreliability are uite varied Speaking of which the narrative winds back and forth between the present and past filling in little details here in there and eventually revealing an almost Fight Club level twist partway through the book It's a meditation on the lies we tell others and the lies we tell ourselves It considers whether there is redemption or whether people are just evil or good Church and state and power are examined Hero worship It's a dense book for so strange a premise that I thought would be mined for humor If you want something different; perhaps something Weird as in the genre you should give this a shot And push through the seemingly cookie cutter ish first few chapters until it flips you around and makes you start uestioning everything I was a little disappointed in this oneIt has a great concept a really neat conceit to use the phrase I like to use A sordid city full of stuffies come to life a noir vision of love and betrayal where Eric a tough talking teddy bear and Emma the bunny who is his sometimes disturbingly aloof lady love can make a life together in Amberville one of the four color coded uadrants of Mollisan Town at least until the even tougher talking gangster Nicholas Dove comes with his two gorillas one of them bright red to advance a proposition that Eric dare not refuse ButBut it didn't really grab me The prose just seemed stolid its short sentences choppy and rigid instead of laconic and punchy like a good two fisted detective novel This might be an issue with the translation—I discovered after finishing that this book was translated from Swedish But also while the initial idea was great and there were occasional flashes of brilliance in how it was executed I'm thinking in particular of a scene involving an effective if gruesome method of intimidating a bunch of cotton stuffed toughs the parts never seemed to hang together very well—I never really got a sense of scale of the size of the stuffed animals in relation to their city nor did I get that feeling of yes I would never have thought of it but this is how it must be which comes from a well constructed fantasy world with its own strong internal consistencyTake the very name Amberville for example it doesn't seem to have any significance beyond being a way to separate Mollisan Town's neighborhoods And if there is any intentional connection between Mollisan's four color coded uadrants and the four colors of the Land of Oz it is never made at all clear There are parts here that are brilliant parts that are fascinating but they just don't add up to a coherent wholeI won't say this is a bad book and I'm sure it'll find its niche among people who are hungry for this sort of experiment I just didn't get what I wanted out of it Eric now an adult and a successful advertising executive has been successful in putting his reckless and somewhat criminal youthful indiscretions behind him At least that's what he thought But then the local kingpin he once worked for shows up with a non negotiable proposition Find the hit list that his name is rud to be on and remove it from the list Otherwise he will kill Eric's girlfriend Now Eric must get the old gang back together and track down the Death List at any costA compelling and straight forward plot The big twist? Eric the crime boss and all of the other characters in the book are stuffed animals They live in a world completely populated by stuffed animals in which the young and old are delivered and taken away by pick up trucks It is definitely an interesting plot twist But is it necessary?The idea isn't completely original The Hollow Chocolate Bunnies of the Apocalypse Who Framed Roger Rabbit? The Big Over Easy A Nursery Crime Meet the Feebles but that doesn't mean it isn't good It just means that the author might want to approach the concept from an original angleTim Davys does but he unfortunately decides to play it straight The idea of stuffed animals in a detective mystery novel begs for plenty of sarcastic tongue in cheek humor but Amberville avoids silly humor and instead relies on the subtle absurdities a small stuffed dove as a crime kingpin for example to deliver the humor on their own which they never really manage to do Even the author's approach to the way characters are named in Amberville simply a first name followed by the type of stuffed animal they are shows a lack of desire to truly have fun with the concept In short things that should be comical or farcical are just as boring as they would be in the real worldThe result is a story that could easily be translated into a realistic non fantasy setting and written as a straight hardboiled noir novel Amberville doesn't necessarily fail at making the concept work it just doesn't fully convince the reader that fantastical setting was crucial to the storyAmberville is supposed to reveal truths about human nature morality religion and the concepts of good and evil by having stuffed animals act out the scenarios in which these philosophical debates occur This is where the book does fail much in the same way that White Man's Burden failed Changing reality in some ironic or absurd way might seem deep and meaningful at first But unless there are other connections on multiple levels all that you are left with is an overused gimmickAmberville is a good book It has a compelling story interesting characters and enough twists and turns to keep a mystery lover interested until the end It just doesn't uite manage to be what it wanted to be and that's what keeps it from being a great book Well this is uite an oddity – a noir thriller with a cast of stuffed animals The story goes like this Eric Bear has a happy life married to the beautiful Emma Rabbit and with a good job in advertising But in his past Eric was involved with some shady characters one of whom now comes calling – Nicholas Dove who has heard that his name is on the Death List which means if the tales are to be believed that the Chauffeurs will shortly come to escort him on the ultimate one way journey Dove demands that Eric find the Death List and get his name removed from it or Emma will be the one who pays the price The job should be straightforward enough because the Death List is just a fable; but Eric gets his old gang back together all the same – and of course the truth proves complicated than anyone thoughtSo this Scandinavian crime novel the author is Swedish; ‘Tim Davys’ is a pseudonym is far from the norm and could have been ridiculous – but it’s not What is perhaps most striking about Amberville is that Davys tells his tale with a completely straight face; one might laugh briefly at the thought of say a stuffed dove walking around with two stuffed gorillas for heavies but not for very long because it’s not funny at all in the context of the story – it’s deadly serious Davys creates his world with such integrity that one can’t help but take it seriously His control of voice is also superb switching between different characters whose voices are all distinctive no matter how brief their turn at narration and here I must also acknowledge Paul Norlen’s excellent work as translatorDriving the plot of Amberville is a mystery – is there a Death List and if so who’s behind it? – which is deeper for reader s than it is for the characters because we have uestions to ask what is this place Mollisan Town inhabited by walking talking living stuffed animals? What goes on behind the scenes to make it all work the inhabitants of Mollisan Town know that the young animals are manufactured somewhere and delivered to the city in vans but no one thinks to uestion any further?Well Amberville is the first novel in a series though that’s not clear from the edition I was reading so the answers aren’t all forthcoming here That’s not a problem in itself but I do think it has a knock on effect – it seems to me that the major revelations for this volume are made some time before the end leaving the rest of the book to be mostly i dotting and t crossing which feels somewhat anti climactic This is unfortunate because most of the rest of Amberville is pacy and engaging with an added helping of speculation about the nature of good and evil courtesy of Eric’s brother TeddyMy misgivings about the conclusion of Amberville make me feel a little less inclined to find out where Davys takes his series; but the momentum of the earlier parts of the book is considerable It’s worth a look I think Someone claimed that this book maybe a mixture of The Big Sleep by Raymond Chandler and Animal Farm by George Orwell I really doubt Amberville tries to be a lot of things It is a gritty gangster drama a fantasy world of stuffed animals living human like lives and a allegory about good and evil For the most part it is entertaining in a dark Animal Farm way Yet the author is simply doing too much in one tale It is even uestionable whether this particular story benefits at all from placing it in a fantasy setting I liked it but eventually became annoyed with it Essentially it is a clever gimmick that simply didn't pan out two and a half stars Um policial delicioso passado numa cidade povoada por animais de peluche Eric Urso julga ter escapado ao seu passado Executivo bem sucedido na mais prestigiosa agência de publicidade de Mollisan Town com um casamento feliz com Emma Coelha uma linda pintora julga se a anos luz do seu passado de consumidor de drogas e jogador no Casino Monokowski uartel general do patrão do submundo Nicolau Pombo Mas Eric Urso não está tão longe desses dias como pensa e uando o Pombo acompanhado pelos seus gorilas vem à procura dele uerendo ue execute um último trabalho Eric não tem escolha O Pombo ouviu dizer ue o seu nome está na Lista de Mortos e uer ue ele o risue de lá Se não o fizer os dias da sua adorada Emma estão contados Eric não tem outra hipótese senão fazer o ue ele manda O problema é ue ninguém sabe se a Lista de Mortos existe realmente De ualuer modo Eric reúne o seu antigo grupo – Sam Gazela um prostituto sádico Tom Tom Corvo dócil mas perigoso e Cobra Marek velhaco e ambicioso – e juntos partem à procura da mítica lista O ue acontece a seguir vai mudar para sempre a visão ue Eric tem da sua vida da sua família e da sua cidade e ensinar lhe ue nada neste mundo é exactamente o ue parece A fictional book about fur animals that have a life of their own they live in a big city divided into four uarters animals are married workers and do all kinds of things that we humans do The story intertwined with tension and mostly told from a pair of bears twins It's strange when it comes from me writing this but this book highly recommended I came to this book in a unusual way My first novel The Terror and the Tortoiseshell about a world which has been taken over by mutated animals was reviewed by Publishers Weekly and in its summation mentioned that my book bore superficial similarities to Amberville a book about stuffed toy animals The review also said my book was the better of the two To say I was intrigued is putting it mildlySo what kind of book is Amberville? A damn hard one to classify If you go by some of the uotes then it's a crime novel Only I'd say this isn't true It starts like that kind of but in the end becomes a book about good and evil and making the right choices with uite a strong religious slant to it And stuffed toy animals The thing is the way the book has been written I think it could as easily have been told without them a lot could have been done with these characters and I wonder whether some of the power of the story has been lost in the translation with some of the phrasing being below par Another problem is the general pace of the book which is pretty much the same the whole way through Having said that I enjoyed the book but felt that there was a better one in there trying to get outBut negatives aside I'd recommend this book to anyone who wants something than a bit different as the central ideas are intriguing it would make a cracking animated film if somebody like the uay brothers could get hold of it and the book takes you into places you really wouldn't expect or even think possible somehow despite its failings it works It also contains perhaps the best line I've ever read in my life He challenged the baboons to a duelI've just found out that Amberville is only the first book in a series of four I shall certainly be hunting out the other books in the seriesThree and a half stars Amberville part 3 of Tim Davys' Mollisan Town uartet is a slightly offbeat mildly disturbing thought provoking entertaining read It touches on the nature of life and death mistaken identity law and order and good and evil all viewed through the perspective of stuffed animalsYes you read that right Stuffed animals Mollisan Town is populated with stuffed animals of varying moral alignments from the holy penguin Archdeacon Odenkirk to the malicious gangster Nicholas DoveEric Bear former mob enforcer now a successful ad exec and devoted husband is asked to do a favor for his former employer the aforementioned Nicholas Dove locate the Death List a roster of all the stuffed animals slated to die on a particular day and remove his name from it or suffer the death of his beloved Emma Rabbit The problem is no one knows if the Death List actualy even exists much less where it is or how to remove a name Eric assembles his old crew from the old days the hulking yet sweet Tom Tom Crow the effete Sam Gazelle and the dispassionate Snake Marek and the foursome search Mollisan Town high and low for leads on this Death List Along the way we see interludes about the characters' seedy past especially one concerning a case of mistaken identity Amberville is shockingly adult in stark contrast to the idea of the characters being stuffed toys There's drinking smoking drug use and sex all over this book and on several occasions you forget you're reading a book about stuffed animals It is imaginative and wildly fun and I honestly can't help but to recommend it8 out of 10

  • Paperback
  • 335 pages
  • Amberville
  • Tim Davys
  • Portuguese
  • 02 July 2016
  • 9789722041317

About the Author: Tim Davys

Tim Davys is the pseudonym for a well known Swedish public figure and Amberville is his or her first novelA dark and stormy nightI was born in a country far far away Before the age of 20 I never read a book Comic books magazines and movies taught me how to tell a story I studied literature got a job found a wife and bought a dog I studied psychology got another job held on to the w