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Briarpatch

3.94  ·  Rating Details ·  182 Ratings  ·  42 Reviews
Darrin's life has been going downhill ever since his girlfriend Bridget walked out on him without a word of explanation six months ago.

Soon after losing her, he lost his job, and his car, and eventually his enthusiasm for life. He can't imagine things getting worse - until he sees Bridget again, for the first time since she walked out, just moments before she leaps to her
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Paperback, 280 pages
Published September 15th 2011 by ChiZine Publications (first published January 1st 2011)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
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j
Nov 20, 2012 j rated it it was ok
Shelves: audiobooks, 2012
I keep taking a chance on all these low-profile, high concept genre books and I keep coming away disappointed. Shelve this one next to 14 and The World House in the trilogy of books about weird parallel dimensions intersecting with our world, populated by character's whose blandness is matched only by their unlikeability. Populating the books I mean. Not the parallel dimensions. Which are populated nothing as interesting as the jacket copy might lead you to believe.
Steven Klotz
longer review on mentatjack.com, but this is the meat:

The titular briar patch offers us views of very unlikely worlds. Time and presumably other aspects of physics behave differently. Mermaids and Giants and vampires and more that would become central to a more run of the mill novel become part of the scenery. This meta world next door to ours is introduced as a convenient, if dangerous and somewhat eccentric, method for avoiding rush hour traffic. It’s more than that and the scenery makes a poi
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Andrew
Mar 31, 2012 Andrew rated it liked it
“Oh, hell,” Arturo said softly. “This is all new to you? I thought you were, you know, a seasoned traveller, that you just stumbled onto the wrong path. But, what, today, this is your first time in the briarpatch?”

“The briarpatch,” Darrin repeated. “You said that before.”

Arturo nodded. “It’s what some people call, ah, the place, or the whole combination of places, the paths and roads and bridges some people can reach from this world. I dunno what it really is. I’ve heard some people say it’s God
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Bibliotropic
May 11, 2015 Bibliotropic rated it really liked it
The concept of the briarpatch is an interesting one. A parallel world, or series of parallel worlds, that contain the improbable and implausible, tenuously holding to an existence that few can see unaided. Pratt takes the 'alternate world' concept and runs with it in a direction that I don't see done that often. It's noteworthy that he not only did this in a way that is believable, following its own rules and reasons, but also in such a way that still even the experts on the briarpatch don't ...more
Ignacio
Jun 30, 2016 Ignacio rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Tim Pratt desarrolla en esta novela uno de sus temas centrales habituales, la muerte y la pérdida. El autor rescata ideas y argumentos propios de la fantasía clásica y los cuentos de hadas y los revitaliza con mucho oficio.

Asistimos con fascinación a las historias entrecruzadas de varios personajes entre los que destaca Darrin que, tras perder a su novia Bridget, entra en una espiral descendente que le lleva a un estado de desesperación e ira. E Ismael, que busca de una ruta a un mundo mejor, po
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Branwen Sedai *of the White Ajah*
I recieved this book from NetGalley in exchange for my honest review. The Briarpatch is a network of worlds parallel to our own. It is a glimpse of an alleyway out of the corner of your eye that is gone when you turn to look at it. It is the sight of a moonlight colored bridge floating in the sky. It is a pack of wild bears running around that once were people. It is beautiful. It is harrowing. It is the Briarpatch. And for the handful of characters in this story, it's something that will change ...more
Christopher Munroe
Jun 12, 2012 Christopher Munroe rated it it was amazing
Pratt creates a fascinating world just behind our own, then populates it with profoundly damaged characters with contradictory agendas and lets them collide with one another until they're destroyed. A fascinating, compelling read, highly recommended.
Jon
Jan 27, 2012 Jon rated it really liked it
The best thing about Tim's books is that you can reliably expect a satisfying level of weirdness. This one is no exception. A good read.
Christina Vasilevski
Sep 05, 2012 Christina Vasilevski rated it liked it
Shelves: fantasy, 2012
Review originally posted on www.christinavasilevski.com

Darrin's life has taken an awful turn: Within the space of one month, he lost his job, his car, and his girlfriend, Bridget, who walked out of his life with no explanation. Six months later while wandering aimlessly around San Francisco, he encounters Bridget for the first time since she left him - only to see her jump to her death off the Golden Gate bridge.

In his search to find out why Bridget killed herself, he gets caught up in the web o
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Lawrence Kapture
Jan 31, 2012 Lawrence Kapture rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fantasy-urban
Briarpatch is about Darrin, who witnesses his girlfriend jumping off a bridge months after she left him with no explanation. He knows she left him for a mysterious man named Ismael Plenty. Unconvinced that his girlfriend would kill herself, he uncovers a bizarre consipiracy, engineered by Ismael Plenty, and centering around himself.

Darrin and Ismael are Briarpatch babies, though Darrin is unaware of this. Of uncertain origin, the Briarpatch babies have the ability to step into a series of interc
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Laura
Oct 08, 2011 Laura rated it it was ok
Shelves: did-not-like
I wanted to love this book. The premise sounded super exciting, the characters seemed interesting and this book seemed really different and unique for the genre.

Onto the bad news -- character development sucked. I wanted to be done with most of the main characters, and even the protagonists were only of mild interest -- could take em or leave em. In what was such a promising premise, the one dimensionality was such a letdown that the entire story really suffered. Pratt has definitely set this us
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Monique
Apr 01, 2014 Monique rated it liked it
I “read” this book on Audible. The narrator was Dave Thompson, a voice I enjoy from the Escape Artists trio of podcasts. I’ve enjoyed many narrated Tim Pratt short stories; this may have been my first Tim Pratt book.

I liked this book well enough, but I’m not gaga about it. It built up slowly, but once I started to see how the characters would intersect, I got excited to see how it would turn out. I think I struggled to like this book because I found most of the characters either unlikeable or un
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Sarah
So this guy Darrin has a string of really bad luck. His girlfriend Bridget leaves him, he loses his job, and then his car. To top it off, he's heading out to lunch one day and sees his old girlfriend just as she leaps off the Golden Gate bridge head first and kills herself. Next Darrin starts seeing things. Alleys and paths that aren't supposed to be there. This place is called the Briarpatch, and with the help of Arturo, a strange guy with a strange car, Darrin is beginning to find connections ...more
Marc J. Miarnau
Aug 27, 2016 Marc J. Miarnau rated it really liked it
Escrita como un cuento largo más que como una novela, Briarpatch es fantasía urbana de la que bien sabe hacer Tim Pratt.

Con conceptos que me recuerdan a La Ciudad y La Ciudad de Miéville y a varios cuentos que ya había leído de Pratt, lo que no le falta a la obra es sentido de la maravilla.

Lo que sí le falta es un elenco de personajes un tanto más creíble y menos unidimensional.

Aún así, es entretenida, lighthearted y se lee del tirón.

Un buen filler entre lecturas más sesudas.
Amy
Apr 11, 2012 Amy rated it liked it
Shelves: fantasy
Briarpatch is weird and grotesque and cerebral, but not in any of the ways you're thinking right now. I'm not certain what else to say about it, honestly, except that everyone gets what they deserve in highly satisfying manners, and the Alice in Wonderland girl inside me wants to see more of the Briarpatch.

Also, there are bears.
Sarah Menezes
Jan 30, 2012 Sarah Menezes rated it liked it
I really wish this book was written as well as the last 1/4 of it, because it might have been a 5. It's nice, fun, not too dense or anything, but I just didn't really care about the story until the end, so it was kind of hard to stick with. But over all, i did enjoy it. It has some really fantastic elements to it, and I like the characters.
Danielle
Jan 22, 2012 Danielle rated it it was amazing
If you like Charles Delint, you'll like Briarpatch. Pratt takes his readers into other worlds along with his characters. Darrin sees his ex-girlfriend jump off the Golden Gate Bridge, and sets out to discover why. In the process, he learns more about himself and not only the world most people inhabit, but also the various other "plausible" worlds that exist in, next to, and near our own.
Literate Reader
Sep 09, 2012 Literate Reader rated it it was amazing
Fascinating read. There was one character in particular that I just hated, thinking she was one-dimensional and unrealistic, but she stayed with me long after reading the book, so I guess in a way that makes her more interesting than I initially gave her credit for being. Anyway, the concept of the book is fascinating, and Pratt is a wonderful writer.
Arun
Aug 28, 2014 Arun rated it it was amazing
Pretty much everything I love about Tim Pratt's stories and well-told stories in general all packaged up in this book. If you're familiar with some of his short fiction, you'll see a synthesis of various themes and concerns that have shown in his earlier work.

Highly highly recommend if you're a fan of weird, liminal, urban fantasy.
Jade
Jul 30, 2012 Jade rated it it was amazing
My favourite part of this book were the themes surrounding the protagonist's girlfriend and the antagonist; their quest for meaning to their lives gave me interesting food for thought. As a whole I really enjoyed everything this book had to offer.
Erik
Oct 28, 2012 Erik rated it really liked it
A slow, plodding first half, but saved by an excellent, tightly-paced second half.
Benoit Chartier
Nov 11, 2016 Benoit Chartier rated it really liked it
Good stories, good characters with varied personalities and nice evolutions. Mr. Pratt's writing style is fun to follow and his visualization of the parallel/possible world(s) are as interesting to read as they are perilous. I am never disappointed with a Chizine publication.
Peter
Jan 14, 2014 Peter rated it liked it
Darrin's life's been going downhill since his girlfriend Bridget left him for no reason. Six month later, he sees her again... right as she jumps to her death off a bridge. Trying to make sense of this tragedy, Darrin begins to discover there's more gong on... not just in his life, but in his relationship and the whole world. There are pathways people can learn to see that lead to other world, fantastic, improbable, and occasionally dangerous. Some people call it the Briarpatch. And what ...more
Anton
May 25, 2016 Anton rated it it was amazing
A totally gripping urban fantasy by one of the best fantasy/sci-fi writers of the 21st century.This story had me up all night wondering if the hero would ever find out the truth about his dead ex-girlfriend.
The mystery surrounding just what the Briarpatch is was so compelling it had me double-checking every dark shadow you see from the corner of your eye in the small hours of the morning.

If you like this story then I recommend that you read Tim Pratt's The Nex. Although not connected in any way
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Jules
Mar 27, 2014 Jules rated it liked it
Shelves: urban-fantasy
I'm disappointed to say this, as Ranger Girl and The Nex are some of my favorite books, but this scores a big fat three star meh. For some reason the characters, plot and world completely failed to grab me - it's not a bad book, just oddly unmemorable. I'm pretty much reduced to reviewing it from a social justice perspective - it gains points for a respectful, consensual sex scene, loses them for a slightly problematic depiction of mental illness, and I'm rather bemused to find that's all I have ...more
Michael T Bradley
Nov 24, 2015 Michael T Bradley rated it really liked it
I really need to learn this lesson. No matter how well-written a novel is, if it's magical realism or like ... about the present & about feelings or whatever, I'm not going to like it much.

After REALLY enjoying Pratt's Forgotten Realms book Venom in Her Veins, I decided to give something else of his a try. This is REALLY well-written, and it's REALLY fun, and it moves quickly, and OH DEAR GOD DO I NOT CARE. If you like Clive Barker's Weaveworld or Stephen King's The Talisman (both of which I
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SFReader
Jul 26, 2013 SFReader rated it really liked it
Briarpatch by Tim Pratt is a dark, very moody tale. When the story starts with a suicide the reader quickly learns what they are in for. Pratt, however, breaks away from the pack and proves that he can weave a unique and extremely engaging story. Like most Chizine books, this one is full of concepts and ideas that takes normal storytelling, throws it out the window, and replaces it with a type of world that even the most experienced reader has yet to explore.

Briarpatch review at SFReader.com
Katie
Jul 01, 2013 Katie rated it really liked it
The editing of this book is completely atrocious (there are even a few error marks where punctuation should be) and some sections feel way too abbreviated and rushed, but the story itself is fantastic. If you can stand to press on through the errors, I would tell you that it's worth it. It is some really subtle and gorgeous sci-fi fun, and I loved every single second of the worldbuilding. It also includes my favorite car in all of literature.
Cameron
Dec 15, 2013 Cameron rated it liked it
I've always enjoyed stories that feature an alternate world that interconnects and overlays with our own, and about the characters who know how to access this world. This story features a nice, small set of characters and what is really a pretty simple plot. But it also offers a glimpse into a much larger world that I found fascinating. I'm going to look into this author's other works, as I hope he's written more books set in this place.
Sloth Slaughter
May 13, 2013 Sloth Slaughter rated it really liked it
Tim Pratt is like Neil Gaiman's less British little brother. Some key words for this book: shotgun, manipulation, bears, world between worlds, Wendigo, young adults, hummus. One of my favorite parts, when whatshisname regains (in a way) his sense of taste and smell and starts enjoying food again. Just a nice detail to pay attention to. I leave off the fifth star because I think it could have had more heft to it, more richness. But otherwise, I quite enjoyed it.
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