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Una Sarta de Mentiras
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Una Sarta de Mentiras

3.79  ·  Rating Details  ·  287 Ratings  ·  38 Reviews
Ailsa doesn't trust MCC Berkshire, the mysterious man helping out in her mother's antique shop. He tells wonderful stories about all the antiques, and his stories persuade the customers to buy the items he talks about, but everything he says is a pack of lies, isn't it? The story of Ailsa and MCC is interwoven with the stories MCC tells the customers, which range from roma ...more
Paperback, 226 pages
Published June 1st 1992 by Fondo de Cultura Economica, Mexico (first published 1989)
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Jun 14, 2010 kyliemm rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is a young adult fantasy-esque novel about a girl named Ailsa who meets a man named MCC and invites him, on a whim, to get a job at her mother's antique shop. Both Ailsa and her mother are initially horrified by Ailsa's invitation, but MCC proves an apt salesman--in fact, he makes remarkable sales at incredibly high prices based on the fascinating stories he tells about different antiques. Each of MCC's stories reflects a different aspect of British history, or, as in the story of the evil ...more
Author: Geraldine McCaughrean
No Illustrations.
First Published: 1988
Awards: Carnegie Medal 1988, Guardian Children's Fiction Prize 1989

Christmas present for 7yo from Uncle.

Stories within stories. What is true, what is fiction, what is lie?

We have a series of morality stories, fairy tales, with Bad Things happening to Bad People surrounded by the story of Ailsa, her mother, and the mysterious MCC Berkshire.

The Clock: A Story of Superstition
The Writing Box: The Story of a Liar
The Plate: A Question
Jul 20, 2012 Judith rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I first picked up this book because I was intrigued by the title and I was expecting something else entirely. I wasn't disappointed at all.I loved the well constructed stories which explored a lot of themes; romance, mystery,vanity, greed, justice etc. I thought MCC Berkshire was very fascinating. I don't blame Alisa for being drawn to his mysterious nature, charm and obvious talent of storytelling. A good read overall with twist at the end!. I'd recommend it for anyone not just young adults
Suzanne Macartney
Grabbed this because it was the only one I could find by the author of The White Darkness, a story I admired. The title suggested a fleshed out web of deceit. Not at all. Interesting but totally different book than I what sought out. Not quite my thing but it did keep my attention. Young protagonists, one of whom can spin tales the way Midas touched gold. Good stories too. And the young guy is a book lover. Always a winning trait.
Mar 30, 2013 Lucy rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This was one of my favourite books as a kid, so much so that when I lost it in the process of moving house I had to go out and buy it again. My main reason for loving it was that I absolutely fell in love with MCC and wanted to be Ailsa. However I did enjoy the stories as well, especially as they were often spoofs of some of my other favourite books at the time (for example the story about Grace the spoiled girl who persuades her parents to take her to India is reminiscent of A Little Princess b ...more
A blog of one´s own
Cuando leí este libro, hace ya varios años, me desconcertó un poco. Este libro está relacionado con la historia británica, pero en ese tiempo yo no sabía eso, así que solo lo leí como si fueran historias salidas de la mente de alguien y no creí que en realidad hubieran pasado o podido pasar. Las historias me gustaron durante un tiempo, pero al final me empezó a aburrir. En especial el final me desconcertó. No sería mala idea volverlo a leer algún día, yo normalmente no leo un libro más de una ve ...more
Oct 13, 2012 Lynley rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: children, metafiction
For an example of a kidlit author who doesn't 'write down' for a younger audience, Geraldine McCaughrean is a wonderful example.

MCC is such an engaging character that I found myself skipping through his stories in order to find out more about him. Personally I'd have liked a greater proportion of the book to have been set in the shop. I didn't even realise until afterwards that his stories had taken the reader through the various stages of English literature. I'd have been even more impressed wi
Dave Morris
The episodic structure makes this a lightweight read, but even lightweight McCaughrean beats most authors' best game. Her use of language is a treat, each turn of phrase perfectly judged. Readers who confuse narrative distance with "show don't tell" can learn the difference here.
"A Pack of Lies" takes place in an antique store that is on its last legs until MCC Berkshire shows up. Ailsa the daughter of her widowed mother meets MCC at the library where he is being thrown out into the rain by the librarian. Ailsa takes him home with her and he ends up staying and sleeping in the antique store.

Business is slow so Berkshire makes up stories based on the books he reads with a passion. People cannot resist buying an item that has a story attached to it. Something is a bit odd
K. Carters
Everyone loves this book but I didn't really bond with it. I liked the premise and the awards it has won aren't too shabby but I just couldn't get into the story or be that impressed by the twist at the end. Shame as I was really looking forward to this one =(
Chio Ang
Jun 21, 2014 Chio Ang rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Comencé este libro a la edad de 10 años, apenas hace unos meses tuve la oportunidad de conseguirlo para poder terminar su lectura. Un libro interesante, y hasta un tanto misterioso. Ailsa conoce a un joven que dice llamarse Era C. Lector, al poco tiempo él comienza a trabajar para la señora Poovey, madre de Ailsa, en una tienda de antigüedades. Era C. tiene una peculiar historia para cada objeto que se busque comprar. ¿Son en verdad una sarta de mentiras? Cuentos o no, pueden mantenernos ávidos ...more
Fa Amero
Aug 29, 2014 Fa Amero rated it it was amazing
Ok, I loved the stories of this guy, but I didn't understand the end. It's a good option if you wanna spend some time reading a crazy-funny story.
Oct 01, 2014 Vee rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This was my favourite book, probably from about age 12 until I read Catch 22 at age 18. Demmed fine fiction.
Apr 17, 2014 Nella rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A set of stories within the story - and just as intriguing and wonder filled as the tales of Scheherazade.
Rachel Brand
Aug 14, 2009 Rachel Brand rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I read this for school when I was thirteen and really enjoyed it. I liked how each story had a sort of "moral lesson" about the consequences of each character's actions. Each chapter was an individual story/lesson although there was a main plot running through the whole story regarding the mysterious guy who turned up and started working in the shop. However, thinking back, I can't remember what we "studied" in this book as I don't think we wrote any essays on it. Oh well! Mrs Waterstone did let ...more
Jane Wilson-Howarth
A fine collection of short stories skilfully crafted into a complete work - with a surprising twist
Mar 26, 2009 Jane rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Weirdly, I am convinced that I read the first few chapters of this book before, but not the end. I can't think when or why that would have been. Since it was initially published in 1988, it's possible I read it as a child, but I don't think so . . . This book was great in that it operates on more than one level -- it's pure fun to read, but it's also a book about the value of fiction(s) and a bit of a mind-bender. It has the sort of ending I loved when I was in upper-elementary and middle-school ...more
Sep 29, 2012 Bookdweller rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jun 16, 2009 Ben rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
An interesting book. It contained a little bit of narrative about Ailsa and MCC, then a short story not related to the main protagonists (i.e., MCC, the antique shop salesman, is telling a prospective buyer in the antiques shop the story behind the antique he's looking at), then more narrative, then another short story, etc. Definitely an original concept. I wouldn't have read the book if the main character wasn't named Ailsa (just like my new niece) but I'm glad that I did.
Ailsa is volunteering at the local library when she meets the odd yet fascinating M.C.C. Berkshire, and offers him a job at her mother's antique shop. Needless to say, this act of charity does not impress her mother. However, M.C.C. quickly proves his worth, making up wild stories for customers, and selling each an item they would never even consider buying otherwise. Eventually, though, the customers will realize it's all been nothing but a pack of lies... won't they?
Jul 03, 2010 mary rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
McCaughrean, whom I 'met' as the author of Peter Pan in Scarlet and the reteller of The Odyssey, is a superlative writer of children's and young adult literature. In this cleverly constructed novel, her main character, MCC Berkshire, enchants visitors to Mrs. Peavey's antique store with mesmerizing stories about the objects within. Hold on for a most original twist at the end!

Best for ages 12 and up --- especially appealing to budding Anglophiles.

Sep 07, 2015 Georgie rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
If I say this is a tour de force, a superb collection of delightful pastiches of different story forms, you'll think, "Oh, a Clever book". But it's so much more than that. Yes, each story is terrific, but the real story is the linking story, that appears just to be a framing device, and then turns into so much more. The characters are so delicately drawn. It's funny, it's clever, it's thought-provoking. It's one of the best books I've read.
Sep 23, 2010 Ginger rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A collection of stories in a frame. MCC Berkshire comes to work at Ailsa and her mother's antiques shop. He sells the goods by telling their "history" though Ailsa is never sure what he says is true. Even if what he says is a pack of lies, they come to depend on him and his stories.

Cleverly pulled together at the end; I had to read the ending twice to make sure I understood the author's intention.
Yes, Margie, I really did like this. Thank you for yet another great recommendation. I am a huge, huge fan of Geraldine McCaughrean, and always eager when I can find her books. And this was a great find, in a box donated to The School of St. Jude in Tanzania from kind Australians. Glad I got to unpack it, read it and return it to the shelves for others to enjoy.
Chelsea M
Feb 20, 2013 Chelsea M rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I read the Japanese version when I was little, and I loved it. I recently found the English version and loved it as well, although I found that some details were different - I'm not sure whether it's just my memory, or the translator's stylistic choice. Either way, I thought the Japanese translator did very well to capture the spirit of the novel.
Nov 01, 2009 Lisa rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery, fantasy, stories
The mysterious MCC Berkshire from Reading moves in to Ailsa and her mother's second hand shop, and proceeds to read incessantly. He also tells stories about items in the store which cause people to buy those items. At the end we're left wondering who is real: who is the storyteller and who is the character?
Apr 23, 2009 Kara rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: modern-teenagers

The short stories are all very good - five stars - and the way the stories are stung togetehr works.. until the end when it gets all very Sophie's World and the author gets weirdly philosophical and meta in a way that's just plain disturbing. What kind of author does that to her own characters?
Sebastian Galarza
Jan 27, 2013 Sebastian Galarza rated it it was amazing
The best book any child could read. I really enjoyed, it was my first big book. Almost two hundred pages! I was amazed by every page. It was the first that finishing a book made me sad. I can't forget it, I owe it too much.
Mónica -
Nov 23, 2008 Mónica - rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
Es uno de los libros mas queridos que leí cuando era pequeña. Me gustaba mucho como el protagonista iba relacionando las historias de los objetos de la tienda de antigüedades conforme avanzana la trama.
This is a simple book with many stories, but with much mysteries left after you've read it. You really have to read between the lines to get some of the things the author's hinting at.
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Geraldine McCaughrean was born in 1951 and brought up in North London. She studied at Christ Church College of Education, Canterbury and worked in a London publishing house for 10 years before becoming a full-time writer in 1988. She has written over 120 books, 50 short plays for schools, and a radio play.

Her adult novels include Fires’ Astonishment (1990) and The Ideal Wife (1997), but she is bes
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