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Pobby and Dingan

3.84  ·  Rating Details  ·  1,229 Ratings  ·  167 Reviews
This enchanting tale is at once a beautifully rendered narrative of childhood loss and a powerfully simple fable about the necessity of imagination.

Pobby and Dingan are Kellyanne Williamson’s best friends, maybe her only friends, and only she can see them. Kellyanne’s brother, Ashmol, can’t see them and doesn’t believe they exist anywhere but in Kellyanne’s immature imagin
Kindle Edition, 112 pages
Published (first published 2000)
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(showing 1-30 of 2,289)
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In the opal-mining region of Australia, little Kellyanne lives with her dad, her big brother Ashmol, and her imaginary friends, Pobby and Dingan. Ashmol is constantly teasing his little sister about how Pobby and Dingan aren't real and telling her to grow up. He is convinced that his sister is just being a baby who refuses to grow out of her imaginary friend stage. However one day, when Ashmol and Kellyanne's father is suspected of a crime that he didn't commit, and Pobby and Dingan go missing, ...more
Diane S ☔
Apr 30, 2013 Diane S ☔ rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Came across this book on a list, I think it was on Kirkus, detailing the small books one should not miss. I loved this little story, about a 8 yr. old girl who lives with her family in New South Wales, Australia. Her father was digging for opals and the little girl had two imaginary friends called Pobby and Dingan. Reminded me of the saying that if a tree falls and no one is near does it still make a sound. If not everyone can see the imaginary friends does this mean they do not exist? This is a ...more
May 22, 2016 Philip rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was more novella than novel, and really more a long short story than a novella. But it was a very good long short story, and it reminded me (and at least one other reviewer) a lot of a Down Under To Kill A Mockingbird, with both Scout and Jem characters (although in reversed roles), and a more dissolute Atticus; it even ends with a trial. The book really conveys the feeling of Australia without going into descriptive detail - very nicely done, and well worth the hour or two needed to read t ...more
Sep 04, 2007 Jen rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: a_good_story
A novella with imagination, set in the opal-mining country of Australia. A young girl has two imaginary friends, and everyone around her supports her, except her brother. When her father is accused of "ratting," or poaching someone else's land, she can't find her friends anymore and becomes very very ill. Her brother decides to help her find her "friends" even though he thinks she's crazy. Poignant and authentic; I am happy I found this lying on the shelves in the library.
Jul 26, 2011 SD rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition

When was the last time that you read a book in a single evening and kept thinking about the characters for weeks afterwards?
Jonathan Manheim
Gem. Beautiful and sad. Unique voice. What happened to Ben Rice??
Sep 20, 2014 Ryan rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Friends, please read this novella.

Kellyanne has two imaginary friends who live with her family in rural Australia. One day Pobby and Dingan go missing and her brother Ashmol goes to find them which sets in motion the events of the story.

I purchased this book a few months ago at Russell's recommendation but I haven't gotten around to it yet. I read this in practically one sitting. This is one of the sweetest, most charming readable books that I have encountered in a long time. The book has an ai
Mar 22, 2014 Norrin2 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
“Pobby and Dingan” is only 94 pages long, and it feels like it’s filled me with more than 100 pages of things I want to say about this amazing book. Let me start by saying it is easily the best book I’ve read this decade. Goodreads won’t let you rank something 6 stars so I guess I’m going to have to go back to all the previous books I gave five stars too and dock them at least one star. I want to buy every copy of this book I can find and give them out to people saying “You have to read this. Ju ...more
Jan 16, 2010 Courtney rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Pobby and Dingan are just Kellyanne's imaginary friends. It's kind of annoying how everyone humors her, but whatever. Or so thinks Ashmol, Kellyanne's older brother, at the outset of this short and charming novel.

Set in an Australian outback mining town, "Pobby and Dingan" takes a dark turn when the children's dad pretends to take the imaginary friends down into his opal mine one day. He forgets to bring them back, and Kellyanne becomes frantic, stops eating, grows ill and begins to fade away.

Jan 23, 2013 Katrina rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I would never have heard of this book if I hadn't gone to a fancy pants lunch at The Ivy's sister restaurant Sheekey's in 2001 with author David Lodge, a literary agent, a PR guy and a website guy :) It was my prize for winning a 'First Chapter' competition judged by the brilliant author David Lodge (although I hadn't heard of him before, so as my friend pointed out when I was nervous beforehand, he liked me before I heard of him ergo I win)...quite a surreal experience but the literary agent (f ...more
Andreea Obreja
Jun 07, 2012 Andreea Obreja rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: children; children-literature lovers
The book was kind of cute, very detailed and full of imagination. I only have a problem with the way it was written. It reminds me of Nicholas Spark's novels: great story-line ideas (ideal for movies) but no talent for actually writing them. This wasn't so bad. It was understandable somehow: the narrator is a young boy, maybe at the beginning of his teens - you cannot ask for so much depth... (It could also be the translation; maybe I'll try reading it in English next time)
Still, I believe this
Jan 10, 2009 Dana rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Kellyanne has two imaginary friends, Pobby and Dingnan. Ashmol, Kellanne's brother, thinks she should just grow up and forget about her friends. One day Kellyanne's father takes her friends to work in his opal mine with him. When he returns home, she asks where they are. Horrors!! They are lost and presumed dead.

Kellyanne starts to wither away from heart sickness and worry. Ashmol concerned for his sister rounds up the whole town to look and try to find his sister's imaginary friends. Ashmol tur
Nurture Waratah
This is a charming and heartbreaking story set in the opal fields of Lightning Ridge. The author uses words with skill. We feel the hot, dusty air in our lungs, we experience the ostracism and community of spirit of small town Australia and our hearts tear in two for the unhappy little girl who has lost her friends. This book may be short, but it is potent. I highly recommend it.

There is another short story included at the end of the book entitled Specks in the Sky. It is strange and confusing a
Sally Tarbox
'Everybody has an imaginary friend of some kind, even if you don't think they have', May 7, 2014

This review is from: Pobby And Dingan (Kindle Edition)
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Pobby and Dingan / Specks in the Sky (Paperback)
Two pleasant enough short stories of around 90 and 50 pages respectively.
Pobby & Dingan is set among the opal mines of Australia, where young Kellyanne Williamson escapes her - hinted at - unhappy life at school, to focus on her two eponymous i
Jul 02, 2009 Lavinia rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2009, fiction
I just couldn't relate to it, though I know that behind (finding) a child's imaginary friends there's an entire life philosophy - if it's hard to see smth, it doesn't mean that thing doesn't exist or if you don't find smth it doesn't mean you should stop looking for it. OK, so the story is simple, innocent, childish a.s.o. Anyone can spare an hour or so to read it.

P.S. Dear author, Ashmol tries too hard to sound like Holden.
Feb 06, 2008 Cia rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Awesome little story. When I read it I passed it around the office. It got thru about 15 people and then lost! How do people do that? Just take a book and never return it???
It is about a little girl in Australia who has imaginary friends. She becomes quite ill and her brother must learn to believe in her imaginary friends in order for her to get better.
Jul 07, 2010 bookczuk rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to bookczuk by: aceofhearts
What an utterly delightful little book. I had an imaginary friend as a child. His name was Rudi and he was my husband. I was 3. He only showed up when I was in the bathtub. My brothers used to tease me.

Now I have an imaginary friend. I'm 53. Her name is Ruthe (or bumma). She's my mom and she's still teaching me how to live a good life.
Nov 25, 2013 Alan rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: novels, 2013
read this in a couple of hours (less) over the weekend. Kid's book really, and a good one, if all a little too neat for me. Set in a tough opal mining community in Australia with a dying sister and her imaginary (titular) friends.
Dec 06, 2007 Debi rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: my friends
Shelves: recently-read
This book ponders the question, "What is real?" Set in Australia, Pobby & Dingan is about a brother and his sister and her imaginary friends. A quick, easy, sometimes sad, othertimes amusing story.
Cinabru Hoffmann
Jan 23, 2015 Cinabru Hoffmann rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: varia
Colectia Cotidianul, numarul 44. Este prima data cand aud de Ben Rice, dar dupa Pobby si Dingan l-as recomanda oricui. Desi un roman mic, mai mult o nuvela ceva mai ampla (il cititi in cel mult doua ore), Pobby si Dingan este o carte superba, densa, trista si vesela, simbolica si naiva, o carte excelenta. Sincer, Cinabru o vede stilistic drept o combinatie intre Salinger si Michael Ende, oricat de bizar ar parea. Dar rezultatul este reusit, Ben Rice are “stofa” de prozator si s-ar putea sa ofere ...more
Nov 16, 2014 Jeanine rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book is an absolute treasure. Do not miss.
Also check out the movie based on this novella, Opal Dreams. Exquisite.
Jill Pickle
Pobby and Dingan are Ashmol's sister Kellyanne's imaginary friends — until one day, they disappear. Ashmol, who not-so-secretly thinks his sister is a fruit loop, copes with Kellyanne's very real grief the one way he knows how: by organizing a town-wide search party for two invisible people.

Rarely do I read a book and come away from it feeling like it was a truly magical experience. I may even dare to say that Pobby and Dingan is To Kill a Mockingbird-good — and trust me, this is not a parallel
Oct 03, 2014 Ryo rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
I am drawn to all things Australian. I heard about this book years ago and asked my mother to track it down. It's an odd little story. I'm not sure why it was published as a stand-alone and not as a novella in a collection of short stories, but it was. By itself, it is powerful, though.

Kellyanne has two imaginary friends, Pobby and Dingan. Everyone in their small opal-mining town in the Outback indulges her, giving her three lollipops instead of one, so Pobby and Dingan can each have one, too. H
Oct 31, 2012 B.B. rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Tim Howard
Jan 12, 2014 Tim Howard rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-2013
Charming novella set on the Lightning Ridge opal fields. Narrator Ashmol is the cocksure son of a miner; his sister Kellyanne is a more fragile child, devoted to her imaginary friends, Pobby and Dingan. When the fantastic duo go missing and Kellyanne becomes ill, Ashmol sets out to "find" the missing friends, in the process drawing the entire town into Kellyanne's fantasy.

Meditations on the importance of make-believe can tend towards the twee, but Pobby and Dingan is grounded by Ashmol's pragmat
Karen Pine
Oct 11, 2012 Karen Pine rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A charming little story that surely echoes the child within us all. ‘Everybody knew everybody in Lightening Ridge’ and they even knew Kellyanne’s two imaginary friends, Pobby and Dingan. So when the two friends go missing the whole town turns out to search for them.

An absolutely captivating tale about the power of childish imagination, where reality meets fantasy, and the importance of faith.
When their father takes Pobby and Dingan to work with him, ‘He was trying
Jan 15, 2016 Greg rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: reviewed
If I had to use just one word to describe this book, it would be "puzzling." My introduction to it came from one of my favorite songs, "Pobby to Dingan," by the Japanese rock/ska/punk band Shaka Labbits. Even without a translation, the song conveys a subtle sense of drama, mystery and poignant determination that prompts a desire to know its story. So when I dug into the song's title and discovered the book, you know I had to read it.

Though its atmosphere is strange and often deeply affecting, I
May 22, 2013 Emily rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
“Pobby and Dingan aren’t dead. They never existed. Things that never existed can’t be dead.” However, things that never existed can disappear and this is the basis of Ben Rice’s first novel. A London native, Rice sets his novel in a fictionalized version of the real life opal mining town of Lightening Ridge. Rice has filled the mining town with unique, but essentially shallow, characters to interact with his protagonist, Ashmol Williamson. Ashmol is the son of a miner and takes after his father ...more
Jen Estrella
Jan 05, 2014 Jen Estrella rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: purchased, 2013
I found out about this book in The Novel Cure-the book that claims to have a novel that will cure whatever it is that ails you. Unless it's cancer. Or diabetes, or really any other ailment or sickness that is real and not strictly an emotional or imagined affliction. So I can't even remember what this book promised to cure now that I think about it, it must've been something like "Believing in magic" or "Losing the faith" something along those lines. And technically, the book is so short I think ...more
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Ben Rice (born 1972), is a prize-winning British author.

Rice was born in Tiverton, Devon, educated at Blundell's School and read English literature at Newcastle University and then Wadham College, Oxford, before studying Creative Writing at the University of East Anglia.

His novel Pobby and Dingan (later filmed as 'Opal Dream') was awarded the Somerset Maugham Award in 2001 (as well as being shortl
More about Ben Rice...

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“I still say Kellyanne could do with some real-live mates," went on my dad, as if he was talking to someone inside his beer.

Mum had stomped off into the kitchen. "Maybe they are real!" she shouted back at him after rattling a few plates together. "Ever thought about that, ye of little bloody imagination?”
“Kellyanne opened the car door and crawled into my bedroom. Her face was puffy and pale and fuzzed-over. She just came in and said: "Ashmol, Pobby and Dingan are maybe-dead." That's how she said it.” 1 likes
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