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Amberville (Mollisan Town Quartet)

3.2 of 5 stars 3.20  ·  rating details  ·  509 ratings  ·  119 reviews

What does it mean to be bad?

Eric Bear has it all: a successful career, a beautiful wife, a blissful home. He knows he's been lucky; a while back, his life revolved around drugs, gambling, a gang of stuffed-animal thugs, and notorious crime boss Nicholas Dove.

But the past isn't as far away as Eric had hoped. Rumors are swirling that Dove is on the Death List and that h

Hardcover, 352 pages
Published February 24th 2009 by Harper (first published 2007)
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S. Wilson
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 rumored 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 cost.

This novel reminded of the tale of the emperor's clothes. Not because of a similar story, but because some people will see wondrous things while others will see nothing. I'm in the latter category.

A Raymond Chandler-style pot boiler with stuffed animal characters? Well. it's different.

Don't waste your money. In fact, if it's free, don't waste your time.
Oct 20, 2009 Alan rated it 2 of 5 stars
Recommended to Alan by: The plot synopsis
I was... a little disappointed in this one.

It 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 quadrants of Mollisan Town, at least until the even tougher-talking gangster Nicholas Dove comes with his two gorillas...more
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 questionable 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...more
Maria João Fernandes
"Se fechasse os olhos, podia visualizar quatro milhões de fios finíssimos a saírem do seu cérebro, cada um ligado a um.dos peluches da sua cidade."

O conceito por trás do livro de Tim Davys prende a nossa atenção no mesmo segundo em que o confrontamos. Mollisan Town é um cidade habitada por animais de peluche, que dormem, comem, trabalham, divertem-se e deixam-se envolver pela amizade, amor e religião como as pessoas normais.

"Mas o amor é um mundo em si."

Eric Urso vive uma vida tranquila, ao lado...more
Someone claimed that this book maybe a mixture of The Big Sleep by Raymond Chandler and Animal Farm by George Orwell. I really doubt!!!
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 mildly.

So what kind of book is Amberville? A damn hard one to classify. If you go by some of the quote...more
Davys, Tim. AMBERVILLE. (2007; Eng. trans. 2009). **. This is a first novel from a Swedish author under a pseudonym. It is, to say the least, a strange novel. In it, there are no human characters, only stuffed animals. The stuffed animals all live in Mollison Town – for which this novel is the first in a projected series of four. It is kind of a mystery and kind of a fantasy novel, but takes on the guise of a mainstream tale, too. The story is told through the voice of Eric Bear. We are told at...more
Michele Lee
From the back cover of Amberville one might expect a cross between Sesame Street and The Sopranos. Eric Bear, years after leaving behind a life of drugs and a job as a runner for a mafia king, opens his apartment door to find his former boss, the mafia head Nicholas Dove visiting with a request—take Dove's name off the infamous Death List (literally a list of those slated to disappear from the world) or he will have his gorillas tear apart Eric's beloved wife, Emma Rabbit.

This kicks off the refo...more
I got Amberville as a free-Friday selection on my nook. The description alone had my attention, stuffed animals in a gritty story of crime, conspiracy, corruption and redemption. Sounds good. The story is told from multiple points of view, so the reader is constantly changing voices. . In truth, the entire book reads as a series of character studies, or at best a set of interconnected short stories that have been crammed together into a single volume. Nothing ever quite gels, as threads in the s...more
David Hebblethwaite
Well, this is quite 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. D...more
Franklyn Thomas
Amberville, part 3 of Tim Davys' Mollisan Town Quartet, 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 animals.

Yes, 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 Dove.

Eric Bear,...more
The hardest thing about this book is describing it to other people.

I was telling my wife about Amberville . I told her I was reading a book about stuffed animals (her face softened) and I said but it's not a "nice" book. One of the animals used to be a gofer for the mafia, one's a thug enforcer, one's a backstabber and one is a pill-popping male prostitute that specializes in S&M sex-for-hire.

She got a confused look on her face and asked why the author used stuffed animals? Well, he had to b...more
Amberville is a quirky and unusual read. Book #1 that later became a series of books that take place inside this world of living stuffed toys. Noir style in both writing and plot, this novel is best suited for people with a peculiar taste. Sometimes the writing style can become confusing but this may be due to translation and the novel's all around style. Not all the characters are as fleshed out as they could've been, and the epilogue could have had more to it. But in the end, Amberville, is a...more
M. Shaw
I've been telling people that 'Amberville' is an attempted 'Gun, with Occasional Music' that sadly misses the mark. Promising early in the text, the eye-catching premise of a gritty, hardboiled mystery set in a town inhabited by stuffed animals is ultimately wasted on a poorly-paced, predictable narrative with constant, lengthy breaks for boring monologuing about the nature of good and evil. About half the story is told in exposition info-dumps, most of it unnecessary self-indulgence. Adding to...more
Stuffed animals star in this novel of deception and betrayal linking the highest legitimate authorities and their underworld counterparts. A plush rhinoceros is a chief minister, a dove runs a mafia, and a poorly-sewn rat rules the dump. Death is a great mystery when cotton stuffing can be replaced and heads can be sewn on again, but they know pain and fear, lust and love, greed and hunger. They also know alcohol quite well, since this book is translated from the Swedish: "The stuffed animals si...more
Joe Ohlenbusch
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Gayle Francis Moffet
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Kara Jorges
The stuffed animals of Mollisan Town are a lot like humans, but there are a few differences. They are not born, they are delivered to their parents in a green pick-up truck, and they do not die but rather are picked up by Chauffeurs in red pick-ups late at night. No one knows for sure how the Chauffeurs choose who to pick up, but there have always been rumors of a Death List. Eric Bear is forced to track down the origins of this list when his former boss, mobster Nicholas Dove, pays him a visit....more
I picked up this book at one of my favorite bookstores on a trip to Spokane. The bookstore is Aunties and it is an independent bookstore with a sister games store inside called Uncles.I highly recommend a visit here if you are ever in Spokane. This book was on the clearance table and the cover caught my eye. When I read the back I was amused because it appeared to be a book about teddy bears...teddy bears in the mafia! The book is actually far more serious than it sounds, as it uses stuffed anim...more
Jason (RawBlurb)
Referred on other pages as a part of the "Nursery Crime" sub-genre... Which was a new one for me to run across...

Crime/detective novel, man#1 is going to die, and he decides that the best way to live is to force man#2 to save him. Should he fail to do so, man#1 will have his thugs kill man#2's wife.

Easy enough decision for a man to make, provided he does not utterly despise his wife, he should see what he can do about saving man#1.. Right?

Well, that is the core plot of Amberville, but it has a t...more
Unglaublich. Skurril.

Die Sesamstraße in einer Film Noir Variante. So hat es jemand beschrieben, und ja, das ist eine sehr passende Beschreibung mit so wenigen Worten.

Unglaublich. Ich kann mich nur wiederholen. Die Idee, einen Krimi mit Stofftieren zu besetzen und die Welt darum denen anzupassen, ist so einfach als aber auch unglaublich wie fantastisch. Ich bin irgendwie total begeistert, diesen Zufallsfund aus der Bibliothek mitgenommen zu haben.

Der Plot ist einfach, aber durch die Welt der Sto...more
I found this book interesting, but 1/2 way through I just could not stand the characters and then really did not care what happened to them. The characters are stuffed animals and maybe this had something to do with the my not being able to stomach the story. To me stuffed animals are innocent and should remain so.

When the story line has the characters gambling, having same-sex relationships with each other I just could not stomach the story any longer. I could not see any redeemable character...more
Quinn Rollins
Eric Bear has it all: a successful career, a beautiful wife, a blissful home. He knows he's been lucky; a while back, his life revolved around drugs, gambling, a gang of thungs, and notorious crime boss Nicholas Dove.

He's also...a stuffed animal. A teddy bear, in fact. Eric Bear and all of the other residents of Mollisan Town are all stuffed animals, and as far as everything in the book Amberville shows us, there aren't any humans involved in any part of their lives. Eric Bear wasn't born, he w...more
Thomas Holbrook
Beware of gifts being offered by trusted sources; the receiving thereof can lead to the reading of a well-crafted, perception altering, mystery novel set in one of the most bizarre concepts imaginable. Tim Davys, a pseudonym wisely chosen as it adds to the dis-reality of the story, sees a world inhabited by stuffed animals as a fitting place to offer commentary on THE questions of life: from where do we come? What happens next (after death)? Do we have choice in those decisions? At no point in...more
Rézina Dějová
Amberville má svoje obchoďáky, vilové čtvrti, skládku, pochybné podniky, prostě všechno, co má pořádné město mít. I spořádané obyvatele, mafiány, úchyláky, feťáky, byrokracii, bezďáky, politiky a duchovní. A všechno to jsou živí plyšáci všeho druhu. A tihle plyšáci můžou být pořádné svině.

Víte že jméno Tim Davys je pseudonym? Autor je ve skutečnosti Švéd, takže tu máme další severský thriller. Jenže padouchové i hrdinové jsou tu roztomilá plyšová zvířátka.

Jakkoliv praštěně nebo poklesle vám to m...more
le 3 stelle? Il libro diventa interessante e avvincente da poco dopo la metà in poi ...
Altrimenti sarebbero state 4!
Ma veniamo a noi: libro carino, disarmante la psicologia dei personaggi che incarnano ogni genere di difetto umano. Forte la critica verso la "chiesa" e lo stato. Triste vedere che chi credevamo di conoscere, in realtà, non lo conosciamo affatto! Molto sentito il confronto tra bene e Male.

MA proprio su questo punto ... alla fine a che conclusione si arriva se colui il quale ha port...more
Grey Liliy
I loved this book. It was full of energetic, unique characters, a great storyline and the storytelling method was engaging. (The fact the cast was presented as stuffed animals wasn't bad either, it just wasn't as big a part of the story as you might think--aside from the world building aspect, separating their world from our own.)

I think of complaints concerning the book, I only had two:

First, I think the best part about the book, was also its biggest weakness--but only for the start. The book l...more
Amberville is a taut noir thriller starring stuffed animals. It's exactly as bizarre and surreal as that description makes it sound. Actually, it may be MORE surreal than that description; for example, one character, a gazelle, is a male prostitute specializing in BDSM.

I enjoyed Davys's debut novel quite a bit. He does an excellent job of world-building, and I was fascinated by the details of the stuffed animal civilization. He worked the exposition into the narrative pretty well (although I lik...more
-Existencialismo noir protagonizado por peluches animados. Sí, en serio.-

Género. Narrativa fantástica (por decirles algo, aunque tal vez sería mejor decir “Novela con una gigantesca licencia de partida”).

Lo que nos cuenta. En el barrio de Amberville, en Mollisan Town, Eric Oso es un maduro profesional de la publicidad y un amante esposo que ha dejado muy atrás un pasado ilegal. Pero uno de los jefes del crimen organizado para quien trabajó, Nicholas Paloma, le obliga a realizar un trabajo: loca...more
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Tim Davys is the pseudonym for a well-known Swedish public figure, and Amberville is his or her first novel.

A dark and stormy night…I 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...more
More about Tim Davys...
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