Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Starburst: A Novel” as Want to Read:
Starburst: A Novel
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Starburst: A Novel

3.58 of 5 stars 3.58  ·  rating details  ·  492 ratings  ·  83 reviews
The annual Edinburgh International Festival, which celebrates film, music, and comedy, brings thousands to the beloved Scottish town each summer. This year, the festival draws six unique and vibrant individuals, who all come together to follow their dreams—seeking success, love, fame, or simply happiness. Each of these incredibly well-crafted and intriguing characters is t ...more
Kindle Edition, 464 pages
Published (first published August 2nd 2007)
more details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Starburst, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Starburst

This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 812)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  rating details
3.5 stars...

His writing is definitely reminiscent of his mother's (whom I adore) but still different. For one thing, this book is set in modern times while Ms Pilcher's are of a"gentler" era. I did like how the main characters all intersect and the story ends on a happy note. Makes for a feel good book. But Don't read it expecting anything super deep. For fans of his mom, I say give him a try. I will read others of his. :)
I went through a huge Rosamunde Pilcher phase in high school and read all of her books. Which is somewhat odd as I'm pretty sure a high school girl wasn't really the demographic for her books, but I loved them. They were stories of people whose lives got entwined in interesting ways and somehow these chance meetings helped them solve whatever problems they were having. I was sure my adult life was going to include many house parties in Scottish mansions and trips to Cornwall after reading those ...more
Sid Frost
This is a story about seven people and how their lives touch each other during the annual Edinburgh Festival. Tess, the recently married young woman who works for the Festival, Roger who does the fireworks for the closing of the Festival, Angélique, the young French violinist who performs at the Festival, Albert, Angélique 's manager who has kept tight reins on her, Rene, the mom turned comedienne who performs at the Festival Fringe, Leonard, the retired cameraman who ends up financing a film ma ...more
Iowa City Public Library
Robin Pilcher’s newest book takes us to Scotland and the Edinburgh Festival. Pilcher is the son of Rosamunde Pilcher, who wrote some of my favorite books including Coming Home and The Shell Seekers. Both authors use the British Isles as a background for weaving a strong sense of place and likable characters into enjoyable light fiction.

Robin Pilcher’s book reminds me of the recent Whitethorn Woods by Maeve Binchy. Both are a series of chapters that weave many characters and stories together … th
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
I'm now a huge fan of Robin Pilcher. This was a marvelous book, weaving stories of many characters into a beautiful whole set during the 3 weeks of the annual August Edinburgh festival. I have been to the Festival, seen the Tattoo and fireworks at the Castle so was easily able to place myself in the middle of the story. I cared about these people and cheered at their successes and cried when things didn't work out quite the way I expected. Must. Have. More!
This was a great book! It started off a little slow and there are quite a few main characters that the reader needs to keep track of, but then the book takes off and has an amazing ending. I love to read uplifting books, and this is definitely one of those. The author is creative, funny, and descriptive.
The story takes place at the Edinburgh Arts Festival. Six different people come to the festival and their lives ae intertwined as they discover things about themselves. It was fun read but somewhat predictable.Also, unlike so many novels I read, all the people in this story are basically kind, good and caring. It was quite a change to have characters who thought about others, who9 went out of their way to be kind and who generally treated others with respect. I don't know if its "realistic" but ...more
This book is set during the Edinburgh Festival, a series of festivals that take place in August in Edinburgh, Scotland. There is a large cast of characters that are introduced, and as the book progresses, they meet and forge connections. The characters range from a young violin virtuoso who is dominated by her controlling manager, a retired film photographer who is coming out of retirement to film one last movie, a young woman dealing with a new marriage and career, and a young tough trying to o ...more
Sep 18, 2008 Julia rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Anyone
Recommended to Julia by: Given as a gift
I am a pianist, so my review of this book may be biased due to the storyline being set in the Scottish city of Edinburgh. The Edinburgh International Music Festival which draws some of the largest groups of musicians, artists and fans is also one of the oldest and most prestegious. The story, which is very well written, is centered around a handful of people from varying classes and careers who become connected during the chaos of the festivities in an intreguing and romantic way. It was a novel ...more
Michelle Collins
Almost perfect. A wonderful story with only a few unexplored narratives. Heartwarming and one I will enjoy the memory of for a good long while.
I got this book because I read An Ocean Apart and enjoyed it. It was a very different story from an Ocean Apart but similar writing style. There are a lot of characters in this book. I think a new one is introduced in each of the first 15 or so chapters (which aren't short). I was so curious how he was going to bring them all together. Okay, it has a violinist as a pretty main character in here too, which is part of the reason I choose this book. It was very good. I like all of the different cha ...more
Kathie H
Mar 16, 2009 Kathie H rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Young adults on up
I adore Rosamunde Pilcher (whom I've also met, along with her sweet longhaired dachshund Lucy). But I was reluctant to read her son Robin's books just because I liked his mother's. But this book was so good! I liked that one of the protagonists was a "real woman" (in other words, she wasn't a 98-pound waif who subsists on Jack Daniels & cigarettes). I enjoyed how the author weaved the ensemble characters together in interesting ways. I'll read more of Robin Pilcher. The narrator - John Lee - ...more
Alice Anne
a little slow getting started, but I really enjoyed how all the characters came together. I'd like to find something else by Robin Pilcher.
I have to confess that Robin Pilcher, for me, had big shoes to fill because I am such a fan of his mother's books. That's pretty unfair, I realize! "Starburst: A Novel" sounded appealing to me, so I gave it a try. It is the story of a group of people whose lives collide at the yearly Edinburgh Festival Fringe. I had a hard time getting into it and had to keep looking back to see which character was which, but overall I enjoyed it, even though the ending was predictable to me. I wasn't as attache ...more
Another book given to me by Jaye. It came in useful for a lull between library books. I found it interesting, because it was set during the Edinburgh Festival, and I know someone who performed there this year. This one had a fairly large cast of characters, so all the story lines didn't quite gel. I like his style of spending a bit of time on the technical aspects of the various occupations portrayed. I was distracted by his description of a woman putting on her high-heeled boots before her jean ...more
An eclectic cast of characters cross paths during the frenzied summer days of Edinburgh's August festivals. As the star violinist, the aspiring comedienne, the festival organizer and a host of other characters reach important turning points in their lives during the bustling last weeks of the summer, the city vibrates with excitement and energy. The story culminates in a dazzling fireworks display over Edinburgh's famous castle. Along with his compelling characters and engaging plot, Robin Pilch ...more
I really enjoyed this story. I was looking for something uplifting and well... just nice! Maybe some people would say it has a lot of fluff and at times is a little predicable, but every once in a while you need a good one like this to lighten things up a bit. In the beginning he introduces so many new characters one after another it made me wonder how or if he was ever going to get back to them, but as the story progress it's fun to see how their individual lives connect with each other. Over a ...more
Must be in the genes! He has talent as his mother. I think I read somewhere that he wasn't much of a writer. When it come to this book,I disagree. I love the way Robin Pilcher takes several different characters, brings them to life and weaves a fascinating story that involves them all. I listened to the audio version and the performer, John Lee was great. The story takes place in Edinburgh, Scotland, and the reader performs many different types of accents and ages. It is a heart-warming story, t ...more
Trite, cliched, only plus was that it was set in Edinburgh.
I really liked this book because the characters were well developed, the backdrop of the Edinburgh Festival brought the various pieces together and the characters acted and reacted like normal people.

The various characters are all in Edinburgh in August to take part in the Festival in some way or another. Some are performers, some do work related to the Festival or just happen to live in Edinburgh. They all get intertwined while the book plays out the story of their individual lives.
I chose this book for its cover - I was doing a reading challenge and needed something with fireworks on it. So I figured I would just slog through, and that would be it. Instead, I found this story of Edinburgh Festival participants to be moving and captivating. I really liked the way Pilcher wove their lives together. My favorite characters were Rene the Yorkshire comedienne and T.K., the young car thief turned filmmaker. I will definitely read more of Pilcher's books.
May 25, 2008 Pat rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: any fan of the Pilchers and any lover of Scotland
Robin Pilcher's descriptions of Edinburgh and the Festival were fantastic. I've had the good fortune to be in Edinburgh during Festival and his book was a reliving experience. His characters are so real, you just know them. I felt that he had too many main characters but their stories were all tied in with success at the end. I liked his first two books better, but this one is a keeper also.
What I learned from this book? The Pilcher name lives on in literature.
This was such a lovely read. I loved it...but I had to ask myself why once it was over. It is simply a story of people with ordinary lives, but it is about people doing the right things (mostly.) Things go wrong, but the reactions to the wrong things don't escalate the wrong, they really care about making things right again as much as can be and do what they can. I became very emotionally attached to the characters, does it show? Heartfelt and uplifting.
I listented to this book on CDs and it took a while to get into the story. It is just the story of several people and their lives as they are involved in a huge art's festival in Edin burgh. The readers have heavy accents so I had to really listen. But after the first CD I got caught up in the personalities and enjoyed the story. Each of the characters grew and succeeded in what they wanted to do or become, just the kind of story I like.
A bit slow to start with, and rather a lot of characters... however they all converge in the Edinburgh Fringe, and once the story gets going, it's very much a page-turner. A brilliant young French violinist, an elderly film maker, a comedienne from Yorkshire and a neglected teenager who's an expert car thief are four of the main characters in this memorable and sometimes moving book.

Definitely recommended - four and a half stars, really.
Robin Pilcher can be a very entertaining storyteller but this book was NOT his best. He had so many characters and tried to weave their stories together but only succeeded in creating confusion and diluting all the characterizations. I also have a pet peeve about authors who try to reproduce dialect. It becomes extremely slow going and only makes me feel as a reader that he is parodying his character rather than depicting him as a real person.
Fantastic! I thoroughly enjoyed this book from beginning to end. I really didn't want the book to end; the characters and the story were so captivating.
I've read several books by Robin Pilcher and found each of them to be very well-written with very engaging characters and plots. If you like Maeve Binchy and Rosamund Pilcher (Robin's mom), I believe you'd enjoy reading Robin Pilcher as well.
This story is a bit slow to start and I found that there were lots of people to get to know right off the bat, but by the 6th or 7th chapter I found myself getting intrigued by each life the author created. The book really makes we want to go to Edinburgh and explore the places he talks about in the book. Loved all the characters, especially Rene, and was sad to see see their stories come to an end!
Carolyn (in SC) C234D
I liked this a lot. It was mostly predictable, but I enjoyed the way it got there. This type of novel is like comfort food to me. Maeve Binchy and Rosalinde Pilcher are masters of the craft, and Robin Pilcher is pretty good at it as well. I expect to read more by him. I know what I'm in for, and that's just what I want sometimes.
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 27 28 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • The Blue Bedroom: & Other Stories
  • The Venetian House
  • Becoming Finola
  • A Friend of the Family
  • The Duties Of Parents
  • An Unexpected Family (Ladies of Covington, #7)
  • Going to the Chapel (Tales from Grace Chapel Inn, #2)
  • Lucy Come Home (A Yada Yada Journey of Hope)
  • Fiesta Moon (Moonstruck #2)
  • Recipes & Wooden Spoons (Tales from Grace Chapel Inn, #3)
Robin Pilcher was born on 10 August 1950, the eldest son of author Rosamunde Pilcher, née Scott (aka Jane Fraser) and Graham Hope Pilcher, also he had a brother and two sisters. He has been a cameraman, a songwriter, and a farmer, co-managed a mail order business, and has had numerous other jobs. He lives with his wife and children near Dundee, Scotland, and in the Sierra de Aracena mountain area ...more
More about Robin Pilcher...
Starting Over An Ocean Apart. Robin Pilcher The Long Way Home A Risk Worth Taking An Ocean Apart/ Starting Over

Share This Book

No trivia or quizzes yet. Add some now »