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4.08  ·  Rating Details  ·  681 Ratings  ·  89 Reviews
Daniel Ford has thirty-six days to live. Accused of the horrific murder of his best friend Nathan twelve years before, he has exhausted all appeals and now faces the long walk to the electric chair. All he can do is make peace with his God. Father John Rousseau is the man to whom the last month of Daniel's life has been entrusted. All the two men have left to do is rake ov ...more
Paperback, 391 pages
Published by Orion (first published July 1st 2003)
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May 12, 2014 Gail rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
There is little to say about this book (as I'm absolutely heartbroken and can barely see to type, if I'm honest) except to say it's just amazing, as are all R J Ellory books.

Briefly, we have the (just lovely) Daniel Ford who we know is on Death Row for the murder of his life long friend, Nathan Verney. Daniel and Nathan were inseparable throughout their lives and were like brothers.

Daniel is white and Nathan was black and in 1960's America it was a turbulent time for the long suffering black pe
Jennifer (JC-S)
Aug 24, 2011 Jennifer (JC-S) rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Jennifer (JC-S) by:
Shelves: librarybooks
‘I have faith in the fact that I am going to die.’

It’s 1982 and Daniel Ford is thirty-six years old. Twelve years ago, Daniel was convicted of the murder of his best friend, Nathan Verney. In thirty-six days, he will walk to the electric chair and pay with his life.

‘I ask myself what life is, what does it mean? Perhaps nothing more than a story, and each story different and rare and pronounced with its own voice.’

Father John Rousseau has been assigned to talk with Daniel during this last perio
Trev Twinem
Jun 06, 2010 Trev Twinem rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
R J Ellory's books are about human nature and human emotion exposed....You cannot help but be touched and greatly affected by his writing long after the book is finished. What I find so powerful in this and other books is is depiction of childhood and how our childhood experiences stay and affect us all our lives. Candlemoth is about being on death row and the realization and inevitably of our own mortality, this is a great starting point to evaluate and make sense of our lives. Candlemoth is a ...more
Praveen Palakkazhi
Aug 28, 2014 Praveen Palakkazhi rated it really liked it
Shelves: read-reviewed
R.J Ellory has a curiously distinct voice which soaks the reader in a sense of melancholy and nostalgia, and which also elevates him above standard genre fare. His books can come under the category of Crime fiction, but there is a definite literary quality to his writing which can put him under the Literary fiction variety too. This is the second book of his I am reading (though it is his first published one) after the highly rated 'A Quiet Belief in Angels' and there is definitely a few similar ...more
Stephanie (Stepping out of the Page)
Candlemoth is truly a phenomenal book that was gripping from start to end. Apart from it being quite predictable, I can't really fault it. The characters were well formed and the plot was interesting. I thought that the writing flowed smoothly and the transition from present day to past memories worked extremely well. I adored the symbolism of the candlemoth. This book works so well at delving deep into so many issues and could perhaps even be considered a bit of a history lesson (though certain ...more
Jul 22, 2011 Mohammed rated it it was ok
Shelves: crime-mystery
For this kind of epic flasback story with so much emotions to it and with backdrop of important US history of 50s,60s etc the writing was not good enough for me to believe the personal story of the characters,the characters themselves.
John Gall
Aug 20, 2011 John Gall rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Superb book, good storyline, beautifully written. I would strongly recommend this book, and very much look forward to reading more by this author who came strongly recommended.
May 07, 2013 Karpop rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Het verhaal van vriendschap en verraad is prachtig geschreven. De (ongelofelijke) geschiedenis vanaf de jaren 60 tot en met de jaren 80 is goed verweven in het plot betreffende de moord op Nathan Verney. De emoties voel je.
Ik vind het niet echt een thriller. Je bent benieuwd hoe het afloopt, maar spannend: nee.
De continue verwijzingen naar dat er iets staat te gebeuren, gaan op een gegeven moment irriteren.

Priester blijkt uiteindelijk undercover agent. Vader van vriendin - politicus - wil
Gisela Hafezparast
Really it is a 3.5

I really enjoyed the historic details of this book and then the description of the two main authors relationship as children and teenagers. However, I felt whilst their "flight" was descriped very well, I would have like much more on how this changed their relationship. To understand them and what happened better it would have also been helpful to hear more about their parents, surrounding, etc. Whilst Daniel's love life was well documented, Nathan's important relationships wer
Feb 25, 2009 Laura rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is a real "wow" book. It has shades of John Irving about it, particularly A Prayer For Owen Meany. Like Owen Meany, it's set during the Vietnam War, has the relationship between two young boys at its centre and you know one of the boys will die from the outset. It could have been sentimental, overdone and downbeat but the author handles all these issues sensitively in beautiful prose

Having read the header description posted from Amazon I thought I was in for a mediocre read but the review
Mar 09, 2012 David rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is the book that got me started with Roger Ellory.

Glad I found it in the 'interestsing reads' section of my local library. I have since bought it for myself, and re-read it.

Other reviews have captured the story and resolution better than I, but for me I liked this in the way that I liked Stewart O'Nan's 'The Good Wife' - the mapping of the characters' psyches that leads them (in both books) into a resignation that one's life is mapped out and it's too hard for us to climb out of the pit and
Apr 19, 2016 Amy rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2016
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Joshua Turner
Mar 25, 2016 Joshua Turner rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The story kept me intrigued enough to get to the end to find out what happens to the protagonist, and though the pacing didn't it any favours, the plot was great and filled with many interesting, though some unrealistic, characters.
Sometimes there would be a whole chapter to give you a slab of American history, which reads like a wikipedia page in some parts, and all it does is get in the way of the story.
Dan, the protagonists, has two brief relationships, both of which bugged from the start.
The Cannibal
Aug 02, 2015 The Cannibal rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Avec Ellory, mon esprit littéraire a joui une fois de plus. Le récit m’a pris à la gorge, au cœur, dans mes tripes, dans mes cou… Ah non, ça j’en ai pas !

Cet auteur a une manière bien à lui de décrire les années sombres des États-Unis, alors qu’il est anglais, et j’en redemande à chaque fois.

Ici, c’est tout un pan des sixties qu’il va mettre en scène. Les années 60 et sa putain de guerre du Vietnam, cette boucherie à ciel ouvert pour jeunes recrues qui ne savaient même pas où ça se trouvait.

Clay Stafford
“Candlemoth” was R.J. Ellory’s first novel, published in 2003 in the U.K. This is its first release in the United States. Since originally publishing “Candlemoth,” Ellory has gone on to become an international bestseller.

“Candlemoth” is set in the American South, which is an interesting choice for a debut novel from an Englishman. Ellory did his research weaving the story of death-row convict Daniel Ford with the events that have taken place over the past 50 turbulent years in the U.S. From read
Aug 15, 2014 Andrew rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Great story, wonderfully crafted.

If you read the first chapter of Candlemoth and think it's a little strange and/or a certain "type" of book and/or not for you... read on. It develops into something you might not expect from the first chapter - a marvelous epic tale of coming of age in tumultuous times under difficult circumstances, with tragedy, a bit of 60's history, and those little details of humanity included that make this book truly resonate beyond its plot points.

While I'm not a big fan
Aug 16, 2015 Lisa rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fave-books-2015, 2015
Sigh. R.J. Ellory proves once again why I simply adore his books. As a big time fan of his, Candlemoth definitely did not disappoint. I thought this was one of his best to date.

I won't bother to summarize it as you can read a synopsis here or on Amazon.

My favorite parts of the book were
A. The analogy of the candlemoth and all of the great symbolism throughout the book.
B. The friendship between Daniel and Nathan and how they were way before their time.
C. The flashbacks from present to future.
Manuel Antão
Mar 28, 2015 Manuel Antão rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2008

(Published originally on:
Candlemoth by R.J. Ellory


Der Weiße, Daniel Ford, sitzt im "Death Row". Da er seinen besten Freund Nathan geköpft hat.

Die Kindheit im Süden der USA, die Freundschaft mit Nathan, die Rassenunruhen, die Angst davor, als GI Joe an die front in Vietnam geschickt zu werden. Er erzählt von seinen Lieben, von Eifersucht und Angst. Und von der Warnung, die ihm zwei Durchschnittsgesichte Männer überbracht haben: Wenn Fords Freund seine Finger nicht von der weißen Tochter eines re
Feb 05, 2010 BookScout rated it really liked it
This beautifully conceived book reads like Steinbeck in its compassion and humanity. Even with a slightly clumsy, but satisfying ending, the enigmatic prose and engaging plot deserve no less than 4 stars. The characters are extremely sympathetic, portraying the best of humanity in a world that is on the verge of imploding. America is a major character in this book and you will feel just as much ambiguity towards her as to the human ones.

Set in the 1960's and 1970's for the most part, this is th
Feb 07, 2010 Helen rated it really liked it
There's not much to say about the plot that isn't written in the summary, really. Daniel Ford has been charged with the murder of his best (black) friend, Nathan Verney, and is rapidly approaching his final day on Earth. While waiting, he tells the story from the beginning to Father John Rousseau, who seems eager to hear all Daniel has to say on the matter.

This is my third Ellory book read so far, having begun (like many others) with A Quiet Belief In Angels, and it's clear that he has a talent
Sadly, this book suffered (greatly) from what I'll call "We Didn't Start the Fire" syndrome: the plot was unfortunately interrupted by long passages of lists about events from the 50s, 60s and 70s. Fellow readers, I skipped those parts and tried to find the next bit of plot.

The plot was actually interesting, tracing the friendship - dare I say Best Friends Forevership - of Nathan and Danny. They meet at age six, when Nathan cons Danny into sharing his baked ham sandwich and solidifies in their t
Nicholas Corduan
Jan 23, 2016 Nicholas Corduan rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: those who want to stand at the intersection of literature, thrillers, and crime fiction
Recommended to Nicholas by: a friend familiar with my own written word
Strongly voiced psychological suspense with a deep, rich sense of context (time and place). The plot is all about character, but the story and the setting are dressed so vividly you sometimes don't notice that you're being pulled deeper and deeper into the human psyche. Take your tame. It's suspenseful. It's a thriller. Do not assume that means you should read it like a page turner. Allow yourself to savor and experience.
Rita K
Aug 31, 2014 Rita K rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Even though I found Daniel's personality a bit lacking and his reactions to events a bit unbelievable, the story drew me in. It was a book I read almost straight through once I started it. Danny's life was greatly influenced by his friendship with a young black boy, Nathan. This story reminded me of Tom Franklin's novel "Crooked Letter, Crooked Letter." Despite some of its problems it was an engrossing read. I may well read it again.
Judith Yeabsley
Feb 26, 2013 Judith Yeabsley rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Loved this book. Daniel Ford (WASP) is on death row with 30 days to live accused of butchering his best friend Nathan (African Am)which from the start you know he didn't do. However, he feels so guilty about something he has not really fought the sentence. Now he's about to die he relives his life and spews his thoughts to a Priest. One of the few books I have read recently with real characters who are well rounded and have flaws and behave rashly and illogically and very NORMALLY. As it gets ne ...more
Jean Ann
I chose this book because of the focus on the friendship between a white man and a black man in the segregated south in the 1960s. It often read more like a history book, although only a surface reporting of historical events. The relationship between the men was both courageous and naive, but I felt there was something about the writing that didn't create the emotion and drama that I was expecting. Ellory's Quiet Belief in Angels spoiled me!
Dec 26, 2014 Anthony rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The tale of two six year old boys who developed a lifelong friendship over the sharing of a baked ham sandwich, and how their lives intertwined and the outcome of it 30yrs later. "A powerful vision of the American South in an age of racial tension and often violent upheaval."
Jul 02, 2014 Steve rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I loved this story. Ellory's writing is wonderful prose. His descriptions take you right inside the characters. The political and social backdrop of the 60's and 70's highlights those tumultuous times and particularly living in the south during those years. The ending is full of surprises and insights. I highly recommend this beautifully written piece of totally believable fiction.
Kaye Kern
Jan 06, 2015 Kaye Kern rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Although Ellory is described as a mystery writer, this beautiful book is more a coming of age in the south during the 60's. A commentary on race relations and social status intertwined with an underlying mystery. Well worth the read.
Jul 22, 2015 Ozh rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
une tranche de vie, peut être un tout petit peu trop longue par moment, qui coule à travers l'histoire des USA des années 60 et 70. Très bien écrit, très sensible, un livre qui me donne envie de découvrir d'avantage cet auteur.
Kate Millin
Jul 28, 2013 Kate Millin rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A good story set in America from the 1950's to the 1970's when the world was changing, especially in the way in which black people were viewed and lived. It is about a white boy Daniel and a black boy Nathan who meet as young children and become life long friends. It is told in a series of flashbacks while Daniel is waiting to be executed for the death of Nathan. In many ways it is a bitter sweet novel - but it made me rally grateful to be living in these times (even though it still is not perfe ...more
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Roger began his first novel on November 4th, 1987 and did not stop, except for three days when he was going through a divorce from his first wife, until July of 1993. During this time he completed twenty-two novels, most of them in longhand, and accumulated several hundred polite and complimentary rejection letters from many different and varied publishers.

He stopped writing out of sheer frustrat
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“Truth is truth, you are who you are, and though your viewpoint might change, and though you might possess a different perspective about something, your heart and what you believe and who you are inside is only ever you...and you have to follow your heart, you have to believe what you're doing is right, and no matter what anyone might say or think or do you have to trust yourself to make the right decision.” 12 likes
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