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Being Light

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3.21 of 5 stars 3.21  ·  rating details  ·  77 ratings  ·  37 reviews
Roy Travers is swept away by a freak gust of wind while trying to install a bouncy castle in Brockwell Park, south London. Sheila, his wife, can't understand why he hasn't found his way back home. She begins to suspect that Roy has been abducted by aliens and enlists the help of Mrs Fitzgerald's Bureau of Investigation to find him. Sheila travels to Kent with Alison, a pri ...more
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Published (first published October 5th 2000)
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Ami Blackwelder
Being Light by Helen Smith

Helen's writing is not for everyone, her style is kind of like sushi. An Acquired taste. I think people will either get it or not.

Told in present tense, this novel does not lack for anything as many novels do with authors attempting present tense. The flow still feels natural. A clever twist of characters whose lives intersect.

With Roy disappearing, Sheila, and Ella Fitzgerald and more, we meet some of the old characters from Allison Wonderland (Book one) and a few new
...more
Grace Krispy
Roy Travers is helping a friend set up a bouncy castle when the unthinkable happens; Roy is taken into the sky by a gust of wind and he floats away on the castle. His friend finds that hilarious, and it is. Hilarious ...until Roy disappears and never comes back. Roy's wife, Sheila, will stop at nothing to get her husband back, and that includes wearing a tinfoil hat and using pebbles to communicate with the aliens who have (obviously) taken him. How far will Sheila go to get her husband back?

Wri
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Al
It is unlikely Being Light is anything like any book you’ve read before. There are multiple casts of characters, which in the beginning seem unrelated. Keeping track of them all is a challenge at first. One thing they all have in common is they’re … I want to say crazy. Maybe not in the sense that they’re certifiable, although we do have some belief in alien abduction, so I won’t rule it out. But each has plenty of quirks and eccentricities. Although not a sequel in the normal sense, Alison Wond ...more
Jaidis Shaw
If you have had the pleasure of reading other works from Helen Smith, such as Alison Wonderland, then you will love reading Being Light. Since I enjoyed Ms. Smith's writing style in Alison Wonderland, I was excited to begin reading Being Light to see if it had the same quirkiness that I had grown fond of in Alison Wonderland. Helen Smith's Being Light does not disappoint! We start off by meeting Roy, who is abruptly carried away in a bouncy toy in strong winds. When it crashes, Roy believes his ...more
Kathleen
GOODREADS FIRSTREADS GIVEAWAY

Oh my, I feel put off by the cover but I'm ready to overcome my prejudices and dig in.

This book is a witty three-ring circus. Hang on to your popcorn and settle in for the big finale.

I am going to seek out more from this writer.
Scott Collins
After reading Alison Wonderland, I too moved pretty quickly into this book. While the characters have some of the same crazy quirks and witty humor, there is a dark side to this Being Light that wasn't there in Alison.

I really enjoy the writing style, as it feels like real life. There seems to be a certain amount of chaos, but even in the disarray, our lives are all connected. Nobody stands apart from everyone else. Our existences are filled with cause and effect. I felt she did a great job of
...more
Shawna Hansen
Loved it! I'm a big fan of twisty tales and this one ended in just the right way. Masterful, interesting and rather thought-provoking between laughs. I'm a big fan of Helen Smith's!
Alice Yeh
In a style distinctly her own, Smith tells her story through scenes, shifting between several points of views before tying the incidents together neatly by connecting the seemingly isolated dots. In this case, upwards of eight characters are involved in a story that centers not only on a missing man, but also upon animal rights, environmentalism, the definition of emotions, and attempted communication with aliens. As with Alison Wonderland, she maintains that tongue-in-cheek tone that lends dry ...more
Dawn Judd
This was an interesting book. Right from the beginning Helen gets your attention, drawing you into the story. I found myself wanting to find out what would happen to Roy. Would he discover the truth? Being Light, like real life, takes people and events that are seemingly unrelated and twists them all together, showing us that everything is connected somehow. The lives of each of the characters started out looking like separate stories, that in the end, were neatly tied together. When I first fin ...more
Imogen Rose
When Roy Travers floats away in a bouncy castle and then wakes up in the care of a stranger, he assumes that he has died and gone to heaven. His wife, Sheila, assumes that aliens have abducted him. So, in addition to taking to wearing aluminum wrapping at the tip of her ears (to ensure that she makes herself available to any extraterrestrial messages) she also enlists the help of a private investigator, Alison (from Alison Wonderland), to help her track him down.

Helen Smith takes on an amusing j
...more
Michele Brenton
I've read this book a couple of times now. It improves on re-reading and it was pretty darn good on the first reading to begin with.

The new cover design (my copy is one of the original covers) gives a much better impression of the contents. Bright, original full of colour and life. A fascinatingly quirky read. My mother enjoyed it too :)
Jack
I enjoyed this more than "Alison Wonderland" - it had the same unique style but felt more structured and complete as a novel.
Debra Martin
I was lucky to win this book in a contest and looked forward to reading it. I wasn't disappointed, it was a quirky and fun read.
Anastasia
Thanks for the win!!!
Shauna
I got this book as my first ever giveaway on Goodreads. It is not the sort of book that I would probably have picked up at a bookshop but I am glad that I gave it a chance.
At the beginning I felt that I was missing out because I hadn't read 'Alison Wonderland' which features some of the characters and I didn't know their backstory but in the end it didn't really matter.
As a light read it is a fun book, not laugh out loud funny for me but some moments of great observational humour and absurdity.
...more
Dailycheapreads
Helen Smith has written a very entertaining work that is also piercing in its insight in her book Being Light.
The satire about “Cool Britannia” opens with Roy Travers inflating a bouncy castle at a charity carnival. The castle gets caught in the breeze and takes flight. Roy continues to float until the castle loses air and lands on a bucolic farm. When a woman informs him he is Paradise, Roy concludes that he has died and gone to heaven.
He is, in fact, on the hideaway of a former circus performe
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TC
Roy Travers is helping his friend put up a bouncy castle for a fun day when he gets blown away aboard it and disappears. He finds himself in Paradise with an angel named Sylvia. Meanwhile his wife Sheila, unswayed by friends suggesting he might have run off with another woman or simply that he died in the freak accident, becomes convinced he has been abducted by aliens.

The book follows a cast of distinctive characters, whose lives are seemingly unconnected, but as the story develops the reader
...more
Sonia
After reading Alison Wonderland recently, I exchanged a couple of emails with the author and mentioned how much I missed Alison and the other characters after finishing the book. She said that there was another that she had written, and promptly sent me a copy.

Being Light begins with a wonderfully visual and surreal scene – Roy Travers and his friend realise that they haven’t done a particularly good job of securing a bouncy castle when Roy is swept away on it by a freak gust of wind. As he drif
...more
Coreena
I wasn't sure what to expect with this book, but found myself racing through it. It is very different from other books that I've read and I love the freshness of that.

There is the quirky story line of Roy flying away in a bouncy castle and never being heard from again, and his poor, very distraught wife who is convinced that he must have been abducted by aliens because otherwise he would have returned to her. Then there are also several other story lines, everything from an animal trainer being
...more
Heather Boustead
Being Light
By Helen Smith

While Roy Travers is helping to install a new state of the art bouncy house, a freak gust of wind picks him and the bouncy house up dropping him in Paradise, where he meets the only other resident Sylvia. Meanwhile his wife, Sheila, is continuously searching for her husband after a while she comes to believe whole heartedly that Roy has been abducted by aliens and is determined to get him back.

Once again Helen Smith comes up with a quirky and interesting cast of chara
...more
Linda
I am not sure I appreciated this book as it was meant to be appreciated, and I have spent a few days pondering how to review it. This is a very strange story with too many, seemingly unrelated, quirky characters.

I think the story lacks some structure, I kept getting lost. This was not an easy read for me, a couple of main characters names kept getting twisted in my brain, their names were similar both started with the letter S and were about the same length in letters. There are also a lot of st
...more
Vicki Tyley
‘We don’t give information about extraterrestrials, we collect it.’
‘Do you know where I can get information?’
‘We don’t give information.’
‘You won’t even give me information about where to get information?’
‘No.’ – Being Light


I’d been saving this for a rainy day, because after reading Alison Wonderland, I knew that once I started reading this, I wouldn't be able to put down. Being Light didn't disappoint.

If I can describe Being Light in one word, it'd be surreal. Reading it, I felt like I'd been s
...more
Jaime
Didn't blow my mind, but didn't piss me off either. It was pretty funny at times, which I suppose was the point. In short, it made good light summer reading. Not really my type of story, but good for what is is. A couple twists and turns here and there. Neither completely implausible in the story's universe (in which unrealistic things sometimes happen), nor predictable.

Smith has a knack for tidy prose, conveying her story in just enough words. Which I admire, being constitutionally unable to d
...more
Georgiann Hennelly
While Roy Travers is helping a friend set up a bouncy castle. The unthinkable happens: Roy is picked up by a gust of wind and he floats away on the castle. His friend finds it hilarious, and it is until Roy disappears and doesn,t come back. Roy,s wife Shiela will stop at nothing to get him back and that includes wearing a tinfoil hat, and using pebbles to communicate with the Aleins who she believes have taken him. How far willl Sheila go to get Roy back? This isn,t like any book i have read bef ...more
Judym
Didn't get this book and didn't find it funny at all.
Donna Fasano
This isn't the first book by this author I have read. I read and enjoyed [[ASIN:B004KA9TTE Alison Wonderland]] very much and quickly decided to read Being Light. Helen Smith is an out-of-the-box thinker and her imagination is purely delightful. Her characters (and they truly are "characters" *grin*) are always fully-fleshed and I never know where Smith is going to take me. So whenever I pick up one of her books, I always get that giddy feeling in the pit of my belly, anticipating the fun that's ...more
Kristy Sherrod
This book is definitely a different comedy novel than I've read before. We begin with our "main character" Roy, who happens to be suddenly swept away by a strong gust of wind while trying to install one of those bouncy castles (You know, the ones you can't keep the kids off of at the fair, flea market, etc.)...

Full Review at Coffee & Literature.

Being Light Review
Susan Davis
I loved Helen Smith's first novel with the sleuthing Alison Temple and her hilarious gang so I was excited to see that there was a follow-up. "Being Light" brings us another witty whodunit with the delightful Roy Travers and yet another screwball ensemble. Ms. Smith has a unique, talented writing style mixing humor with fast-paced storytelling that I just don't see enough. I can't wait for the next one!
Kathy
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Kelsey Flanagan
I was very disappointed with the first book by this author, but had previously purchased this book, so figured I would give it a shot. It was better than the first one, the book was written better and I enjoyed the characters and story line, which was much more interesting and held my attention somewhat better.
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Helen Smith is a member of the Mystery Writers of America, The Crime Writers Association and English PEN. She traveled the world when her daughter was small, doing all sorts of strange jobs to support them both – from cleaning motels to working as a magician's assistant – before returning to live in London where she wrote her first novel. She's the author of Alison Wonderland, Being Light, The Mir ...more
More about Helen Smith...
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