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In the Eyes of Mr Fury

4.16  ·  Rating details ·  263 ratings  ·  39 reviews
This is a first novel, about growing up in London, which centres round the moment when the local bogey man, who the children have been terrified of, dies. His death releases passions that have been supressed in the street for many years.
Paperback, 192 pages
Published June 1st 1989 by London Penguin Books
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Average rating 4.16  · 
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Grace Wells
Jun 27, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2016
A dear friend of mine from college recommended this to me years ago. He passed away recently. I ordered the book off amazon as its out of print and vowed to finally read it just for him. It is instantly engaging, I couldn't put it down. I love the mysticism. I love the love triangles. I love the parallel plots and spooky prose. I love the dialogue. I love the use of color and texture and vivid imagery. I loved this book, Joey. Thank you for recommending it to me. I'm so sorry it took me so long ...more
Mar 31, 2018 rated it really liked it
I had to let this book percolate a bit before I could rate it properly, since I was expecting something totally different and that threw off my perceptions of it. I was expecting adult horror, something dark and/or nasty, so I kept thinking, hey, where's the scary? Where's the monster? When does the Very Bad Stuff happen? Right up until the next to last page I thought there was going to be some serious bloodshed. Nope. As adult horror, this book is a non-starter.

What this book is, is YA magical
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Michael Adams
What a sweet, charming, witty, and ultimately powerful book. A multi-generational LGBT tale of love and loss, and of struggling to come to terms with who one is in the face of hostility and adversity. In the Eyes of Mr Fury is part bildungsroman, part romance, part fairy-tale, and positively filled with secrets, friends, lovers, betrayals, and the power of story-telling thanks to a rather remarkable story-teller named Mama Zepp. I was very impressed and totally enchanted by this novel and would ...more
Mar 10, 2009 rated it it was amazing
I love this book so much I have two copies - just in case one disappears, or gets ruined. So amazing!
Nancy Oakes
Dec 18, 2016 marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
Arrived today - hardcover version. Going with me to Seattle. Thanks Valancourt!
Andrew Peters
In the words of one of the characters: “Wow!” Just Wow. I ate up this book with the proverbial spoon, and it’s going on my Intro to Gay Fantasy list.

A couple of impressions and confessions first…

I’m so glad I found In The Eyes of Mr. Fury because its original publisher from 1989 went out of business, the book went out of print, and it was only fairly recently (2016) re-released by Valancourt. A circuitous route led me to it. I had posted a query on a Facebook group re. queer fantasy recs pre-19
Craig Laurance
Jun 11, 2009 rated it it was amazing
Classic queer magical realism. Beautiful prose, twisted plot, lovely characters.
Suki St Charles
"When we are born we are magic. We come into the world still sparkling and blind with the secrets whispered to us by a zodiac of blood. Inside the womb blood cells swim in and out of our eyes like tiny comets, giving us stories, the legend of things, names, and when we push our way out of our sacred bubble we are already wizards. We cry, not in pain or fear, but in wonder of all the miracles we might have to perform..." ...more
Mark Ward
Aug 23, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: my-bookshelf, lgbt
My favourite novel of all time.


Audiobook review. Matthew Lyon does an amazing job bringing the whole cast to life. I feel like I properly understand this revised version, and feel it deeper, with the audio version. 500 stars.
Bill Hsu
Jul 29, 2018 rated it it was ok
I appreciate the surprising turns in the narrative, especially since this was from the late '80s. But it's a bit too chatty and old-fashioned for my taste. ...more
Jan 08, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
”When we are born we are magical and loving and full of wonder. But darkness and ignorance surround us at every corner. Until the day someone calls us a monster or a devil... and we believe them.”

A wonderful novel with many layers: a Bildungsroman about a gay teenager growing up in a homophobic context, that also reflects on the missed life opportunities of our parents, so we don’t repeat their mistakes. A novel about the rollercoaster of falling in love for the first time, that reads almost lik
May 03, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I completely and utterly loved this novel! Philip Ridley expanded upon the version published in 1989 and as the description says it is the "world's first LGBT magical realist epic." I was completely immersed in this amazing story about Concord (Con) Webster and what happens on "the Street." And for me, Mama Zeppelina is up there with Anna Madrigal in terms of incredible characters. I wish I had read this when I started the process of coming out. I believe it would have helped me in that process ...more
Corinna Bechko
Sweet and charming YA magical realism. I was expecting something much darker, but this is a hopeful book full of love and loss and and the triumph of romance, if only for a little while, no matter who the lovers are.
Alex Sarll
Years ago - I think the late nineties - I got a book some bookshop chain produced. Probably Waterstone's, although back then they weren't the only one. In it, various writers wrote about a book, or maybe five, that they loved. I had this book because some of those writers were writers I loved - but the entry that fascinated me was by a chap called Philip Ridley, who deliberately ignored the rules (quoting William Burroughs as justification) and aphoristically praised a hundred-odd books, and fil ...more
Jan 25, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
So, the cover is so damn scary that I had to hide it when I wasn't reading. First I was sceptic, since my friend recommended this and I hadn't heard about the book before. Then I started reading - BANG! Wow, this book was so amazing! The language was great and the flow, let's not forget the flow! Ridley nails 1st person POV so well and Connie was a great narrator for the story. Also, the structure of the book worked nicely, though I must say that the ending would've needed that "something".

The m
Shawn Birss
Philip Ridley writes this queer, magical realist, coming-of-age epic in the poppy, immediate style of a play. Colours swarm and magic dances around every character in a fantasy world with seemingly more queer characters than straight, one where justice is served for the oppressed, where no bigot is changed, yet our protagonist finds strength and identity despite them.

After his eighteenth birthday, Concord develops a relationship with a strange older woman on his street, Mama Zepp. She knows all
This review is for the original 1989 (?) Penguin version of the book. Years later, the author reissued the same title in a more expanded form, so the original now is a bit hard to find. The newer edition is considered magical realism, but there isn't a lot of that in the original. Basically it's a LGBTQ coming-of-age love story with a beautiful first-person voice that hints at time repeating itself, if only metaphorically. The fantasy element in this version is subtle, and this is definitely a t ...more
Akemi Ashiuchi
Dec 07, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I went into this book with a lot of skepticism. I was nearly positive I wouldn't enjoy it all that much...yet once it began, I was completely captured. Just like Concord.

The stories being told here are all so captivating. villans become innocent dreamers, while trusted adults become vial betrayers. We are given a window into the stories of people much too entangled to ever truly be parted, all the while helping not only our main character, Concord, learn and grow, but us as well.

We are taken i
Chris Cangiano
Jan 09, 2021 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy, gay-themed
“Lovely” and “Charming” are not the words that I thought I would be writing about this novel when I originally picked it up. That’s my fault as for some reason I thought this would have more of a horror or dark thriller theme (blame it on my love for Ridley’s wildly under seen and under appreciated film The Reflecting Skin) and instead it is a perfectly wonderful magical realist fantasia about a gay man coming of age in the early 1980’s in working class London and coming to grips with both the h ...more
Cameron Green
Feb 05, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I'm convinced this is my favourite novel. A work of sublime wonder, aching emotion, and spell-binding imagery that is a triumph of queer love and storytelling against the adversity of tradition and the past. This book filled me with such warmth, pain, wonder, and pride to see a fairytale in which love ultimately wins. ...more
Jeremy Atkinson
Aug 16, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This is a review of the expanded, now complete, novel, published in 2016. I didn't want this novel to end, having become so enchanted by the epic fantasy contained within the small setting of a street. I also wish that novels like this had been around when I was a teenager. Simply magical. ...more
Bernardo Villela
For about the last quarter of this book my eyes were stinging with tears from one of more of the following: the intensity of emotion, melancholy, horror, and beauty of the prose and imagery.

One of the best books I’ve read in quite some time.
May 27, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Lovely book. Snappy, fantastic and completely magical. To me one of those rare books which invite the reader to weave their own story into the one on the page. I was captivated.
Pat C
Jul 10, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
An enjoyable novel that starts with a horrible, strange suicide, veers through magical realism to explain the intergenerational back story and points the youth hero towards his new life out of the closet. Most of this takes place on "the street," a middle class neighborhood in London. The dialogue can become too self-consciously witty at times, but stick with it until the wallop at the end. ...more
Sister Morticia
Jul 17, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Strange and sad and beautiful and disturbing. A fragile, wonderful story written in Philip Ridley's idiosyncratic style. I loved it ...more
May 16, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: audible
4.5 loved it
Andrea Snyder
Mar 06, 2020 rated it really liked it
A nice quick read that kept you engaged and wanting to read more. I quite enjoyed it although the ending was not my fav nor what I expected.
Dustin Shultz
May 02, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Queer magical fiction. I love the way this story is told. Reminds me of a Japanese anime movie to a certain degree, especially the character of Mama Zepp. Great way to weave a romance into the story. I loved all the history of the characters told in a magical memory retrieval way.
Dec 16, 2009 rated it liked it
Pretty good yarn; earns extra points for not wrapping things up neatly at the end, but leaving most relationships/lives in tatters while promising a better future for some.
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Valancourt Books: In the Eyes of Mr Fury (1989) by Philip Ridley 3 24 Dec 06, 2016 11:11AM  

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