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(Tanglewreck #1)

3.46  ·  Rating details ·  2,246 ratings  ·  274 reviews
Something frightening is happening to time. Time tornadoes are ripping people from the present, never to return them, while a woolly mammoth inexplicably appears on banks of the River Thames. Eleven-year-old Silver and her guardian live in a house called Tanglewreck, which is somehow at the center of these mysterious time warps. A strange heirloom called the Timekeeper is ...more
Hardcover, 415 pages
Published July 1st 2006 by Bloomsbury Children's Books
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Average rating 3.46  · 
Rating details
 ·  2,246 ratings  ·  274 reviews

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Kaethe Douglas
Time travel. The cover on our copy is pure steampunk, lots of clock gears, unlike the cover shown, which looks a lot like the Golden Compass. Win, win, I suppose.***We just started. Time travel and an interestingly named house. Yum.***The house is an important character, just like in Rebecca and Little, Big. I love books in which the house is a character.***It's getting better. A train trip to London, a house in Spittalfields.***Every thing else I try to read doesn't appeal so much as this. I'm ...more
Oct 20, 2011 rated it did not like it
Shelves: t-8th-10th-scifi
I had such high hopes for this book. It had a female main character, which can be hard to come by in science-fiction, and started out with a very interesting and engaging premise. But, after about Chapter 2 it all just deteriorated. It was bogged down in technical, scientific, and existentialist theories that were akin to reading a theoretical physics text book. And although those concepts are very interesting and could make a great story if done well, they were not weaved well enough into this ...more
Aug 11, 2011 rated it really liked it
I've read several of Jeanette Winterson's books for adults, but while I love the language and find magic in them, I'm not exactly a fan of hers. I wasn't sure what to expect from a children's book by her, or YA, or whatever age group it's meant to be aimed at. But actually, I did enjoy it quite a lot: it's recognisably her work, with the structure and the use of language and other idiosyncrasies of hers, but it's also much easier to relax into. The plot is more linear, the narration less whimsic ...more
Dec 09, 2009 rated it liked it
Recommends it for: My nieces
I first became aware of Jeanette Winterson from an interview she did with Bill Moyers when her take on the Atlas myth, Weight: The Myth of Atlas and Heracles, came out. She and the book sounded intriguing, and I wasn't disappointed in either.

I haven't read a lot of her adult fiction subsequently (Oranges are Not the Only Fruit and her SF outing, The Stone Gods) but I've been impressed by the ideas she wrestles with and by her writing abilities so I was a bit disappointed in Tanglewreck, her init
Jul 20, 2007 rated it liked it
Recommends it for: YA geeks
Shelves: 2007, ya, women-writers
Nancy Pearl suggested this on NPR. Noticed it in the Greenpt Library and after putting back all the other books, except for the one I had reserved, because I have enough reading at home and dont need any more books. I grabbed it on my way out. Obvious elements of the Golden Compass (precocious young orphan child with a desirable magical toy that only she can operate, her daemon is her house, Tanglewreck, traveling through space and time, evil parental figures, male BFF she has to rescue...) + Ne ...more
This children's fantasy started out strong, but peters out a bit in the end. The basic idea is that all over the world, people are being caught up in "time storms" that sweep them out of their appropriate time and scatter them through time and space. Somehow connected to these time warps is a rambling old house called Tanglewreck, where an young girl named Silver lives with her malicious old aunt, Mrs. Rockaby.

There are some really fantastically witty elements to this book, my favorite possibly
The concept of time tornadoes is quite exciting. The execution of the story on the other hand? Not so much.
Jul 11, 2007 rated it liked it
Shelves: j-fiction
I would give this book 2 1/2 stars if I could, which is a shame because I was really excited about it and wanted to love it. It wasn't bad, really it wasn't, I just don't think Jeanette Winterson knew quite what she wanted to do with it. It's classified as YA, as it well should be based on the writing style. But, the main character is only 11 and the plot itself is sort of juvenile. I feel like Winterson wanted this to be a juvenile book, but couldn't write simply enough for it to really be a ki ...more
Alan Teder
Ambitious Time/Space YA Fantasy
Review of the Bloomsbury US hardcover edition (2006)

Thanks to Liisa & Martin for this one of many 2019 Christmas reading gifts!
This was quite an ambitious YA fantasy novel that takes the youthful protagonist through "time tornados" across space and time into multiple universes. It actually seemed almost too ambitious and I wonder how younger readers will understand it. There are a few scenes that will likely conjure up some disturbing imagery for adults (experiment
Aug 20, 2017 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
For a novel written by an author as renowned as Jeanette Winterson, it was positively shambolic.

The plot follows a young girl (Silver) who lives in a world where time is falling out of step, causing people to go missing in 'Time Tornadoes' and others from the past to appear in the present. Silver, after a visit from a suspicious Mr Darkwater, must go on a quest for a special clock (the Timekeeper) to put the world back to rights.

The trouble with the plot is twofold: first of all, there are simpl
Nyeh. This started fairly promising as a charming children's fantasy about the value of time, in the "scrappy orphan saves the world" tradition, but then quickly derailed into a poorly paced hodgepodge of familiar concepts previously better employed by other writers (Michael Ende's "Momo", Madeleine L'Engle's "A Wrinkle in Time" and Neil Gaiman's "Neverwhere" especially come to mind). The characters remain pretty flat throughout, there is far too much telling-not-showing (really, you can't find ...more
Nov 23, 2010 rated it did not like it
Down on the Church and Science and America ... and, well, not really *up* on anything except bizarre and instant friendship.

And who names a character Buddleia and doesn't explain why? Granted, the character in question is a dead sister who gets mentioned a lot (something was wrong with her leg, so she and the parents had to go into London) ... but that turns out to be more of a limping waiter problem itself.

I wanted to, but I couldn't like this book. The interesting parts weren't explored enough
Addy S.
Aug 10, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Loved this book SO much!! I keep forgetting the title, but when I did I made sure to mark it as read. 😃 Such a great book, and I definitely recommend it to anyone who loves a good adventure!
Dec 12, 2014 rated it did not like it
Silver lives with her cruel aunt in her family's ancestral home, Tanglewreck. Forced to clean and never having enough to eat, Silver only has the house for company. But one day her aunt takes her to London to visit Abel Darkwater, a man Silver doesn't trust, a man who wants very badly for Silver to find for him a clock called the Timekeeper that her father owned. With the help of Gabriel, a boy who lives underground, Silver embarks on a journey to escape Abel Darkwater, find the Timekeeper, and ...more
Aug 25, 2008 rated it liked it
Shelves: j-fiction
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Danette Baltzer
Mar 29, 2011 rated it it was amazing
This tale is spellbinding! Readers will relish not only the action and the well-crafted settings but all the details which makes for scenes of great power. "My name is Silver and I have lived at Tanglewreck all of my life, which is to say, eleven years" before frightening events begin to occur with time. Time Tornados rush through the streets of London and those in the path vanish without a trace, to sometimes reappear in a Parallel Universe. A woolly mammoth is seen roaming the banks of the Tha ...more
Tanglewreck is definitely more of a children's book than a young adult book, but that doesn't mean it isn't good.

It presented time and time travel in a very unique way which made the story very interesting and fun to read. The main character was nice but the characters I loved most were the villains, especially Regalia Mason. Her character alone was enough for me to give this book 4 stars.

It was a fun, light read that I would recommend mostly to young teens, but anyone who likes time travel cou
Dec 28, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Tanglewreck is a wacky time travel fantasy novel about Silver, an eleven-year-old girl whose parents and sister mysteriously disappeared four years ago when they were taking their old clock to an antiquarian specialist in time pieces. If Diana Wynne Jones, Eva Ibbotson, and Neil Gaiman wrote an episode of Doctor Who, it might come out something like this. I half expected a blue box to materialize.
Dec 29, 2009 rated it it was ok
Shelves: adolescent, fantasy
Either Winterson does not enjoy writing description, or she assumes that the young people today just do not enjoy reading it. This read was definitely fast-paced (the only reason it took me longer than it should have was due to the fact that I kept flitting off to do other thigns).
Jul 25, 2012 rated it liked it
Good, cute, but sort of... petered out at the end? I agree with you, Sarah, it almost felt like it should have been several books with a lot more detail.
Feb 10, 2015 rated it liked it
Shelves: ya
Maybe, in general, I just don't love books about quantum physics? It was fine, but not my favorite. ...more
Feb 27, 2018 rated it really liked it
This is a middle grade sci-fi/fantasy novel about a girl who is suspected of possessing a clock that can control time. Two different antagonists are after her, one who uses magic and another who uses science.

I thought the ideas present in this book were very imaginative. I was somewhat frustrated that a lot of the scientific concepts shown didn't really make sense. There was some basic logic behind them, but it felt like the kind of thing that was still kind of vague and not fully explained or e
Cindy Mitchell *Kiss the Book*
Winterson, Jeanette Tanglewreck 416 p. Bloomsbury –

When Silver was 7, her parents and sister died in a car accident. Now, four years later, she is still living in her home, but under the care of an evil guardian who makes her life miserable. Events have been set in motion that will send Silver across the world, across time, across space, introducing her to friends to help her and villains who want to possess her – with everyone in pursuit of the Timekeeper.

Books written about time and space ha
Apr 01, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I had no CLUE Jeanette Winterson would ever take on a children's book. I have to say, I kind of love that she did.

It's a pretty smart little book and includes a LOT of really intruiging concepts. How she plays with the concept of time and time travel is really great. Also, an evil black bunny named Bigamist?! How do you not love THAT?!

My only complaint was the inevitable tarot thing...she used tarot cards in the book to tell part of the story, which is cool, but she specifically dated them into
Colin MacDonald
Dec 23, 2018 rated it liked it
I enjoyed reading this, but something felt a bit off. I love Winterson's adult works for their dreamlike narratives and philosophical rambling, and the sheer poetry of her prose. They have such a fantastical tone that there's no question of suspending disbelief - you don't expect her world to make any kind of literal sense.

But here it seems that in aiming at a YA audience, she tried to make a simpler and more logical story, told in a more straightforward style, and ended up with a somewhat unsat
Jan 05, 2019 rated it it was ok
I always wanted to read a Jeanette Winterson novel and I encountered this one at a used bookstore for a good price. Yes, it's a YA book and told from the perspective of an 11-year old girl, which doesn't detract from it really. The biggest problem I had was mostly with the science fiction aspect, which draws heavily on quantum physics and time travel. I didn't find it particularly compelling or thought-inducing, as it really should have been. Tanglewreck has been compared to Pullman's His Dark M ...more
Jan 20, 2021 rated it it was amazing
Jeanette Winterson is well known for her adult novels, but not everyone realizes that she has also written one or two books for younger readers. Tanglewreck is a magical, fantasy adventure about a girl called Silver who discovers she holds the key to controlling time. Her quest to find the Timekeeper takes her into the past and the future, ending up at The Einstein Line, a checkpoint between the two, where there is a full size replica of the Vatican City, housing all the popes who have ever live ...more
Mar 16, 2019 rated it it was amazing
My daughters and I were blown away by a read-aloud of Tanglewreck. How is it out of print? It’s a wonderful twist of science and mythology, a world in believable peril, and dark, hopeful humor. It’s a complex idea held perfectly lightly, a serious story but without any sense of authorial self-importance. True, there aren’t as many clever layers of importance as we’re accustomed to in this genre, and true, it could be a lot more detailed and the world-building could be much more fully realized. B ...more
Zofia Salabaj
This book started off great, with a promising story that would have been amazing, but unfortunately, there were so many things I would have changed. It seems Winterson didn't really know where she was taking this book, as she attempted to throw in countless scientific terms, facts, and studies that ended up being completely irrelevant and just made the book confusing, while also trying to mix in a love story between two preteen kids. I try to look for the best in everything, so in retrospect, ye ...more
Jan 22, 2018 rated it it was ok
Shelves: young-adult, fantasy
I actually really enjoyed some of the philosophies and ideas and puns in this book. I do think this is a poorly written Juevnile book though. The theories of time and relativity would definitely be rather complex for a kid, the narrative passed back and forth between too many people too many times, the characters were cliche or underdeveloped or irrelevant, and the plot was so typical and easy to guess. I have no problem with books that encourage deeper meaning and thought, reference history, an ...more
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Novelist Jeanette Winterson was born in Manchester, England in 1959. She was adopted and brought up in Accrington, Lancashire, in the north of England. Her strict Pentecostal Evangelist upbringing provides the background to her acclaimed first novel, Oranges Are Not the Only Fruit, published in 1985. She graduated from St Catherine's College, Oxford, and moved to London where she worked as an assi ...more

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