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Billy Moon

2.71  ·  Rating details ·  163 ratings  ·  35 reviews
Billy Moon was Christopher Robin Milne, the son of A. A. Milne, the world-famous author of Winnie the Pooh and other beloved children’s classics. Billy’s life was no fairy-tale, though. Being the son of a famous author meant being ignored and even mistreated by famous parents; he had to make his own way in the world, define himself, and reconcile his self-image with the im ...more
Hardcover, 272 pages
Published August 27th 2013 by Tor Books
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Average rating 2.71  · 
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switterbug (Betsey)
Sep 27, 2013 rated it it was amazing
If you are looking for a book of "faction"(a novel based on the biography of someone) on Christopher Robin Milne, the son of Winnie-the-Pooh creator A.A. Milne, this is not the book. Although some facts of Christopher Robin's real life are woven in here (and some turned upside down), it is not frequently germane to this surreal labyrinth, a unique story of identity, dreams, and time. It isn't just "Who am I?" but, more, "Who am I", relative to a personal and social world in flux, and a life tryi ...more
Aug 22, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Billy Moon is the kind of book that one simply doesn't expect. As Library Journal wrote in its starred review of it, "Lain's first novel combines two unlikely scenarios to create a tapestry of life in the lat 1960s, when Europe, as well as America, experienced the fervor of youth."

It's not just about that, of course. It's a magic realist novel about the son of A.A. Milne as he tries, in middle age, to deal with the strangeness of being not just a won, a husband and a father, but also that most s
Oct 12, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: books-with-bears
Can political revolution alter the rules of reality itself? Depends on who you ask. If you asked Douglas Lain to outline the parallels between the literature of SF/magic realism/fantasy/escapism and the nature of revolutionary anarchist thought, he'd probably say something incredibly deep and smart -- perhaps on his Diet Soap podcast -- or else he might just hand you this book, in which impossible things happen to beloved and lovable and truly real humans during the brief life of the 1968 Paris ...more
Sep 20, 2013 rated it it was amazing
I have noticed that, with the best novels, I recognize parts of myself in the characters. I’m drawn in and held fast, feeling my fate is tied up somehow in the book, that how the characters behave will make a difference in how I live my life. Billy Moon pulled me in that way, and left me wondering what is my next move.

Reality was slowly falling apart. Christopher found that he could no longer rely on his habitual life, all the routines, to maintain the world of appearances. Gerrard, never sure w
Lynette Aspey
Jun 21, 2013 rated it really liked it

I was very pleased to receive a pre-release copy of Douglas Lain's new book for review. The following is an excerpt of a longer review available on my blog:

Due out from Tor Books in August this year, Douglas Lain's "Billy Moon" is a strange, meandering mash-up of Philip K. Dick, magic realism, philosophy and history. It is at once confusing, intriguing and informative, and a vehicle with which Douglas Lain occupies your mind with his obsessive -- yet surr
Francisco Florimon
May 10, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Billy Moon is Christopher Robin Milne, a man struggling to be real, for he lives in the shadow of a colossal specter, the shadow of Winnie the Pooh.

He grew up an became a man. He fought in World War 2. He's known love and and he's known horror. He's known friendship and disillusionment, and through it all he's struggled to make a life for himself, despite intrusions from a dreamtime he never made. His father, the author of Winnie the Pooh, played a dirty trick on him, rendered him forever partia
Aug 08, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Brilliantly-conceived novel that imagines how the real Christopher Robin comes to embrace the mythic figure created by A.A. Milne. Douglas Lain crisscrosses the landscape between fiction and reality, and one is never truly sure in which time one resides until the very end. Kudos to Lain for a highly imaginative, quiet yet thought-provoking and philosophical read.
Kate Padilla
Aug 15, 2013 rated it liked it
I really enjoyed the story, especially given the protagonist, Christopher Robin Milne. Bits of the magic realism, however, were a little confusing. I didn't know how they related to the book as a whole.
Nov 22, 2015 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2015
With this read I have descended so far down the rabbit hole that I found it both difficult to finish and hard to put down. It is a surrealistic, oniric perfection for the enthousiasts of the deconstruction of a novel. One of those reads that stay with you and, in time, ripe in your mind.
Jul 20, 2013 rated it it was amazing
a wonderful book that I'll have in my library until you ask to borrow and keep for yourself.
Nov 18, 2013 rated it it was ok
Combining the real Christopher Robin with the student protests against the French government in 1968 in Paris was a clever premise, but it got to be disjointed and boring.
Jan 14, 2014 rated it really liked it
Will have to come back... it is all a bit muddy
Mar 10, 2015 added it
Shelves: bookreporter
What would your life be like if your father was a famous writer? And, in the course of making his name, he used you, a child, as a character in his books. How would you handle living a life locked in the memory of millions of people who think they know you because they read his books? And what if, in the course of trying to grow up and shed that shackle, something magical happened and you were finally able to find yourself? These are some of the questions explored in the magical and intriguing n ...more
Nov 10, 2013 rated it really liked it
Billy Moon follows the life of a grown-up Christopher Robin Milne, better known as the little boy in the Winnie the Pooh books. While his father made him famous with the books, as Christopher grew to an adult, he found himself disconnected from life and the expectations others had of him. They didn't see him as he was in reality; they saw the little boy from the books and expected him to be the same. When he was a small child, he called himself Billy Moon. As a man, he was married and ran a book ...more
Aug 02, 2013 rated it it was ok
Gerrard wanted to exist in "The House at Pooh Corner". Billy Moon was Christopher Robin. One lived it; the other understood it. Reality is a dream. Somehow this leads to a comparison of the 1968 Paris revolt to Pooh's search for the North Pole. It helps to keep in mind both Gerrard and Christopher are schizophrenic.
Before I got totally confused I looked up an account of Christopher Milne's time in Paris. This is what I found: the story is totally concocted, right down to his wife and child.
Freda Mans-Labianca
Oct 07, 2013 rated it it was ok
Shelves: fiction
I liked this book from the moment I saw it.A beautiful cover with a synopsis to draw me in.
I was let down though.
As I read, I often got frustrated. The book would go from being written with grace and elegance to becoming completely baffling, and back again. For me, this happened too much. It almost felt like it was each chapter or vignette. I'd be reading, get pulled in and BAM! Completely confused.
And I'm not crazy.
I read a part to the hubby. As I read, I could visibly see him getting lured int
Oct 25, 2013 rated it it was ok
Darn, I really thought I would like this fictional story of Christopher Robin's life. Let down though -- I just couldn't follow the story line. 100 pages in, and the two story lines still had nothing at all to do with each other. I couldn't find a way to care about the other story line that did not have to do with Christopher Robin. I suppose they do end up meeting at some point, but with 7 more books on my nightstand, I'm just not invested enough to find out. I gave it two stars because I reall ...more
Alan Wightman
Jan 11, 2017 rated it it was ok
Shelves: abandoned
A fictional tale about a real person who was famous because of fictional childhood version of him? Sounds interesting.

A laugh out loud first chapter featuring a partially existent cat that could have been written by Douglas Adams? Promising.

Students and factory workers protesting in 1968 Paris for reasons about which the author did not or could not make me care? A trudge.

Workers singing The Internationale from the roof-top on page p174? Enough to make me think I should spend my time reading some
May 13, 2014 rated it liked it
It's more intellectually stimulating than emotionally gripping. The structure of it is pretty intriguing because it's a story about derailing and dismantling things in an anarchistic way, and the story actually derails and dismantles itself, which is impressive. The characters are somewhat aware of being characters, which is interesting, as it's a story about a man, Christopher Robin, who was both a real person and a character in a book.
Daniel Kukwa
Dec 03, 2016 rated it it was ok
Shelves: general-lit
I just can't wrap my mind around this novel. I would have loved a book about the grown up Christopher Robin Milne dealing with real life & his autistic son...but such a book colliding with a strange, metaphysical dreamscape involving the 1968 Paris riots was certainly not what I was expecting. It's stylishly written, but whatever its ultimate goal, I'm afraid it sailed right over my head. A great pity, especially as I found parts of the book very affecting.
Oct 28, 2013 rated it liked it
What a strange little novel this is.

Christopher Robin Milne is all grown up and runs a book store, but weird, dreamlike things keep happening to him. There's also boy in France who possibly has mental problems. The two come together during the student uprisings of the late 1960s and crazy shit happens.

It's hard to describe.
Jun 30, 2014 rated it it was ok
The story was confusing, partly due to my lack of French history, and the rest because I still don't understand the connection between the French history and Winnie the Pooh. The story was jumbled and dream like, I think? Am i missing something? I usually can find my place in a story but I struggled through this.
Sep 27, 2013 rated it it was ok
I less finished this book and more stopped reading. I didn't "get" what this book was about and was about halfway through it. I never stop reading books and don't finish them, but this one was just not for me. More power to those folks who love it and understand it.
Mar 29, 2013 rated it it was ok
Picked this up because of a favorable review in Library Journal. I should have paid more attention to the use of the word "transcendent" in the subtitle-- this just wasn't for me.
Mary Drayer
Aug 02, 2013 rated it liked it
Brilliantly-conceived novel that imagines how the real Christopher Robin comes to embrace the mythic figure created by A.A. Milne.
Aug 23, 2013 rated it did not like it
Maybe I'm dumb but this book made no sense to me and I was too bored to figure it out.
Sep 13, 2013 rated it it was ok
Knowing my own proclivities, I should have put the book down when the acknowledgements noted a debt to Althusser.
Beth Pratt
Oct 09, 2013 rated it really liked it
Beautifully written, but I don't really know if I got it. Or maybe I got some of it, but there is more to get, and it remains in my subconscious mind, unfolding a bit at a time.
Oct 14, 2013 rated it it was ok
Way too surreal for me. The "derailing" became too difficult to follow...were we dreaming...were we it really happening ??? An interesting concept to be sure.
Amanda Colquitt
Nov 02, 2013 rated it did not like it
Couldn't finish the book. It was so weird & senseless!
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His Favorite Books with Fictional Characters Who Are Real: Winnie-the-Pooh's BFF, Christopher Robin, lives again in the new novel Billy Moon. Try t...
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