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The Shadow Year

3.77  ·  Rating details ·  828 Ratings  ·  135 Reviews
In New York's Long Island, in the unpredictable decade of the 1960s, a young boy laments the approaching close of summer and the advent of sixth grade. Growing up in a household with an overworked father whom he rarely sees, an alcoholic mother who paints wonderful canvases that are never displayed, an older brother who serves as both tormentor and protector, and a younger ...more
Hardcover, 289 pages
Published March 11th 2008 by William Morrow (first published March 1st 2008)
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Mar 21, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
I loved the stars out of this book.

Sometimes it's the books I love most that are the hardest for me to review. Probably because the books I love most are hard to classify, a bit odd, a bit spooky, a little off somehow.

What can I say about this book? I love how it's written. I loved every single oddball character. From the first chapter I knew I had found something special. I didn't want to get too excited: what if it took a turn for the worst. It never did. Every page was great, and the ending
Ben Loory
Nov 28, 2011 rated it really liked it
from what i've read of jeffrey ford so far, it seems he bounces back and forth between two basic styles; the first is a dreamlike but intensely focused high fantasy, which could be about virtually ANY POSSIBLE OR IMPOSSIBLE WORLD OR WORLDS, and the second is a kind of incandescently fog-enshrouded semi-autobiographical mode more or less about his childhood growing up on long island... of course the reality of his childhood stories always seems to bleed over and end up about a hair's breadth away ...more
Alissa Patrick
Sep 27, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: great-escape
I really liked this novel. It had so many different components to it, and together they just worked. I loved that it was set in the 1960s, I loved all of the siblings (especially quirky, somewhat magical Mary) and how they took care of each other and worked together to solve the town mystery. With the nostalgia, the air of creepiness and the way the characters interacted it almost felt "Stranger Things"- like. If that show was set in the 60s, it would be this book.
La trama se sitúa en Long Island, en los años 60, y el protagonista narra en primera persona lo que le sucedió cuando tenía unos 11 años. Este vive junto a su hermano mayor Jim y su hermana pequeña Mary, así como con su madre alcoholizada, y un padre que siempre está trabajando. Los abuelos viven en una especie de casa adosada.

Toda la historia transcurre entre los nostálgicos recuerdos del narrador, donde destaca la figura de un mirón que acosa a los vecinos, adjudicándose el papel de investigad
Mar 06, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Continued proof of my idea that Jeff Ford can write anything, and while I may have doubts when I read the bookflap, once I’ve read that first sentence I can’t stop turning pages until it’s done. The example this time is the coming of age/autobiographical tale not something I would seek out normally. Of course it’s Jeff Ford, so the painful bittersweet memories are mingled with gothic horror, surrealism, ambiguous mystery, and lingering sadness. He takes his excellent novella “Botch Town” and exp ...more
Nov 17, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: kindle
I am partial to well written stories told from a child's viewpoint. For instance, I enjoy Martha Grimes' 'Emma Graham' series (boo hoo...only 4 titles) more than her Richard Jury detective. I often think I could write a book if someone held a gun to my head, but I am pretty sure I wouldn't do a good job of writing a story where a child is the narrator. I'm not sure why. My father always called me the perpetual teenager (he didn't mean this a compliment) but I think there was way too much adult i ...more
Feb 20, 2008 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fiction
I've meant to read Jeffrey Ford for awhile now, and getting a chance at a free book I went with it. I have to say that I really enjoyed it, although it was quite flawed, the flaws themselves added a certain character to the book. The book is sort of a 1960's suburban novel, sort of like The Way the Crow Flies, and it almost feels like it could be set in the same neighborhood as Revolutionary Road , but unlike these two wonderful books, this one departs into a certain magical realism, told with ...more
I read this book about SIX years ago (geez...doesn't seem like it was that long ago)! Talk about original and...well, really, pure genius. This coming of age horror novel really does have it all, including a sense of humor. Now that I've mentioned it, I'm going to have to read it again. My review couldn't possibly do this book the justice it deserves. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED.
Mar 18, 2009 rated it it was amazing
Recommended to Kristine by: Christy Walker
Laugh-out-loud funny and creepy too!

3/12/15 - I just reread this book and loved it as much as the first time!
Manuel Antão
Aug 03, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2017
If you're into stuff like this, you can read the full review.

Downbeat and Offbeat Fiction: “The Shadow Year” by Jeffrey Ford

"Her small stature, dark, and wrinkled complexion, and the silken black strands at the corners of her upper lip made her seem to me at times like some ancient monkey king. When she’d fart while standing, she’d kick her left leg up in the back and say: ‘Shoot him in the pants. The Coat and vest are mine.’”

In “The Shadow Year” by Jeffrey Ford
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Jeffrey Ford is an American writer in the Fantastic genre tradition, although his works have spanned genres including Fantasy, Science Fiction and Mystery. His work is characterized by a sweeping imaginative power, humor, literary allusion, and a fascination with tales told within tales. He is a graduate of the State University of New York at Binghamton, where he studied with the novelist John Gar ...more
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