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3.60  ·  Rating details ·  507 ratings  ·  105 reviews
Timely and suspenseful, Sealed is a gripping modern fable on motherhood, a terrifying portrait of ordinary people under threat from their own bodies and from the world around them. With elements of speculative fiction and the macabre, this is also an unforgettable story about a mother’s fight to survive.

Heavily pregnant Alice and her partner Pete are done with the city.
Paperback, 170 pages
Published September 25th 2017 by dead ink
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Average rating 3.60  · 
Rating details
 ·  507 ratings  ·  105 reviews

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Gumble's Yard
Aug 14, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2018, 2018-ntb
Part of the 2018 Guardian Not The Booker shortlist for which I am delighted to have been picked as a judge.

This book is published by Dead Ink, a UK small press focused on bringing” the most challenging and experimental new writing out from the underground and present it to our audience in the most beautiful way possible.”

Impressively Dead Ink have two books on the Guardian 2018 Not The Booker shortlist – this (picked by public vote) and Three Dreams In
Victoria (Eve's Alexandria)
This was a completely unexpected triumph of a book. I bought it entirely on a whim in my local independent and read it immediately, prompted by Aliya Whiteley’s recommendation on the back. And it’s blooming wonderful. A searing and unflinching work of eco-horror told in a lyrical and muscular prose. I was utterly drawn in by Alice’s narrative voice, and thought the final 30 pages were a masterpiece of suspense. It was the book I wanted Megan Hunter’s The End We Start From to be. Probably the ...more
Renee Godding
Jan 05, 2020 rated it liked it
What the actual everloving fuck... this final scene. This is why I’m terrified of childbirth.

I don’t quite know how I feel about this overall. Very well done, but one of the most unpleasant things I’ve read in a long time, and I’m not sure it that’s a good thing in this case. I Need a little time to let this sink in.

If you’ve read this: would love to hear your thoughts. I could use some input on other people’s interpretations.
Lark Benobi
Nov 23, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: fans of FEVER DREAM by Samanta Schweblin
A woman gets pregnant unexpectedly, just as the world careens toward a the most horrific eco-disaster you can imagine. The writing was great, the emotional landscape was truthful, and I'm going to read everything Naomi Booth writes from now on.

My fondest delight, when it came to my reading experience with this book, was the birth scene. I don't think it's much of a spoiler to say there is a birth scene, since the whole book before then is the story of a ponderously pregnant woman searching for a
Jun 01, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: magic-square
In my opinion there are two types of dystopian novels; 1: Ones that are way in the future, completely unbelievable and a nice entertaining read (The Hunger Games fir example). 2: Ones that are in the near future, you can see humans heading in this direction, it is possible that these could happen whilst you're still alive, these books can be really scary. Sealed falls into the second category.

In this future, the temperature has risen, food has been poisoned by chemicals and plastics in the
Jan 15, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Now THAT was an ending. The last twenty or so pages of Sealed are the closest thing a book has ever made me feel to that scene towards the end of a horror film when something horrific is about to happen or is happening and every fibre of your being wants to look away but your eyes remain glued to the screen—(a) because you’re paralysed by terror, (b) because if you look away you known your imagination may well conjure things that are even worse than what the filmmakers came up with, (c) because ...more
Rachel  Drenning
Jul 10, 2019 rated it really liked it
Wow. When a book is written in a context that could actually happen, that's horror. I highly, highly recommend this book.
Jul 21, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
After the first flames, everything is just dying sparks."

This was an interesting if jumbled read. I liked the uncertainty and the real horror of it. But I didn't like the feeling of really wondering what was going on and if the MC Alice was just imagining it all or if it was really happening. I felt like the world was just barely opened up to us, with so much more possibility. Was Alice really breathing anything in? I wanted so much more world and information less about Alice's own musing and
Dec 31, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: owned
This was quick and original and intensely creepy! Don't think Pete worked as a character and didn't fancy the ending, but entertaining nonetheless.
Ian Mond
Mar 27, 2018 rated it it was ok
I’m going to take a punt here and say that Sealed by Naomi Booth will be the most frustrating book I read all year.

There is so much about this novel I enjoyed ranging from Booth’s visceral, exquisitely grotesque prose to her social commentary on how society treats the poor and elderly. Beyond the body horror, the most disturbing aspect of the novel is how quickly those who can’t defend themselves have their basic rights stripped from them, leaving no choice but to submit to displacement camps
Jackie Law
Dec 10, 2017 rated it really liked it
“I’d felt it too, the too-muchness of being in love. But I hated Pete for it at the same time. I hated his freedom and how guiltlessly he lived, how easily he took love and gave love, and how much danger he’d put me in. And most of all, I hated that he might be right, that he was living the right way and that I was wrong: too frightened, too careful, too guarded to really enjoy life.”

Sealed, by Naomi Booth, is set in a near future Australia. Rising temperatures have brought with them storms and
Hailey Mangelsdorf
Nov 10, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Holy shit.
Stephen Curran
Apr 19, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Paging Mr Cronenberg! If nobody has bought the rights to SEALED yet then they ought to get a wriggle on. An exercise in building tension, it would make a brilliant film adaptation (if one that might result in a flood of audience walk-outs).

That’s not to say it doesn’t work fantastically as a book. The story is tight as a fist, the ragingly hot landscape is vividly evoked, and the sustained descriptive passages are absolutely gripping. Would I class it as literary fiction, or a genre piece? Is it
Jun 13, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: horror, first-reads
I was given a free copy of this book by the publisher via their twitter account, and i was quite intrigued by the sound of it. Described as an “eco horror” it instantly sounded interesting to me.

I loved the “eco” side of the story, with the mysterious new cutis disease, the smog of the cities, the wild fires of the mountains, and “protected” food. There was also some political aspects, with some cutis cover ups, displacement camps run like prisons, a lack of local resources. It had a lot of
Becky Spratford
May 14, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Review on blog and in the June 2019 issue of Booklist:

Three Words That Describe This Book: unrelenting tension, unreliable narrator, cli-fi
Donna Hines
“I’ve been watching him for any signs that he’s still upset. I know he was scared by what he saw in town, I saw it in his face. But as he tidied up the living-room, set out the camping chairs, opened another beer, there was no sign of any fear left. He started whistling and put some music on. It’s gone: the anxiety has passed through him quick as clouds across a blue, wind-blown sky.”
Can you imagine having zero voice in terms of your rights to your own body, your own environment, and your own
Jan Lynch
In her acknowledgements, Naomi Booth thanks her parents for their support "even when my work is too disgusting for them to read." As someone who cringed more than once while reading Sealed; who spent time snuggled under my quilt, warm and comfortable, but unable to sleep, images from the book lingering in my head; and who randomly imagined the disease described in the book, all the while reminding myself that the book is fiction, made-up, not real--I completely sympathize with Booth's parents. ...more
Jayaprakash Satyamurthy
Aug 22, 2018 rated it really liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Hannah PS
Sep 05, 2018 rated it it was amazing
My reading has been so very slow lately, and so this book caught me by surprise. A gripping, excellent, horrific surprise. I raced through it in one day, unable to stop turning the pages.

Set in rural Australia in the near-future, the real-world concerns such as climate change and internment camps blend with the outbreak of a fictional disease which has the heavily pregnant protagonist, Alice, gripped with terror.

The novel expertly delves deep into Alice's senses and bodily discomfort and
Octavia (ReadsWithDogs)
I randomly picked this up at my library and I loved it!
I have no idea why I haven't seen or heard of Sealed before! The writing was lyrical and easy to read at the same time and I read this rapidly over two days.

Sealed is the story of a pregnant woman and her partner who move from the city in Australia to the woods to escape what seems to be a rapidly spreading illness that causes your skin to seal itself in. People's mouths and ears and all openings are closing up and the government seems to be
Aug 28, 2018 rated it liked it
An eco-horror apocalyptic novel, where forest fires rage, toxic smoke is everywhere and expensive 'protected' food is grown indoors to protect from the air. A new and horrific skin disease is starting to appear, covered up by the authorities and predominantly affecting the poor. Through pregnant Alice's eyes we watch as she struggles to cope with a move to the 'safer' rural Australian countryside, dealing with a lack of phone reception, a well-meaning but patronising boyfriend and medical ...more
Sep 20, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: uk, horror
I found this book to be a little predictable. It wasn't for me. The main character, Alice, incessantly worries about toxins and various skin-sealing scenarios that could happen throughout the book, thus the ending was not a big surprise.

This is a debut novel taking place in a rural community in Australia. Alice, almost to term with her pregnancy, and her boyfriend, Pete, move from the city to the country as a means to escape a skin sealing virus reaping havoc in the city. Once they settle in the
Oct 01, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I won't nitpick, even though I can...because I just loved this novel. It was atmospheric enough, the characters JUST dumb enough to keep me intrigued (why would they move out to the middle of nowhere in the last couple of weeks of a pregnancy??)...and it was a hit. The ending made my skin crawl in a way no movie or book has since I was a kid. A good, quick read. I'm looking forward to whatever else Booth publishes next.
Aug 24, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This was a fabulous Australian climate catastrophe novel, and as I could smell the smoke from the Blue Mountains hazard reduction fires around me, touched awfully close to home.

The fragile relationship fraught with reality, and a world blind to the disasters unfolding around them leant a slow burn backdrop to the story. Everything's ok, until all of a sudden it isn't.

This one really got under my skin.
May Watson
Wow. Wow, wow, wow. I don't think I've ever read anything as visceral as this before. Big recommend, but only for those with strong stomachs!
Jan 17, 2020 rated it liked it
3.5 stars
Review to come
Nov 07, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
ok I don't want it to be taken as hyperbole when I say I literally screamed while reading this book
LInda L
Jul 07, 2019 rated it it was ok
This was a total horror story -- pregnant unwed girl in a strange place with a strange lethal disease going around. No medical care, no police protection, and natives who are hateful and unhelpful. And she also has a boyfriend who sees the best in everything and is a total wuss. Without giving everything away, this does not end well. It's called a "modern horror novel". Well, it's a novel and it's certainly a horror. I gave it 2 stars because I finished reading it -- which was not easy.
Zombie Likes Cake
Horror and pregnancy is always a mean combination. If I was to become accidentally pregnant I would be just as paranoid as the main character (one of the long list of reasons why I know that having children is not on my path because I am not growing a thing inside of me). I liked this book, and I think anyone who think that they can relate to the feeling of being pregnant NOT equaling the best time of your life, will likely get something out of this novel.

Booth really nice blends pregnancy
Jul 30, 2018 rated it really liked it
3.5 stars
The writing style was stupendous. The sentences ran perfectly, with great timing and good grammar. I wish this book had been longer.

I enjoyed how developed the characters were and how we got to really explore Alice’s personality. Pete was fleshed out enough that I hated him and his friends with a passion.

The plot was very realistic and explained well. There was nothing missing, and everything that happened mattered.

Overall, I really enjoyed this short read, though I wish we’d had
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“I kiss him back and try to shrink my anger, to swallow it down with all the mucus and the bile. But whenever I try to do that, whenever I try to make my anger disappear, it just gets harder and more compact, like sedimentary rock, and then I’m left with this hard compact in my chest. I give up on asking what he saw at the doctors’. My heart becomes a little stone.” 0 likes
“I’ve been watching him for any signs that he’s still upset. I know he was scared by what he saw in town, I saw it in his face. But as he tidied up the living-room, set out the camping chairs, opened another beer, there was no sign of any fear left. He started whistling and put some music on. It’s gone: the anxiety has passed through him quick as clouds across a blue, wind-blown sky.” 0 likes
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