Wednesday, July 11, 2012

'The Dandelion Clock' by Guy Burt


Publisher: Transworld Publishers

ISBN: 0-385-60037-2

Length: 416 Pages

Opening Line: 'Altesa is in the rain.'

The Blurb: 'Alex is an artist, preparing for a major exhibition. His life seems ordered and complete, but an impulsive trip back to the Italy of his childhood forces him to explore the unresolved questions of his past.

There, in those seemingly innocent days, as he swam and explored the wild countryside with Jamie and Anna, Alex must surely find the key to so much of his later life. To understand the fear that now assails him, he has to experience again his first friendship with Jamie and his first love for Anna; and to put together the pieces of a dangerous episode which brought the three of them closer than they could realize, and which was to have such devastating consequences in their adult life.'


Having already read two of Guy Burt's books ('Sophie' and 'After the Hole'), I had certain expectations about this novel. I wasn't disappointed.

Believable characters, combined with Burt's unsual style of writing, make this a dynamic read. Unlike a more linear novel, this kept my mind busy, trying to piece together the fragments of story (both in past and present) together. Although I have to say, the frequent switch between past and present throughout the book, took me a while to get used to.

Even though this is set in the sunny climate of Altessa, this has darker under currents running through it. I could feel a certain of tension building throughout this novel. The only slight complaint I have about this novel, is that I found the ending to be slightly anticlimatic.

Is this worth a read?

Yes, I do think this is a very good read. The unique style in which Burt writes, in my opinion, makes him one of the most innovative and interesting of writers. This coming of age story will keep you gripped from the first page.


  1. This sounds just my kind of read - thanks for the recommendation! (And I never mind too much about soft endings either, if the rest of the book has engaged me.)

  2. Deborah, you would love this book, do read it. I have read it three times and intend to read it several times more.

    The book goes by a different name in America as the title 'The Dandelion Clock' loses its significance when crossing the Atlantic. I cannot recall the title, but it would come up under the writings of Guy Burt, who is writing another novel, but is writing televsion scripts at present.

    He is indeed unique in his stlye and delivery.

    Great that you have written a review, Spangle!!

  3. Thanks for the comment Aguja! In reference to the alternative name for this novel, I've looked on Goodreads and 'The Dandelion Clock' also goes by the title 'A Clock Without Hands- A Novel'. Whatever name, this novel is still worth reading.