Read Symbiosis by Guy Portman Online


Identical twins Talulah and Taliah have never been apart. Viewed as curiosities by children and adults alike, they coexist in an insular world with their own secret language. But being identical doesn’t necessarily mean being equal…Soon a series of momentous events will send Talulah and Taliah spiralling out of control, setting them on a collision course with a society thaIdentical twins Talulah and Taliah have never been apart. Viewed as curiosities by children and adults alike, they coexist in an insular world with their own secret language. But being identical doesn’t necessarily mean being equal…Soon a series of momentous events will send Talulah and Taliah spiralling out of control, setting them on a collision course with a society that views them as two parts of a whole. Will their symbiotic relationship survive?Perceptive and poignant, Symbiosis explores our enduring fascination with twins and the complexities of twinship.A valuable addition to the monozygotic canon…Symbiosis demonstrates Portman’s ability to populate his worlds with peculiar yet plausible characters.Moving and laconic, with impressive attention to psychological detail…...

Title : Symbiosis
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9781523252053
Format Type : Paperback
Number of Pages : 244 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

Symbiosis Reviews

  • Heather Burnside
    2018-11-19 09:18

    I found this book totally absorbing and different to anything I have read previously. The characters are very convincing, and the reader is given an insight into the life of a pair of twins who have a strong but not necessarily healthy connection. This book kept me gripped as I wanted to find out how their unhealthy relationship would influence their actions and, ultimately, the final outcome of their story.

  • David Baird
    2018-11-23 13:22

    This story follows the life’s of identical twins Talulah and Taliah. I must admit I was interested straight away since I myself have twins and always wonder if they will have a “special” connection. After reading the book I certainly still hope they do.. just not to the degree these twins do.I’ve never read a story like this before and it was very interesting to read about the kind of symbiotic dependency the girls had with each other… at first you just felt the girls were misunderstood but as the story developed I found myself wondering about the mental health of Talulah in particular who seems to have a more parasitic effect on her sister.The story flows well but I did find myself skim reading when the girls talked in their own language since I had absolutely no idea what they were saying.I also found as I read the book I just didn’t like the twins but I think this was mainly due to the symbiotic relationship that developed throughout the story..I just wanted to separate the girls myself since as a reader we know what the girls are thinking..i just found Talulah’s dependency frustrating but this does make you think.. these connections people have.. their would be nice to have this type of connection with someone but as the book draws on you realise it’s not all it’s cracked up to be.One thing the book did really well from my point of view was bringing up the subject of individuality.I know from experience that a lot of people refer to my two girls as “The Girls” or “The Twins”.. buy them the same clothes etc even though they are individuals. Don’t get me wrong.. at times it’s nice but at other times you really do like to see them as separate people. People don’t always get this and add in the fact Taliah & Talulah have major communication issues it’s easy to see how this strong of a connection could be made between them.The whole tale is very psychological for and it does make you think what would happen if you were in this type of relationship where you didn’t feel you had your free will…Very interesting indeed, and thank you to the author for the chance to read this book in exchange for an honest review.

  • Jason
    2018-12-13 10:13

    What's the creepiest thing in a horror movie? Kids that's what! This book has girls, so doubly creepy! They are twins with a special connection so super creepy all round.The writing is weird, not sure if it is first/second or third person, it's like a documentary and the narrator is telling you what you are looking at, what is being thought and what has happened. For me this style made it very easy to settle down and get in to.Guy has done a lot of drugs... I mean research into drugs, the twins get put onto a variety of meds and the book describes well the effects they have on them including side effects.The story is strong, moves along at a steady pace with an interesting conclusion, this reader is still left wondering though, was Dr. Singh's diagnosis correct?One thing this book needs is a glossary at the end, the twins have their own language which they talk in at lengths sometimes and I found it tough at times to figure out what was going on (especially in the final scene), a glossary would have made translating a bit more fun.This is definitely Guy's strongest book to date, it really deserves to make a breakthrough and get read by millions, looking forward to what he writes next.

  • Alison
    2018-11-25 13:34

    I enjoyed this book. It was totally different from what I expected. Twins. Identical twins. Creepy identical twins ..... Guaranteed to freak you out.The writing style is unique - not sure if it's fly-on-the-wall type narration, academic overseeing, or what. But I liked it. It was informative, without overtelling, and descriptive enough to include the reader into seeing what is there.Guy has obviously done a lot of research into twin behaviour and drugs for mental illness, and the combination of both. And, though I haven't had experience, I think he has done so very well and managed to fantastically fit it all into 200 pages. One thing I would have liked is a translation of the twins' communications with each other. That's the only issue I really had with the novel. Overall, I would recommend this to everyone, and I look forward to reading more from this author.

  • Kath Middleton
    2018-11-22 14:17

    Twins often grow very close, sharing their own secret language, and Talulah and Taliah are considered by their own mother to be so close as to be two halves of a whole. They are not equal, though. Talulah leads, even walking ahead of her sister, but Taliah is better academically. Their speech continues to be idiosyncratic and they are moved to a special school. While in special education, they come into the orbit of an anarchist student who influences Talulah and, of course, Taliah is drawn along in her wake.This is compelling stuff. We watch the girls as they grow up and we see Taliah's struggle to become her own person. I found the relationship between the twins with its 'almost mind-reading' closeness utterly convincing. The tension between the girls’ competing and incompatible needs grew as the book progressed and led inexorable to the story’s climax. A great read.

  • Patricia Hamill
    2018-11-19 15:26

    Symbiosis is the story of young, identical twins, Talulah and Taliah. Most of the story follows them growing up, highlighting the almost supernatural connection, the eerie synchronicity, and the invented language they share with only each other. First off, I liked how the story was told, though it took me a while to get accustomed to it, and some extra formatting or spacing in places could have made transitions easier to spot. The perspective, though always in third person point of view, shifts its focus from one twin to the other, to their caregivers, parents, and acquaintances, though most of the time it sticks to the twins. There are also a few of the twins’ diary entries, often one after the other regarding the same day to highlight the similarities and differences in the girls over the years. As the end of the book approaches, the story starts reading a bit more like a typical thriller and begins to focus heavily on one of the twins. Up until that point, I wasn’t sure who the main character was, though I suspect it was supposed to be both twins as the main character. The cryptophasia (invented twin talk) was interesting to me, though mostly impossible to figure out. By the end of the story, though, I was able to pick out some of it. Saying the words aloud sometimes made them close enough to regular words to make some sense of them. Some readers, though, might not be inclined to bother trying. Luckily, there’s usually enough context to figure out the gist of what they’re saying.Overall, I thought this was a pretty good read. Different, but in a good way. Folks who like psychological thrillers and the paranormal might like this, but it takes a bit of patience to get to the part where things really start happening. I received a copy of this book from the author to provide a review for

  • Sarah
    2018-11-22 09:14

    Talulah and Taliah are identical twins. People find it hard to tell them apart. Their teachers, and even their parents, to a certain extent treat them as if they are the same person. The twins have their own made up language which to be honest I ended up skipping after a while as the words don't make any sense to the reader, only to the twins. I have to say I would have preferred a bit less of their own dialogue as I did find it slightly distracting.Everyone seems to find the twins relationship hard to deal with. The teachers at the school don't seem to know what to do with them and even the girls parents relationship deteriorates.The novel certainly brings into question individuality. As the twins start to grow, even though they're very much in touch with each others and their feelings, they start to drift apart as one twin seems to want to do other things and make new friends. To start with I have to say I envied the twins closeness and thought it was quite lovely, the further into the story though I have to admit to finding it slightly unhealthy. There certainly didn't seem to be anything 'normal' about their lives and if anything, things just seem to go from bad to worse for them.There are quite a lot of stories involving twins around at the moment and the author has certainly come up with a very different take on the subject. I think due to the secret language and also the girls diary entires, the story didn't flow as well as I would have liked it to for me but over all I found it an enjoyable and interesting story.Many thanks to the author for a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

  • Digital Book Freak
    2018-12-05 12:29

    WHEN LOVE TURNS TO HATE...First I would like to thank author, Guy Portman for my copy of Symbiosis in exchange for a fair and honest review.My rating is 4.5 stars.What this book is aboutHoly cow, this was good!!!Identical twins, Talulah and Taliah, share a special bond, they are inseparable, even have their own language that only they can understand. They do everything together, even eat, drink and sleep at the same time...until one day Talulah does something unforgiving...resulting in Taliah pulling away from her sister.Blurb"Identical twins Talulah and Taliah have never been apart. Viewed as curiosities by children and adults alike, they coexist in an insular world with their own secret language. But being identical doesn’t necessarily mean being equal…Soon a series of momentous events will send Talulah and Taliah spiralling out of control, setting them on a collision course with a society that views them as two parts of a whole. Will their symbiotic relationship survive?"What I liked about this bookThe title says it all, love the cover. Brilliantly written. Fast-paced. Read in one sitting.Twisty tale, keeps you entertained from page one.

  • Rhiannon Johnson
    2018-12-03 13:40

    **review in progress**

  • Ishita
    2018-11-25 15:32

    *Rating : 3.5/5**Note : I received a digital copy of this book from the author in exchange for an honest review*(Originally posted on bookmyopia/wordpress)Taliah and Talulah have been close ever since they came into their world, with not just identical looks on account of being twins, but identical mannerisms, mirrored actions and a made-up language of their own. This is the first book I have read dealing with cryptophasia (translates to “secret speech”) and while this isn’t much of a “problem” when the twins are younger, their insistence to continue using it leads to communications issues at their school. They are soon admitted into Royston Park School which takes in kids dealing with various emotional and behavioral disorders. This is where we begin to see the differences between Taliah and Talulah, and from here onwards, it is a continuous internal struggle of one twin to shrug off the influence of the more dominant twin.It was quite creepy and scary to see just how trapped Taliah felt, though all she wanted, all she has always wanted was to be seen as ONE, not part of a two-person package deal. By the time the twins reach adolescence, she feels stifled from always being with Talulah. We slowly see how theirs has been more of a parasitic relationship rather than a symbiotic, with Taliah helping Talulah cheat through her school tests and assignments, and her not speaking in class but scribbling answers so that Talulah isn’t left feeling inferior because of her inability to stress on the sound “s”. But here’s the thing, Talulah expects Taliah to step back, to stay in her shell, to never have any other close friends or a boyfriend. When a new boy joins Royston, he brings with him crazy, directionless and anarchist rabble-rousing thoughts and Taliah is briefly happy as Talulah seems besotted with him and his ideas. The interlude doesn’t last long enough though, as Talulah forces her to tag along with them, and they are soon breaking laws and snorting up drugs. A series of misfortunes later, they find themselves in a psychiatric facility. Within the confines and regimented routine of this clinic, Taliah finds freedom.. Freedom to be herself, to interact with people, and to dream about a future without her sibling’s shadow looming over her. We also see Talulah, pining for her twin, hating every moment of being separated from her. Taliah’s constant tussle with her mind and gut feeling, to cut off her “psychic” connection from her sister, exhausts her.This book was unlike anything I have read in the past, and it felt good to come across a book that is quite genre-atypical. I kept rooting for Taliah to break free, and pitied Talulah. Despite everything Taliah loved her sister, and despite the obsessive nature of it, Talulah loved her sister too.. So, it was just so sad they couldn’t have a more healthy relationship. I had mixed feelings about the book’s ending. Without revealing much, let’s just say that I didn’t like it because an alternate ending would have challenged Taliah better to make some actual choices. Another thing which I had a problem with was the made-up language. I really wish there were some occasional translations because it felt like a whole lot of mumbo-jumbo taking up a lot of space in the book. There were some other things I couldn’t connect with, such as a lot of secondary characters with eccentricities (and I am not talking about students or wards here) that didn’t serve any purpose. I am not sure it if was meant for comic relief, but I just didn’t get it.The book gave me an insight into not just some medical conditions that I had no idea about but also a peek into the treatments and therapies. However, the focus is largely on Taliah and Talulah, and addresses how important it is for individuality to breathe, grow and exhibit.

  • Chris Bailey
    2018-11-19 08:25

    ****** 4.5 Stars *******I went into this book with an open mind. I really did not know what to expect. The start of this book was a little confusing for me if I was to be honest, I felt it did not flow and it took me a good few pages to pick the story up. However Once it did and I got my bearings I felt this was a wonderful story. We can all try and think what it would be like to be a twin especially identical one's but we will never really know unless you are one. I think how Guy wrote Talulah & Taliah was great, they had this special bond which included the power to know what each other was thinking and came with their own secret language. The story follows the twins from a young age and continues through to their late teens. The book starts with the twins in a special school until they are around 16/17 then after a bad and traumatic event they end up in a psychiatric hospital. One of my favourite films is Girl, Interrupted which is a movie set in a women's psychiatric hospital in the sixties and in parts of this book it reminded me of that. The subject's in this book are quite harrowing and upsetting in a way but it was written with so much realism, you believe every single incident that happens because of this. It was also very interesting to read, Although it is a work of fiction the troubles of mental health are very serious and you learn lots in this book. I also found this book funny in places which helped lighten the mood perfectly. The characters in this book were all different. The twins were the stars of the show but each child, teacher, doctor & nurse had a great supporting role to play. One of my favourite characters in Symbiosis was Siegfried a teenage German anarchist who was addicted to fire and taking drugs. He starts off very funny but then gets evil as the book goes on.Did I guess the ending? nope failed again... I must say though that throughout this book I did have a good 10/12 idea's as to what could happen. Each time I changed my mind I crossed it off my imaginary list and went with my new one. I love books like this where it keeps you guessing all the way through, for me there is nothing better. I scored this book a 4.5 out of 5. I really enjoyed it and it only lost points for me at the beginning where I felt a bit confused. This may have just been me though. I will definitely be investing in Guy Portman's other books Necropolis & Charles Middleworth at some point.

  • Allysa Peck
    2018-12-14 13:31

    I received a copy of Symbiosis in return for an honest review. I am sorry to say that, although initially intrigued by the book, for me, it wound up falling flat. I've always been fascinated with twins, and the book is a tale about two identical twins and one of the twins trying to stand out as an individual. That being said, I found there was little in terms of actual plot, and although I found Taliah to be an interesting character, Talulah I found increasingly frustrating to read about. I also found the cryptophasia written throughout the book to be detrimental, as the writer didn't bother to explain what any of it meant, so it just seemed like random gibberish. After a while, it became frustrating, since there were pages of dialogue written that way and none of it made any sense to me. That being said, I really did like Taliah as a character, I thought she was interesting and easy to empathize with. I was also pleased with how the story ended, although I still would only rate it a 2.5 our of 5 stars.

  • Adam
    2018-11-21 10:33

    This is an engaging, moving, funny and above all unusual book. I'm a big fan of Portman's Necropolis, a compelling study of a British psycho, but in some ways this is even better. The writing is concise and he is able to create characters in very few words. The twins' secret language gives the whole thing an uncanny quality as you're never quite sure what they're saying. I like the way it takes normal, seminal moments in the life of teenage girls but twists them into deeply traumatic episodes. The twins are like aliens trying to become human against the dehumanising control of society and its institutions, and that power struggle is mirrored in the twins' own internal relationship. As ever with Portman there are plenty of deliciously grotesque characters and sardonic witticisms. But at the same time, it has poignant moments that emotionally invest you in the story, building cumulatively to a powerful climax.

  • Anthony Kizer
    2018-11-19 08:35

    I have always wondered what it would be like in the life of twins. I thoroughly enjoyed reading the adventures of these two female twins. There are some serious twists and turns in the story that I found really progressed the story in all the right places. It was nice to see some solid character development of these two twins and to see them grow independently of each other but together at the same time. A very different but well done storyI received this book from the author for a review.

  • Sean Randall
    2018-12-12 15:19

    Not since Heinlein's Time for the Stars did I read a book with such intriguing twins. It's a diffuse sort of a story, with a great English school, institution and cultural feel. And with a breathtakingly potent ending to boot!

  • Justin
    2018-11-17 10:15

    Another incredibly clever book. An intriguing topic, which simmers away gently yet drawing you in deeper and deeper. I'm pleased I guessed wrongly with the ending, which caused me to re-evaluate my opinions about the story once again.

  • Guy Portman
    2018-12-13 11:38