Read Amberville by Tim Davys Online


What does it mean to be bad?Eric Bear has it all: a successful career, a beautiful wife, a blissful home. He knows he's been lucky; a while back, his life revolved around drugs, gambling, a gang of stuffed-animal thugs, and notorious crime boss Nicholas Dove.But the past isn't as far away as Eric had hoped. Rumors are swirling that Dove is on the Death List and that he wanWhat does it mean to be bad?Eric Bear has it all: a successful career, a beautiful wife, a blissful home. He knows he's been lucky; a while back, his life revolved around drugs, gambling, a gang of stuffed-animal thugs, and notorious crime boss Nicholas Dove.But the past isn't as far away as Eric had hoped. Rumors are swirling that Dove is on the Death List and that he wants Eric to save him. If Eric fails to act, his beloved wife, Emma Rabbit, will be torn apart, limb from limb, and reduced to stuffing.With a nod to the best of noir and the wisest of allegories—interlaced with greed and gangsters—Amberville depicts an alternate world that mirrors our own realities and moral concerns, and reminds us of the inextricable link between good and evil....

Title : Amberville
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9780061625138
Format Type : Paperback
Number of Pages : 368 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

Amberville Reviews

  • Ron
    2018-11-11 18:30

    This novel reminded of the tale of the emperor's clothes. Not because of a similar story, but because some people will see wondrous things while others will see nothing. I'm in the latter category.A Raymond Chandler-style pot boiler with stuffed animal characters? Well. it's different.Don't waste your money. In fact, if it's free, don't waste your time.

  • Eric Mesa
    2018-10-17 13:22

    This is one of the top five weirdest books I have ever read. It takes place in a world of stuffed animals, but that has both almost no bearing on the story and is key to the main plot. What I mean is that it's never revealed that actually they're toys in a toystore or a messed up version of the 100 Acre Woods. The fact that they are stuffed animals is not part of some plot twist. (The thought that it might be a twist kept distracting me the entire time trying to find out the clue) But at the same time, the entire plot of the book, which in a way I don't wish to spoil, revolves around life and death depends entirely upon the fact that, as stuffed animals, they can't be killed in the ways that we can.Contributing to the strangeness of the book is the fact that it shifts from omniscient 3rd person to first person POVs in various chapters. Two main characters are always in first person and a few auxiliary characters are in first person. But the bulk of the main protagonists have 3rd person omniscient POVs. Part of the trick there is that it's generally assumed that 3rd person narratives are reliable narrators. But it eventually becomes clear that some of the first person chapters are unreliable narrators. And the reasons for the unreliability are quite varied. Speaking of which, the narrative winds back and forth between the present and past, filling in little details here in there and eventually revealing an almost Fight Club level twist partway through the book. It's a meditation on the lies we tell others and the lies we tell ourselves. It considers whether there is redemption or whether people are just evil or good. Church and state and power are examined. Hero worship. It's a dense book for so strange a premise that I thought would be mined for humor. If you want something different; perhaps something Weird (as in the genre) - you should give this a shot. And push through the seemingly cookie cutter-ish first few chapters until it flips you around and makes you start questioning everything.

  • S. Wilson
    2018-10-19 20:32

    Eric, now an adult and a successful advertising executive, has been successful in putting his reckless and somewhat criminal youthful indiscretions behind him. At least, that's what he thought. But then the local kingpin he once worked for shows up with a non-negotiable proposition. Find the hit list that his name is rumored to be on, and remove it from the list. Otherwise, he will kill Eric's girlfriend. Now, Eric must get the old gang back together and track down the "Death List" at any cost.A compelling and straight-forward plot. The big twist? Eric, the crime boss, and all of the other characters in the book are stuffed animals. They live in a world completely populated by stuffed animals, in which the young and old are delivered and taken away by pick-up trucks. It is definitely an interesting plot twist. But is it necessary?The idea isn't completely original (The Hollow Chocolate Bunnies of the Apocalypse, Who Framed Roger Rabbit?, The Big Over Easy: A Nursery Crime, Meet the Feebles), but that doesn't mean it isn't good. It just means that the author might want to approach the concept from an original angle.Tim Davys does, but he unfortunately decides to play it straight. The idea of stuffed animals in a detective mystery novel begs for plenty of sarcastic tongue-in-cheek humor, but Amberville avoids silly humor and instead relies on the subtle absurdities (a small stuffed dove as a crime kingpin, for example) to deliver the humor on their own, which they never really manage to do. Even the author's approach to the way characters are named in Amberville (simply a first name followed by the type of stuffed animal they are), shows a lack of desire to truly have fun with the concept. In short, things that should be comical or farcical are just as boring as they would be in the real world.The result is a story that could easily be translated into a realistic, non-fantasy setting and written as a straight hardboiled noir novel. Amberville doesn't necessarily fail at making the concept work, it just doesn't fully convince the reader that fantastical setting was crucial to the story.Amberville is supposed to reveal truths about human nature, morality, religion, and the concepts of good and evil, by having stuffed animals act out the scenarios in which these philosophical debates occur. This is where the book does fail, much in the same way that White Man's Burden failed. Changing reality in some ironic or absurd way might seem deep and meaningful at first. But unless there are other connections on multiple levels, all that you are left with is an overused gimmick.Amberville is a good book. It has a compelling story, interesting characters, and enough twists and turns to keep a mystery lover interested until the end. It just doesn't quite manage to be what it wanted to be, and that's what keeps it from being a great book.

  • Alan
    2018-11-17 14:16

    I was... a little disappointed in this one.It has a great concept, a really neat conceit, to use the phrase I like to use. A sordid city full of stuffies come to life, a noir vision of love and betrayal where Eric, a tough-talking teddy bear and Emma, the bunny who is his sometimes disturbingly aloof lady love, can make a life together in Amberville, one of the four color-coded quadrants of Mollisan Town, at least until the even tougher-talking gangster Nicholas Dove comes with his two gorillas (one of them bright red) to advance a proposition that Eric dare not refuse. But...But it didn't really grab me. The prose just seemed stolid, its short sentences choppy and rigid instead of laconic and punchy like a good two-fisted detective novel. This might be an issue with the translation—I discovered after finishing that this book was translated from Swedish. But also... while the initial idea was great and there were occasional flashes of brilliance in how it was executed (I'm thinking in particular of a scene involving an effective, if gruesome, method of intimidating a bunch of cotton-stuffed toughs), the parts never seemed to hang together very well—I never really got a sense of scale, of the size of the stuffed animals in relation to their city, nor did I get that feeling of "yes, I would never have thought of it, but this is how it must be" which comes from a well-constructed fantasy world with its own strong internal consistency.Take the very name "Amberville," for example... it doesn't seem to have any significance beyond being a way to separate Mollisan Town's neighborhoods. And if there is any intentional connection between Mollisan's four color-coded quadrants and the four colors of the Land of Oz, it is never made at all clear. There are parts here that are brilliant, parts that are fascinating... but they just don't add up to a coherent whole.I won't say this is a bad book, and I'm sure it'll find its niche among people who are hungry for this sort of experiment. I just didn't get what I wanted out of it.

  • Shotgun
    2018-11-14 13:29

    Amberville je město, které pod na první pohled obyčejným a pokojným zevnějškem skrývá spoustu špíny, násilí a temných tajemství. A narušit váš spokojený a do poslední doby bezstarostný život může cokoliv. Třeba návštěva největšího mafiánského bosse, který vám dá zdánlivě neřešitelný úkol, který musíte splnit, jinak se vám pomstí na vaší milované ženě.-- A vám nezbývá nic jiného než se zkontaktovat s dávnými přáteli z dob, kdy jste se ještě neměli tak dobře a proto jste se pohybovali na temné straně města. Čí více se hlavní hrdina dostává k splnění náročného úkolu a odhalení největšího a nejtemnějšího tajemství města Amberville, tím víc na povrch vyplouvá antagonismus v partě bývalých kumpánů a také různá tajemství a hříšky z dětství a mládí nejen hlavního hrdiny.-- Kniha výborně navazuje na klasiky žánru noir a v knize se dynamicky střídá obyčejné fyzické násilí s rafinovaným psychickým terorem. Autor, který překvapivě do doby, kdy se rozhodl napsal knihu, žádnou sám nepřečetl. tedy pokud nepočítáte komiksy a grafické romány. Skvěle si hraje s hlavními postavami, kdy je čtenář po některých kapitolách nucen zcela přehodnotit svůj pohled nejen na hlavního hrdinu ale i na charakter a chování jiných postav. A ty nejsou většinou moc sympatické. Spíše naopak. Boj o moc, intriky a manipulace prostupují celým městem jako pojivo, které drží vše pohromadě.-- Ani si nevzpomenu, zda v příběhu najdeme nějakého kladného hrdinu. Možná tak v začátku příběhu a v další části vám autor ukáže, že všechno je jinak a daná postava není zas tak fajn, jak jste si ještě před pár stránkami mysleli. Některé scény knihy jsou hodně mrazivé a i když někteří hrdinové knihy se hodně snaží být hodní a slušní plyšáci tak se často dočkáme velice nepříjemných překvapení. A kurwa! Já se úplně zapomněl zmínit, že v celé knize vystupují pouze humanoidní plyšáci, což celý příběh posouvá trošku jinam a navozuje atmosféru ztráty dětství a ideí.

  • Olethros
    2018-10-31 14:38

    -Existencialismo noir protagonizado por peluches animados. Sí, en serio.- Género. Narrativa fantástica (por decirles algo, aunque tal vez sería mejor decir “Novela con una gigantesca licencia de partida”).Lo que nos cuenta. En el barrio de Amberville, en Mollisan Town, Eric Oso es un maduro profesional de la publicidad y un amante esposo que ha dejado muy atrás un pasado ilegal. Pero uno de los jefes del crimen organizado para quien trabajó, Nicholas Paloma, le obliga a realizar un trabajo: localizar una lista que muchos consideran que no es más que un mito y quitar su nombre de ella. Si no lo consigue, Eric verá asesinada a su amada Emma Coneja, por lo que recurre a sus antiguos compañeros de correrías, Tom-Tom Corneja, Sam Gacela y Serpiente Marek. Escrita bajo seudónimo por un autor (o autora) de origen sueco, de identidad aparentemente relevante en la sociedad de su país y con mucho celo sobre su intimidad. Primer libro de la serie Mollisan Town.¿Quiere saber más de este libro, sin spoilers? Visite:

  • Marvin
    2018-10-18 14:28

    Amberville tries to be a lot of things. It is a gritty gangster drama, a fantasy world of stuffed animals living human-like lives, and a allegory about good and evil. For the most part it is entertaining in a dark Animal Farm way. Yet the author is simply doing too much in one tale. It is even questionable whether this particular story benefits at all from placing it in a fantasy setting. I liked it but eventually became annoyed with it. Essentially it is a clever gimmick that simply didn't pan out. two and a half stars.

  • Laura
    2018-10-25 13:42

    Someone claimed that this book maybe a mixture of The Big Sleep by Raymond Chandler and Animal Farm by George Orwell. I really doubt!!!

  • David Hebblethwaite
    2018-10-29 13:18

    Well, this is quite an oddity – a noir thriller with a cast of stuffed animals. The story goes like this: Eric Bear has a happy life, married to the beautiful Emma Rabbit and with a good job in advertising. But, in his past, Eric was involved with some shady characters, one of whom now comes calling – Nicholas Dove, who has heard that his name is on the Death List, which means (if the tales are to be believed) that the Chauffeurs will shortly come to escort him on the ultimate one-way journey. Dove demands that Eric find the Death List and get his name removed from it, or Emma will be the one who pays the price. The job should be straightforward enough, because the Death List is just a fable; but Eric gets his old gang back together all the same – and, of course, the truth proves more complicated than anyone thought.So, this Scandinavian crime novel (the author is Swedish; ‘Tim Davys’ is a pseudonym) is far from the norm, and could have been ridiculous – but it’s not. What is perhaps most striking about Amberville is that Davys tells his tale with a completely straight face; one might laugh briefly at the thought of, say, a stuffed dove walking around with two stuffed gorillas for heavies, but not for very long, because it’s not funny at all in the context of the story – it’s deadly serious. Davys creates his world with such integrity that one can’t help but take it seriously. His control of voice is also superb, switching between different characters whose voices are all distinctive, no matter how brief their turn at narration (and here, I must also acknowledge Paul Norlen’s excellent work as translator).Driving the plot of Amberville is a mystery – is there a Death List, and, if so, who’s behind it? – which is deeper for reader s than it is for the characters, because we have more questions to ask: what is this place, Mollisan Town, inhabited by walking, talking, living stuffed animals? What goes on behind the scenes to make it all work (the inhabitants of Mollisan Town know that the young animals are manufactured somewhere and delivered to the city in vans, but no one thinks to question any further)?Well, Amberville is the first novel in a series (though that’s not clear from the edition I was reading), so the answers aren’t all forthcoming here. That’s not a problem in itself, but I do think it has a knock-on effect – it seems to me that the major revelations for this volume are made some time before the end, leaving the rest of the book to be mostly i-dotting and t-crossing, which feels somewhat anti-climactic. This is unfortunate, because most of the rest of Amberville is pacy and engaging (with an added helping of speculation about the nature of good and evil, courtesy of Eric’s brother Teddy).My misgivings about the conclusion of Amberville make me feel a little less inclined to find out where Davys takes his series; but the momentum of the earlier parts of the book is considerable. It’s worth a look, I think.

  • Maria João Fernandes
    2018-11-03 14:21

    "Se fechasse os olhos, podia visualizar quatro milhões de fios finíssimos a saírem do seu cérebro, cada um ligado a um.dos peluches da sua cidade."O conceito por trás do livro de Tim Davys prende a nossa atenção no mesmo segundo em que o confrontamos. Mollisan Town é um cidade habitada por animais de peluche, que dormem, comem, trabalham, divertem-se e deixam-se envolver pela amizade, amor e religião como as pessoas normais."Mas o amor é um mundo em si."Eric Urso vive uma vida tranquila, ao lado da sua mulher Emma Coelho. Porém, circunstâncias para nós misteriosas, arrastam o peluche para as teias do seu passado, onde se esconde o mundo obscuro da máfia. Nicolau Pombo é como o Padrinho e exige a contribuição do seu antigo empregado numa tarefa urgente. Este, assustado por ser obrigado a aceitar, reúne os antigos colegas e, com eles, inicia uma aventura, por vezes divertida, mas acima de tudo perigosa.Esta é uma história que envolves duas listas: a lista dos nascidos e a lista dos mortos, que envolvem todos os animais de peluche. Tal como nós, eles nascem e morrem, ainda que de formas diferentes. Os cidadãos de Amberville são criados e entregues aos pais pelos fornecedores. No final da sua vida, em que a aparência se mantém, mas o intelecto evolui, os motoristas vêm buscá-los."O género de coisas que te fazem doer o coração, dentro de ti, são o mal.""Amberville" é um livro muito difícil de classificar. Entre o mistério e o drama estão expostos vários pensamentos, principalmente sobre o mal, o bem e o que distingue uma má de uma boa pessoa. A par da história principal, dominada por Eric Urso e o seu grupo, Davys insere histórias secundárias sobre obsessões, dificuldades e tristezas de personagens que, de uma forma ou de outra, estão ligadas ao fio condutor do livro.Inicialmente, a originalidade por detrás da exposição de temas pertinentes e intemporais como a relação entre o passado e o presente, o bem e o mal, o amor, a amizade, a religião e o existencialismo são suficientemente fortes para nos manter cativados. Porém, a certa altura, os discursos tornam-se repetidos, ainda que as palavras e os interlocutores mudem, as ideias mantém-se. E assim, apenas o mistério persistiu, mas por si só, a busca por uma lista de nomes não é nada que nos faça perder a cabeça."Que a morte seja obra do acaso é de alguma maneira...indigno!"

  • Michele Lee
    2018-11-15 15:43

    From the back cover of Amberville one might expect a cross between Sesame Street and The Sopranos. Eric Bear, years after leaving behind a life of drugs and a job as a runner for a mafia king, opens his apartment door to find his former boss, the mafia head Nicholas Dove visiting with a request—take Dove's name off the infamous Death List (literally a list of those slated to disappear from the world) or he will have his gorillas tear apart Eric's beloved wife, Emma Rabbit.This kicks off the reforming of Eric's small gang, Tom-Tom Crow, Sam Gazelle and Snake Marek, who have all moved on from their criminal pasts in their own ways, and a desperate hunt for the society's biggest secret, the Death List and its writer.But after finishing Amberville readers will find it to be a very peculiar book. Somewhere between a mafia mystery and a higher-brow literary work addressing the nature of good and evil in the world, Amberville balances a deep mystery and action with deep, soulful contemplations (by mad men, or mad bears as the case may be). In fact the literary, contemplative sections which can, at times come off as lagging bits in the pacing of the plot, genuinely serve to distract and set up the reader, a sign of some truly clever writing.Yes, the characters really are stuffed animals, living in a world where many things are very clearly defined for them (such as the good areas of town literally being painted different colors from the bad ones). And that analogy doesn't go very far, in that the type of animal a character is doesn't necessarily define who they are. And there aren't really any musing on the nature of man versus beast. But each animal is a full, fleshy—or stuffed—whole with a parallel personality type in our world.Amberville is the kind of book you wouldn't think about reading, or you'd expect to not like, only to discover it has a lot more to offer than can be explained on the book jacket. It absolutely keeps you guessing, up to the last sentence, and asks questions but never presumes to offer answers, making it a very good read indeed.

  • John
    2018-11-13 18:28

    I came to this book in a unusual way. My first novel, The Terror and the Tortoiseshell (about a world which has been taken over by mutated animals) was reviewed by Publishers Weekly and in its summation mentioned that my book bore superficial similarities to Amberville, a book about stuffed toy animals. The review also said my book was the better of the two. To say I was intrigued is putting it mildly.So what kind of book is Amberville? A damn hard one to classify. If you go by some of the quotes, then it's a crime novel. Only I'd say this isn't true. It starts like that (kind of) but in the end becomes a book about good and evil and making the right choices, with quite a strong religious slant to it. And stuffed toy animals. The thing is, the way the book has been written, I think it could as easily have been told without them - a lot more could have been done with these characters, and I wonder whether some of the power of the story has been lost in the translation, with some of the phrasing being below par. Another problem is the general pace of the book, which is pretty much the same the whole way through. Having said that, I enjoyed the book, but felt that there was a better one in there trying to get out.But negatives aside, I'd recommend this book to anyone who wants something more than a bit different, as the central ideas are intriguing (it would make a cracking animated film if somebody like the Quay brothers could get hold of it) and the book takes you into places you really wouldn't expect or even think possible - somehow, despite its failings, it works. It also contains perhaps the best line I've ever read in my life - "He challenged the baboons to a duel"!I've just found out that Amberville is only the first book in a series of four. I shall certainly be hunting out the other books in the series.Three and a half stars.

  • Tony
    2018-11-06 19:18

    Davys, Tim. AMBERVILLE. (2007; Eng. trans. 2009). **. This is a first novel from a Swedish author under a pseudonym. It is, to say the least, a strange novel. In it, there are no human characters, only stuffed animals. The stuffed animals all live in Mollison Town – for which this novel is the first in a projected series of four. It is kind of a mystery and kind of a fantasy novel, but takes on the guise of a mainstream tale, too. The story is told through the voice of Eric Bear. We are told at the outset that Eric Bear has it all: a successful career, a beautiful wife, a blissful home. He knows he’s been lucky. When he was younger, his life revolved around drugs, gambling and a gang of stuffed-animal thugs. He lived in a gambling dive under the control of Nicholas Dove, the major crime boss of the city. Life has been good for him since he went straight, but he is visited one day by Nicholas Dove and asked to do one final job: to get Nicholas Dove off of the Death List. Should Eric fail, Nicholas threatens to tear his beloved wife, Emma Rabbit, to pieces, limb by limb. Nobody knows if the Death List even exists, so Eric has a tough job ahead of him. He gathers his old gang together – most of whom are relatively unwilling to join up again – and puts together a plan to first discover if the Death List is real, and then to make sure that Nicholas’ name is removed from it. So it goes. There’s humor here, but the author’s stretches to include it are obvious. I’m not sure where you’d find this book in a book store, but I’m not sure I’d look very hard for it anyway.

  • Franklyn Thomas
    2018-11-16 16:17

    Amberville, part 3 of Tim Davys' Mollisan Town Quartet, is a slightly offbeat, mildly disturbing, thought-provoking, entertaining read. It touches on the nature of life and death, mistaken identity, law and order, and good and evil, all viewed through the perspective of stuffed animals.Yes, you read that right. Stuffed animals. Mollisan Town is populated with stuffed animals of varying moral alignments, from the holy penguin Archdeacon Odenkirk to the malicious gangster Nicholas Dove.Eric Bear, former mob enforcer, now a successful ad exec and devoted husband, is asked to do a favor for his former employer, the aforementioned Nicholas Dove: locate the Death List -- a roster of all the stuffed animals slated to die on a particular day -- and remove his name from it, or suffer the death of his beloved Emma Rabbit. The problem is no one knows if the Death List actualy even exists, much less where it is or how to remove a name. Eric assembles his old crew from the old days -- the hulking yet sweet Tom-Tom Crow, the effete Sam Gazelle, and the dispassionate Snake Marek -- and the foursome search Mollisan Town high and low for leads on this Death List. Along the way, we see interludes about the characters' seedy past, especially one concerning a case of mistaken identity. Amberville is shockingly adult, in stark contrast to the idea of the characters being stuffed toys. There's drinking, smoking, drug use, and sex all over this book, and on several occasions you forget you're reading a book about stuffed animals. It is imaginative and wildly fun, and I honestly can't help but to recommend it.8 out of 10.

  • Melissa
    2018-11-06 13:21

    I got Amberville as a free-Friday selection on my nook. The description alone had my attention, stuffed animals in a gritty story of crime, conspiracy, corruption and redemption. Sounds good. The story is told from multiple points of view, so the reader is constantly changing voices. . In truth, the entire book reads as a series of character studies, or at best a set of interconnected short stories that have been crammed together into a single volume. Nothing ever quite gels, as threads in the story peter out and lead to nowhere, characters are introduced and then forgotten, or dark hints are made that never really resolve into anything juicy enough to sustain our interest. There are a good deal of characters, some that are introduced then never seen from again. There were many pages in the middle that felt less like pleasure reading, more like work. Plus the ending is a huge let down, or at least it was for me and I just wanted to throw the book at the end. While I was happy I finally finished I just wished I had gotten an ending. The idea of stuffed animals in a detective mystery novel begs for plenty of sarcastic tongue-in-cheek humor, but Amberville avoids silly humor and instead relies on the subtle absurdities, to deliver the humor on their own, which they never really manage to do. I was interested by this book, but not entertained.

  • Olethros
    2018-10-24 12:33

    -Existencialismo noir protagonizado por peluches animados. Sí, en serio.- Género. Narrativa fantástica (por decirles algo, aunque tal vez sería mejor decir “Novela con una gigantesca licencia de partida”). Lo que nos cuenta. En el barrio de Amberville, en Mollisan Town, Eric Oso es un maduro profesional de la publicidad y un amante esposo que ha dejado muy atrás un pasado ilegal. Pero uno de los jefes del crimen organizado para quien trabajó, Nicholas Paloma, le obliga a realizar un trabajo: localizar una lista que muchos consideran que no es más que un mito y quitar su nombre de ella. Si no lo consigue, Eric verá asesinada a su amada Emma Coneja, por lo que recurre a sus antiguos compañeros de correrías, Tom-Tom Corneja, Sam Gacela y Serpiente Marek. Escrita bajo seudónimo por un autor (o autora) de origen sueco, de identidad aparentemente relevante en la sociedad de su país y con mucho celo sobre su intimidad. Primer libro de la serie Mollisan Town. ¿Quiere saber más de este libro, sin spoilers? Visite:

  • Jojo
    2018-10-29 14:20

    Die Geschichte hat mich jetzt nicht wirklich umgehauen, obwohl ich eigentlich die Idee mit den Kuscheltieren als Akteure ziemlich genial fand. Ich muss auch gestehen, dass ich zwischendurch ziemliche Probleme hatte der Story zu folgen. Vielleicht habe ich unaufmerksam zugehört, das will ich nicht hundertprozentig ausschließen. Aber es passierte generell sehr viel und es gab am Ende so einige Dinge, die sich gewendet haben, wo ich dann als Zuhörer dachte: Was zum?! Da gab es ja so gar keinen Hinweis innerhalb der Geschichte. Aber wie gesagt: Die Idee war super und zwischendurch hatte das Buch auch ziemlich spannende Stellen, bei denen ich nicht aufhören konnte mit dem Hören. Aber es kann leider nie mein Lieblingskrimi werden. (Das Hörbuch gab's auch mal wieder auf Spotify, deshalb hab ich's gehört.)

  • Teresa
    2018-10-23 14:31

    I bought this book because it seemed quite funny to me and well it was like 5 euros. I ended up liking the book quite a lot! I recomend it to people who like ironic books.

  • Juan Sebastian Quintero Santacruz
    2018-11-05 13:36

    La historia es fascinante pero es Mollisan Town lo que hace de la historia algo fantástico. La historia tiene tintes noir pero no es tan decadente y extravagante como la descripción de la editorial Anagrama pareciera mostrar, sin embargo ver a peluches hacer todo lo que hacen en la historia es lo que hace del libro algo verdaderamente llamativo.

  • Magnus
    2018-10-30 12:32

    Really hard to get in to. But it grow on me. Att he end, I loved it!

  • Jason Brown (Toastx2)
    2018-10-27 20:17

    Referred on other pages as a part of the "Nursery Crime" sub-genre... Which was a new one for me to run across...Crime/detective novel, man#1 is going to die, and he decides that the best way to live is to force man#2 to save him. Should he fail to do so, man#1 will have his thugs kill man#2's wife.Easy enough decision for a man to make, provided he does not utterly despise his wife, he should see what he can do about saving man#1.. Right?Well, that is the core plot of Amberville, but it has a twist... Man#1 and man#2 are not men.. Sure, they are MALE, but they are not MEN.Amberville and all of its surrounding burgs are wholly populated by stuffed animals.Eric Bear grew up in a decent family, in a decent part of town.. his father, Boxer Bloom, is head of the local schools. His mother, Rhino Edda, is head of the environmental government branch. despite upbrining, Eric always found himself in a bit of trouble. As a young cub, he found himself working side jobs at the Casino Monokowki. His twin brother 'Teddy" (go figure) was a whole other mess.20 years later, he is a successfully reformed bear, living with his wife, Emma Rabbit, working as an advertising guru at a local should be noted that in Amberville, young stuffed animals are not born. they are brought to families who are on the "cub list". the factory sends out green pick up trucks driven by uniformed deliverymen, to drop the youngsters at their new homes.Amberville also has a dark side. The cub list has a rumored counterpart , the death list. For hundreds of years stuffed animals have whispered about it, likewise about the chauffeurs, driving red pickup trucks through darkened night streets to take the dead off to their end.On waking with a particularly bad hangover one morning, Eric is accosted by his old boss, Nicholas Dove, gangster and proprietor of the Casino he used to be employed at. Dove has found that the death list is real and that he is on it. Dove wants off the list and will have Emma Rabbit tortured and destroyed if his name is not scratched from the list.Older, more threadbare, and no longer the delinquent he used to be, Eric goes off to locate said mythical object in order to save his wife.He is unwillingly helped by his old gang: a self serving snake, an drug addicted sexually ambiguous antelope with a broken horn, and a mentally screwed up Crow named Tom-Tom with a history of extreme violence and memory loss during times of stress.~~All in all, this was a great book. i enjoyed it a lot and will gladly point people in its direction. as book one in a series pertaining to each of the 4 burgs in the Mollisan Town area.Only one concern when it came to reading this book. fore-warning to those who follow: Some sections of the book have some bizarre verbiage in use which is confusing. this mainly pertains to descriptions of the twins Eric and Teddy. unlike myself who reread certain sections 2-3 times, dont waste the effort. you will glean no extra insight. your questions will be answered later.i read this book in a free ebook format on the Harper Collins website. if you read ebooks, i suggest getting it while the gettin's good. available here --> is also available, feel free to use my amazon search on the left to give me a few pennies of your purchase price.. help me get more books and make me smile in the process :)regardless of how you read it, come back and tell me your thoughts. would love to get involved in some discussion on this.About the Author:Tim Davys is not a real name. the photo you see here is that which harper collins carries under his author page.instead of spouting off nonsense of my own regarding the awesomeness of pseudonyms, go check out The Man Your Husband Is Worried About's review on this book.

  • Gayle Francis Moffet
    2018-11-09 20:15

    **SPOILERS AHEAD**For the life of me, I can't figure out why the characters in Amberville have to be stuffed animals. I spent a good portion of my reading time trying to understand how the world in Amberville functioned for citizens. It's mentioned a few times that some of the animals are much smaller than the others, so how is the world adjusted for that? One of the main characters, a snake, is said to move about like any regular snake, but it seems like, if he's stuffed with fluff (as it's made clear all the animals are), he shouldn't have the ability to move like a live snake, right? Why are all the streets color-coded? Why are some people referred to by their animal type and then name (Boxer Bloom, for example), while most of the other characters are referred to by their name and then their animal type (Eric Bear, the main character)? I thought that last one might be a sign of a generational change, the animal name becoming a sort of Mr./Ms. title after an animal reaches a certain age, but one of Eric's compatriots, Snake Marek, is Eric's age, and they were friends for a long while, so why would he be referred to by animal type first if it's a sort of title?When it comes to world-building, the devil's in the details, and it feels like the devil, in this case, took a vacation. This feels like a book that really could have built a world I would have enjoyed, but every ten pages or so, questions cropped up, and in the end, this world feels sort of half-assembled with just enough detail that it might feel complete if you're not reading carefully.But it's more than the world-build that gets this book one star; it's also the way the narrative jumps to the point after a major decision has been made, then jumps back to how the decision got made. It feels lazy, like the author couldn't come up with a better way to build suspense in a scene than to take you away from it. There are also chapters in the book from the perspective of side characters, and while it's an interesting technique, it felt like a way to up the page count to a full 250 pages, so it couldn't be said there wasn't enough going on.Lastly, there's some stereotypes at work here that weren't to my liking. One of the characters, Sam Gazelle, is gay. He's written as "mincing," and it's made clear he makes his living as a prostitute who provides sado-masochistic services to his clients. And, of course, since he is these three things (a gay man, a prostitute, someone who enjoys S&M), he is also a massive drug user and enjoys torturing people who are not paying him for the service. Of course.There's also a problem with Emma Rabbit, the love interest of the main character. She is painted, over and over, as a remarkable woman who has changed Eric's life. She is artistic and lovely and amazing. And so, of course, since she's on a pedestal you'd need a helicopter to get to, she is actually completely the opposite: empty-headed, spoiled, and boring. If I wanted to read that, I could pick up any number of noir novels from the golden age and get my fix.And that, really, is the crux of the problem. This book has been written, and it's been written better, and slapping stuffed animals on top of the plot doesn't mean you have carte blanche to push out old stereotypes and half-baked world-building and a plot that--while solid--has been done to death (Oooh, evil priest. Never seen that before). If you're going to write noir, you have to do something new with it, not just put a mask over someone's face and hope everyone really believes you were writing about a stuffed bear on purpose.

  • Thomas Holbrook
    2018-10-25 17:18

    Beware of gifts being offered by trusted sources; the receiving thereof can lead to the reading of a well-crafted, perception altering, mystery novel set in one of the most bizarre concepts imaginable. Tim Davys, a pseudonym wisely chosen as it adds to the dis-reality of the story, sees a world inhabited by stuffed animals as a fitting place to offer commentary on THE questions of life: from where do we come? What happens next (after death)? Do we have choice in those decisions? At no point in the book is there the mention, or the possibility of, the existence of beings other than “stuffed animals.” The reader who suspends belief of this premise quickly will be better able to “see” the story instead of being confused by it. The story is told from the first person perspective of Eric Bear, a twin (of Teddy). Their parents, Rhinoceros Edda, wonderful cook & head of The Environmental Ministry and Boxer Bloom, the stern, honest, “right-or-wrong world view” rector of Amberville Secondary Grammar School adopted them, as are all in this world, as cubs. The brothers could be less identical, apart from appearance where there is no telling of the difference. Teddy’s life ambition is “to be a good bear,” Eric’s life is filled with compromise and shady characters. The shadiest of those characters, Nicholas Dove, has discovered his name is on this month’s “death list” and has assigned Eric the duty of seeing that The Dove’s name is removed. If he does not succeed in this task, his beloved Emma Rabbit will likewise be taken. The ensuing detective work is nothing new – clues discovered, some leads are dead ends, surveillance becomes mundane, the culprit discovered, resolution achieved. The story’s energy arises from the truth revealed as these stuffed animals “live out” their existence. Teddy is clear that love, both in the giving & receiving, is pure only when it is free of demands, “Almost nothing is more difficult than keeping the longing for love free from demands. It is a struggle.” p. 41. To hear two inanimate objects speak the existential truth, “A myth can only survive for two reasons, either because those who are in control from some reason want the myth to survive. Or because . . . . Because it is true.” p. 57 is a moment when the careful reader will be stunned into contemplation. Such observations and dialogue reveal this novel to be an allegory of human existence. It is not flesh and blood that gives one life. Neither is it position of employ or family. Rather life is to be found in relationships, relationships are valued according to what one is “paying” to be a part of it and one’s living can be measured by the “wealth” of return from what has been “given.” By the book’s conclusion, as with all good allegories, the wealthy are revealed and the truly poor exposed for who they are. There is much violence, most of it implied, in this book. (Any male who had (or has) a stuffed animal knows how tough those animals actually are.) There is no sex, nor allusion of sex, in the tale. (It is a book about STUFFED ANIMALS and the thought of sex between them is just SICK!) The landscape is imaginary but as familiar as last night’s dream. I doubt I will ever discover Tim Davys true identity, but I would very much like to do so. I want to talk with him about the animals that populated this childhood bedroom. I suspect we shared, at least genetically, some of those friends.

  • Miranda
    2018-10-20 13:23

    I picked up this book at one of my favorite bookstores on a trip to Spokane. The bookstore is Aunties and it is an independent bookstore with a sister games store inside called Uncles.I highly recommend a visit here if you are ever in Spokane. This book was on the clearance table and the cover caught my eye. When I read the back I was amused because it appeared to be a book about teddy bears...teddy bears in the mafia! The book is actually far more serious than it sounds, as it uses stuffed animals to speak truths about people. There are the same types of animals in this book as their are people: the mentally ill, the greedy, the power hungry, the down and out, the mafia. The book surrounds the idea of a death list that is created and a loved ones name that ends up on the list. In the quest to both search for the list and remove one name off of it the book focuses on the meaning of life.There were some interesting quotes in the book that both highly amused me, but also spoke to me about life."Love is lethal for a bear who has consecrated his life to goodness". Lol! This one just makes me giggle. It has the ring of something a old detective in a noir book would say. Spoken by a bear who lives in utter terror of doing wrong and withdraws from life to avoid doing evil."You shouldn't look for any symbolism in that either". The book is very tongue in cheek. The author has a lot to say about what people live for and what life is all about. I only gave this book 3 stars because I am not sure I like the authors conclusions, but I did find the book an enjoyable read."The weather was past midnight" This quote is an odd one because the weather is one hundred percent predictable in this world and the animals could tell time by what the weather was doing.One of the main themes of the book is Evil. One of the bears in the book is obsessed with living a good life and avoiding the Evil he has a lot of interesting things to say about the concept which made the book a very intersting read."Evil is what the victim experiences nothing else" an interesting conclusion, which I think is partially true. Evil is often harm done to someone else. If something we do causes emotional pain and trauma to another person because we put our needs above theres it can be described as evil."Evil is social because it only exists in an opposing relationship" (obviously to good). That is true. Good can exist by itself, but evil really can't if there was no good to compare it too we woudl not know what evil was."I knew my free will was my greatest enemy". This was spoken by the bear who wanted to badly to do good. He knew that his freedom of choice might be his down fall because he constantly felt the pull of evil tugging him in."Shame's best hiding place is right in front of your eyes"And lastly:"Passivity is the only kind of evil that remains.The book will likely not make my top ten but after you get into the book it moves quickly and is an enjoyable read. Kudos to the author for creating a completely original concept that manages to work despite its unconventionality. ( that even a word??)

  • Quinn Rollins
    2018-11-05 19:30

    Eric Bear has it all: a successful career, a beautiful wife, a blissful home. He knows he's been lucky; a while back, his life revolved around drugs, gambling, a gang of thungs, and notorious crime boss Nicholas Dove. He's also...a stuffed animal. A teddy bear, in fact. Eric Bear and all of the other residents of Mollisan Town are all stuffed animals, and as far as everything in the book Amberville shows us, there aren't any humans involved in any part of their lives. Eric Bear wasn't born, he was "delivered" to his parents, a stuffed boxer dog and a hippopotamus. Most stuffed animals don't die, either...they can be re-stuffed and stitched back up and recover from almost any injury. The way most animals reach their end is that they are collected by trucks and taken--no one knows where. They're never heard from again. Who gets taken seems to be random, but there's always been a rumor of a Death List...and now Nicholas Dove believes he's on that list. The crimelord is threatening Eric's wife Emma Rabbit with unimaginable violence unless Eric somehow finds a way to save Dove.Amberville is the first book in a trilogy by Tim Davys, and was first published in Swedish in 2007. The English translation was published last year, and there's definitely a foreign flavor to the book. This is just one of the intriguing things about the book. I loved the way all of the different species of animals interacted with each other. Eric Bear pulls together a sort of "Oceans Eleven" team to try and pull his caper, including a homosexual gazelle, a bureaucratic snake, and an enormous crow. All four of them have moved on from their own criminal pasts, but when they come back together, they're able to work together. Mostly.As a noirish caper novel, Amberville succeeds very well. What surprised me is how it also aspired to be more than that. Because of certain characters and the factors that they bring into the book, much of Amberville also becomes a treatise on the nature of good and evil. Because these aren't people, Davys is able to extrapolate new relationships and new ways of understanding life and death. The residents of Mollisan Town have religion, under the watchful eye of a pious penguin. As the characters all struggle with issues of right and wrong, life and death, we get fascinating interludes about what these stuffed animals think about their lives. What I picked up thinking it was some kind of fusion of "Toy Story" and "The Maltese Falcon" became much more than that, and I found myself reflecting on my own mortality, my own religion, my own understanding of good and evil.Amberville was a fast-paced, unpredictable, fascinating read. If you're a fan of talking animals, allegorical fiction, or crime novels, you'll find a lot to enjoy here. You'll also find your head spinning as you try to comprehend it all. I loved it. I already have the sequel, Lanceheim, which I'll start reading this weekend. I can't wait to see what's next.

  • Grey Liliy
    2018-10-17 15:15

    I loved this book. It was full of energetic, unique characters, a great storyline and the storytelling method was engaging. (The fact the cast was presented as stuffed animals wasn't bad either, it just wasn't as big a part of the story as you might think--aside from the world building aspect, separating their world from our own.)I think of complaints concerning the book, I only had two:First, I think the best part about the book, was also its biggest weakness--but only for the start. The book likes to tell the story out of order using integrated flashbacks constantly, and interjected chapters of what appear to be completely separate and unrelated plot threads until much later in the story proper. At the beginning, a few of them are particularly confusing as they present information that contradicts what's going on in the story, and it was a bit of a turn-off while reading. It wasn't until I was nine or ten chapters in that I had enough information for the flashbacks to start making sense and the book really picked up.At that point -- I found them rather brilliant. This book would definitely be worth a second read, just to look for all the context clues that were obvious now that I'd had more of the story revealed. However, the reader has to make it past a certain amount of the book or that effect is lost. The second issue deals with the ending, while there were some questions brought up that I were happy to have been left vague and unanswered, there were a couple of threads that I felt could have been returned to and wrapped up more properly. Aside from those two minor issues, I loved the book. Once I got about 1/3rd of the way in, I had a hard time putting it down. Story and plot weaved together past and present to create a very unique world for the stuffed animal population.My favorite aspect of the book, however, had to be the dynamic between Eric Bear and (view spoiler)[his brother (hide spoiler)]. The relationship between these two characters, as well as others they interacted with, was deep and always left you guessing on whether or not what you read was what was really going on. By the end of the book, you were looking at previous scenes with a new eye as you realize just how unhinged one of these two really is, where it hadn't been even a passing thought earlier as we shared their thoughts.And I loved every bit of it.The book was worth the read for that relationship alone. There's also some great philosophical moments that were presented in such a different manner that I was glued to the page.I highly recommend it if you have a taste for a good noir thriller.

  • Kara Jorges
    2018-11-01 17:35

    The stuffed animals of Mollisan Town are a lot like humans, but there are a few differences. They are not born, they are delivered to their parents in a green pick-up truck, and they do not die but rather are picked up by Chauffeurs in red pick-ups late at night. No one knows for sure how the Chauffeurs choose who to pick up, but there have always been rumors of a Death List. Eric Bear is forced to track down the origins of this list when his former boss, mobster Nicholas Dove, pays him a visit. Dove has heard a rumor that his name is on the Death List, and he wants it off. Since Eric’s mother is a high-placed government official, he believes the bear will have the best chance of tracking it down. Eric has very little time to find the Death List, and if he fails, Eric’s lovely wife, Emma Rabbit, will be torn apart by the dove’s gorillas. Emma is the light of Eric’s life, so he puts his life as an advertising executive on hold and gathers his crew from the old days. He hooks up with Tom-Tom Crow, who’s just a little unbalanced, Sam Gazelle, a pill-popping male prostitute whose clients are all masochists, and Snake Marek, a bureaucrat determined to use his position to corner the market on art and literature for himself. The search for the origins of the Death List takes Eric Bear on a journey of discovery of deeply-buried secrets and moral origins. Though not a religious bear, he finds himself examining the very framework of the moral code and having to make a tough decision before it’s all said and done. Eric is far from the only interesting character to be found in Mollisan Town, however. Snake Marek’s role is particularly interesting, as was Eric’s twin, Teddy. Actually, just about any character the author chose to delve into was worth reading about.Not everyone enjoys a story with an offbeat concept like this, but I admire the creativity of the author, which I haven’t seen done as well since Eric Garcia’s Rex series about dinosaurs in human disguise. The book simply would not have been as much fun with human characters. The suspense is first-rate, and the depictions of what it means to be a stuffed animal were intriguing as well. Though sometimes books are best left to stand alone, I would definitely be interested in reading more about the residents of multi-colored Mollisan Town.

  • Andreea Daia
    2018-10-26 15:44

    GENRE: Literary, crime, psychologicalPUBLISHER: Harper CollinsPLOT: Eric has managed to clean up his life and cut off his ties with the local Mob. Until the official head of the criminal returns to his life with a confession: he believes that the mythical List of those rumored to be eliminated exists and his name is on it. If Eric wants his wife to live, he has to track down the list and remove the kingpin’s name from it. So Eric must coerce his old associates and try this seemingly impossible task. As the story advances, the reader discovers that nothing is what it seems and that the line between good and evil is most often blurred.COMMENTS:I bought this book accidentally, but I don’t regret it. Despite being advertized as a thriller, AMBERVILLE is an allegory about the essence of evil. It delves into the intricacies of the social organization, in which the unscrupulous politicians and clerics rule the world as near gods.This is slow(ish) moving and reflective novel, that spends a good part of the story analyzing the philosophical aspects of good and evil in general and corruption in particular. It isn’t an easy read, but I enjoyed its ideas quite a bit.I believe where the story really shines is at fleshing out realistic characters. The gangs, the Mob, the wife, the brother, everyone is extremely distinct and realistic.TECHNIQUES: Maybe I should have opened with this: all characters are stuffed animals. By doing so the author eliminates any racial bias and stereotypes: evil is evil, regardless of the skin color.This is another one of those stories with ten or more points-of-view. I think in this case it worked well because the characters are so different. Presenting the same event from several POV’s becomes a fascinating discovery process. The reader keep wondering who is right, who is crazy, and what is real.Originally posted on personal blog.

  • Jo Doolittle
    2018-11-01 19:25

    very different book. Not what I expected or really care for

  • Joe Ohlenbusch
    2018-11-12 18:41

    I found this book at a flea market and was intrigued by the cover with a teddy bear in a back alley. Then I read the back and it said something about teddy bears with guns so I bought the thing. I had no clue what I was in for. I found the uncorrected proof version of the book so maybe the public version was a little better put together. The idea was great. I really liked the fact that this guy was writing about stuffed one point the main character, Eric, gets the crap beaten out of him by two apes and I just had to laugh by the way the author described the cotton stuffing coming from his mouth instead of blood. Other than a couple other things that were amusing, like the gay male prostitute gazell who we meet for the first time with a client (a bird that was tied to the bed with plucked feathers all around...haha) and his friend the snake complaining about how hard it is for him to drive a car, the book really isn't that good. I don't think I could have gotten through it if it weren't for the draw of it being stuffed animals. I was wondering why some of the sentences didn't fit together in the most understandable ways until I saw that it was a translation. I've never read anything translated before so I don't know if they are like that. I just have to mention this, I really don't know what it pertains to but... At one point, the Gazell scares or beats and sexually hurts someone and the next chapter is in that guys point of view but he is so shaken by what happened that he just rambles and the author made this one chapter the longest run-on sentence I've ever seen printed. It took me probably 20 minutes to read that 3 page chapter. Hahaha. If you want something different, this is it. I don't know if I'd ever suggest this book but it seems like something hard to find, so if you find it, read it when you're bored.