Read The Children of Dynmouth by William Trevor Online


A small, pretty seaside town is harshly exposed by a young boy's curiosity. His prurient interest, oddly motivated, leaves few people unaffected - and the consequences cannot be ignored....

Title : The Children of Dynmouth
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9780140047189
Format Type : Paperback
Number of Pages : 189 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

The Children of Dynmouth Reviews

  • Jim Fonseca
    2018-12-03 18:03

    CONTAINS SPOILERS The main character comes across at first as a special ed kid, but as the story evolves we see that he is truly mentally disturbed. He’s an older teenager who is cast aside by his family. He has no father and his mother and older sister are good buddies, laughing, smoking, eating together, while he fends for himself on leftovers in his room. So he wanders the town stealing petty things and small amounts of money, getting into trouble and doing odd jobs for people. He’s the type who tells corny puns, repeats them and then says “do you get it” and still explains it to you. A minster with infinite patience tries to help steer the young boy straight.The boy hatches a plan to present a bizarre play in a local talent show. It’s a parody of a famous murderer who killed women in their baths --- just what you want at church-sponsored event in a small town. But with age he has become vicious; basically blackmailing people to get the props he needs for his play. He gets his blackmail material from what he has seen peering and listening through windows and spying around town. He knows why a son has ruined his parents by running off, never to come home again; he knows that the retired military commander has his eyes on the cub scouts at the beach; he knows which women regularly meet the local Lothario in the public restroom. (Thus the origin of the expression “Get a room!” although we know that unmarried people could not do that in those days in a small Irish town.) Two other main characters are a young girl and boy whose parents just married after the death of the man’s wife. The malicious kid concocts a story with just enough bits of truth that has them believing that the man, now their father, murdered his first wife. It’s a good read. Like other Trevor stories, it’s about lonely, listless people trapped in a stifling small town in Ireland a generation or more ago. My thanks to Nancy Oakes for recommending this book to me. photo from

  • Hugh
    2018-11-24 16:59

    William Trevor was one of the Booker Prize's perennial bridesmaids, and this book was shortlisted in 1976. The setting is Dynmouth, an outwardly sleepy Dorset seaside town rather reminiscent of Lyme Regis. Like another book I read recently, Michael Frayn's Spies, this is a story about innocence and experience, and childhood games colliding with adult secrets with unforeseen consequences.The central character is brilliantly drawn. Timothy Gedge is a 15-year old loner who spends much of his time watching people. At the start this seems fairly innocent and harmless - he dreams of escaping his inevitable destiny in the town's sandpaper factory via a talent contest, for which his act requires the help of various props he can only obtain by revealing what he has seen while watching people. It becomes clear that he has learning difficulties, and although he has seen and remembered much, he understands little and uses a lively imagination to fill in the gaps. As he cannot resist talking to everyone he can, his revelations leave a trail of destruction. This is largely described via his harassment of Stephen and Kate, two 12 year olds who have been brought together because Stephen's widowed father has just married Kate's divorced mother.The portrait of the community is fully realised and full of comic 70s detail - as somebody who was brought up in 70s England this had many resonances. The ending is surprising and has an element of redemption.

  • ·Karen·
    2018-12-05 17:56

    DevastatingOh, you have to watch the names with Trevor. Timothy: honouring god. Surname Gedge, which has an unpleasant sound to it but apparently comes from an ancient word gygge and designated someone with high spirits. And yes, spirits he has, although Kate is convinced the ones in possession of Timothy are devils. She applies to the local clergyman but finds him inadequate when he rejects the idea of exorcism. As Trevor said in an interview, there's always a bit of god-bothering in his work, a gnawing, nagging complaining about this world: if it was created, what was he thinking?Beware the well-meaning romanticism of a student teacher (Trevor himself worked as a teacher. And note the name of this one):A student teacher called O'Hennessy arrived at the Comprehensive and talked to his pupils about a void when he was scheduled to be teaching them English. 'The void can be filled,' he said.Nobody paid much attention to O'Hennessy, who liked to be known by his Christian name, which was Brehon. Nobody understood a word he was talking about. 'The landscape is the void,' he said. Escape from the drear landscape. Fill the void with beauty.' All during his English classes Brehon O'Hennessy talked about the void, and the drear landscape, and beauty. In every kid, he pronounced, looking from one face to another, there was an avenue to a fuller life........Timothy Gedge, like all the others, had considered O'Hennessy to be touched in the head, but then O'Hennessy had said something that made him less certain about that. Everyone was good at something, he said, nobody was without talent: it was a question of discovering yourself.Timothy decides that the local sandpaper factory is not his avenue to a fuller life. He has a talent indeed. He can be abrasive in many, many ways. And doggedly single-minded in pursuing his goal.A gentle, tender, distressing exposure of the loss of innocence. Timothy is a malevolent spirit, a destructive animus, one that kicks away the props holding up cracked and sagging illusions and self-deceptions. Are the characters better off when their protective shell has been stripped away and they are left squirming in the unaccustomed light of day? Is Timothy as much victim as he is perpetrator? And how does Trevor manage to be so hilarious at the same time as devastating???

  • Laysee
    2018-11-13 17:53

    I wanted to read one of my favorite authors and listen to a familiar voice. That longing took me to Dynmouth on the Dorset coast of England where I anticipated pleasurable hours reading a William Trevor novel set in the 1970s. It will be a quiet read, methinks, since the story is supposed to unfold in an unspoilt seaside town complete with charming tea-shops and laces. I was sorely mistaken. The Children of Dynmouth turned out to be an unnerving story that shattered my sense of equanimity. Trevor is, as always, an inimitable master of his craft. I had forgotten, however, how brilliantly he can tell an unsettling story.The central character is Timothy Gedge, a 15-year-old latch-key youth with predatory, hungry eyes and a creepy smile. He loiters in town, peers into people’s houses, eavesdrops on conversations, and attends funerals of complete strangers. He invites himself to super with the Abigails every Wednesday evening. He does odd jobs for them, albeit shoddily, to earn pocket money. However, Mrs Abigail does not know that he goes through her drawers in her bedroom. He stops people in their tracks, makes empty conversations, and demands attention for his rude jokes or stories. Timothy’s “chatterbox eccentricity” seems merely annoying at first, but it becomes so gratingly intrusive that I cannot help feeling a surge of sadistic gladness whenever he is told to go away. The vicarage is gearing up for an Easter fête and the annual “Spot a Talent” show. Timothy becomes fixated with the idea of staging a gruesome one-man comedy of a man who murdered his three wives in a bath. His obsession to win sets in motion a devious plan to secure the props he needs: curtains, a bathtub, a wedding gown and an officer’s suit. Timothy begins to blackmail his neighbors by threatening to reveal their secrets. He fabricates lies or spouts vicious half-truths that gnaw at the fragile threads that hold families together. (view spoiler)[Mrs Abigail gains cruel insight into reasons for her long, virginal marriage. Twelve-year-old Stephen grieves anew the loss of his mother whom he was made to believe had been murdered. Miss Lavant is exposed and mocked for sharing imaginary meals with the married doctor whom she loves to no avail. The elderly Dass couple bleeds afresh to be reminded of why their son has left them (hide spoiler)]. In the upheavals that arise from Timothy’s unravelling of secrets that are none of his business, truth is revealed in its gory complexity. We learn that "..Timothy had not told lies entirely. The grey shadows drifted, one into another. The truth was insidious, never blatant, never just facts." The truth can be liberating but it comes at grave personal costs that the affected Dynmouth individuals are ill-prepared to bear. Although Timothy hounds his kindly neighbors with diabolical intent and is perceived to be demon-possessed, he used to be a child with winning ways. What happened along the way? (view spoiler)[The vicar lets on that Timothy’s mother sells clothes in a shop, that his “anonymous” father has abandoned the family and that “The boy had become what he was while no one was looking.” And herein lies the horror. The ordinariness of circumstances – neglect and rejection in Timothy’s case – carries within the aloof mundanity an insidious power of waste and destruction. The vicar astutely observes that Dynmouth may be a pretty seaside resort, "But you couldn't drap prettiness over Timothy Gedge. He had grown around him a shell because a shell was necessary... His eyes were the eyes of the battered except that no one had ever battered Timothy Gedge." (hide spoiler)] Children are notoriously vulnerable. It is not as if Timothy was ever subjected to harsh abuse but he is damaged all the same. His creepy strangeness is baffling and yet not. The vicar sums it up well, “You couldn't understand it and mockingly it seemed that you weren't meant to: it was all just there, a small-scale catastrophe, quite ordinary although it seemed not to be." Trevor succeeds in developing a disturbing portrait of an unsavory youth who engenders little sympathy. The callousness we are made to feel toward Timothy Gedge is what makes him a tragic character.The Children of Dynmouth merits five unsettling but remarkable stars.

  • Laura Canning
    2018-12-08 17:53

    Seriously creepy! William Trevor is one of my favourite authors - and my favourite short story writer - and he does this brilliantly as always. What is actually wrong with Timothy Gedge? The references to him being 'bewildered' when his victims run away from him or shout at him suggest social ineptitude, but he is clearly also shown to be malicious, and Kate thinks he is possessed. The whole 'small seaside town' and its introspective nature is so well done too. To have thought of a character like Timothy Gedge is a mark of a great imagination, but to place it so well and have all the other characters really makes this novel. Highly recommended.

  • Bert
    2018-11-11 21:01

    Cheers! Ugh that Timothy Gedge is just so creepy and repugnant isn't he? And yet utterly hilarious. Seriously he is BRILLIANT. A perfectly pitched novel of creeping unease and Seventies skeeviness in a British seaside town, I absolutely loved everything about it.

  • Leslie
    2018-11-10 17:09

    God, William Trevor is brilliant. This story of a strange, misfit teenager in a coastal town opens up, as so much of Trevor's fiction does, into the astonishing breadth and depth of the mysteries of human experience (I know that sounds pretentious--blame me for that, not Trevor). Now the same sort of boy would be hanging out in the nastier sort of Reddit chatrooms and trolling online and igniting flame wars for the lulz.

  • Carolyn Mck
    2018-11-22 23:03

    Another almost perfect William Trevor novel. I wish I'd discovered him years ago - there is a large body of work to get through: I understand he was renowned for his short stories as well as his novels. Trevor was born in Ireland in 1928 and died last year (2016). The other novels I've read have been set in Ireland but this one is set in the English west country where Trevor lived for most of his adult life. The title of the novel suggests innocence - but even from a short acquaintance with Trevor's work I knew that it would contain dark elements. The key figures are the children, Stephen and Kate, whose parents have recently married and the strange adolescent, Timothy Gedge. In the week the parents are honeymooning abroad, Timothy sets out to destroy Stephen and Kate's innocence. He is a peeping Tom who wanders the village and discovers unsettling secrets - not only about the death of Stephen's mother but also about the habits and proclivities of the village's adults. Trevor uses language brilliantly - particularly his descriptions and dialogue - to show us the inner lives of characters. Adult as well as child characters are well drawn and we come to understand that even though there are people like Mrs Blakey for whom clouds are there 'for the harvesting of their silver linings', there are others who hide unhappiness, even from themselves, and others who go through life so carelessly that they create misery for others. Timothy's mother is such a person and Trevor allows us to understand how Timothy has become the nasty, scheming and destructive boy that he is. A compelling read: 4 and a half stars.

  • Val
    2018-11-24 19:56

    Dynmouth is a West Country seaside town with residents of all ages and classes and in influx of visitors in season. There are several adults, often with secrets hidden behind a respectable facade, but the main characters in this novel are some of its children and one fifteen-year-old boy called Timothy Gedge in particular. Timothy is a disturbed and disturbing boy, who does some rather unpleasant things, including spying on the adults and attempting to manipulate them or upset them. It is difficult to like Timothy, but we also feel sorry for him; he wants to be noticed and liked, and his manipulations are designed to persuade those adults to help him put together the props for a macabre comedy routine for the church fete's talent contest. He dreams of being discovered and appearing on the television talent show of the time, 'Opportunity Knocks', where everyone from the town will see him and be amazed by his unusual comic talent. Meanwhile he wanders the town and beach in the rain, friendless and ignored (unless he approaches people), despite his distinctive yellow attire.While our sympathies may be with Timothy rather than the adults whose grubby secrets he uncovers, Trevor is too finely nuanced a writer for such a pat story-line. When his victims are the other main child characters of the novel, Stephen and Kate, whose widowed father and divorced mother respectively have recently married, our sympathy for Timothy vanishes (although Trevor does remind us of it with a poignant ending).

  • Frank
    2018-12-09 23:43

    Small town evils on the Dorset coast: a woman dies mysteriously by falling from a cliff and her husband almost immediately remarries the local divorcée; a retired man who never consummated his marriage of 38-years is accused of paederasty; the landlord of the local public house is seen at all hours in compromising positions; an invalid woman and her husband are vociferously berated for overprotection by their darling boy as he departs the village forever; the vicar's dwindling flock do not regard him as highly as his predecessor and let him know in various passive-aggressive ways; a middle-aged spinster continues to carry a torch for the married village physician, who may have sired a child by her.Family secrets for the most part, threatened to be made public by an extremely troubled and frightening fifteen-year-old, Timothy Gredge (his very name has overtones of Dickensian malice). What drives Timothy's subtle extortion? Not money, but for the most part props: Timothy wants to do a skit in the church's "Spot the Talent" contest, acting out the story of an Edwardian serial killer known as "The Bride in a Bath Murdered", one George Joseph Smith (a real historical character whose likeness Timothy saw displayed in Madam Tussaud's on a school outing).Trevor is at his devilish best, creating an uncomfortable sense of foreboding while maintaining a wickedly humorous small town world. It would be interesting to compare The Children of Dynmouth with J.K. Rowling’s newest work, The Casual Vacancy , similarly set in a small, West Country town.

  • Abigail Van Alyn
    2018-11-18 19:05

    For me, William Trevor is a writer far outside the star ranking system. How does (now did) he do it? Through one spare and elegant description after another, of things seen and heard from a cool distance, he breaks your heart for the decaying town of Dynmouth and all its yearning and enduring residents. And especially for Timothy Gedge, the awkward, devious, broken boy at the heart of the story. There's never a sense that Trevor wants us to DO something: care more, maybe. He simply stands, observers, and (for me anyway) shatters the reader's carefully constructed equilibrium.

  • jeniwren
    2018-12-02 17:00

    Timothy Gedge is an interesting and compelling character and now pondering how he was so oddly motivated in his way of manipulating the truth. Was he evil or just the product of bad parenting that made him a very sad and lonely teenager? Great read and will be interested in reading more from this author.

  • Steve Smits
    2018-11-18 16:51

    The great William Trevor passed away this week. I have long so admired his writing and he leaves us with some of the most entrancing works in our language. He was widely known for his short stories, surely one of the century's great craftsmen of this genre. His novels are similarly jewels of writing. A short time ago I purchased from one of the remainder websites a set of Penguin reprints of his early novels none of which I had read before except the marvelous novella "Nights at the Alexandra". That work was actually the first of his I read years ago and was completely captivated by his extraordinarily luminous and supple prose.The "Children of Dynmouth" follows a motif seen in many of his works. Dynmouth is a rather ordinary sea side resort town inhabited by unremarkable people. There is Quentin Featherston, the vicar, and his wife Lavinia. He is struggling with a declining congregation and she from the despondency of a recent miscarriage. Commodore Abigail and his wife live quietly in retirement, having long ago worked out a functional pattern of marital relationship. The Dass's are likewise, he retired from banking and she an invalid. Mr. Plant operates the local pub. Step-siblings Stephen and Kate are twelve-years old who have just come to live together when his widowed father and her divorced mother wed.Into this fairly placid setting emerges Timothy Gedge. Timothy is fifteen-years old, the son of a mother whose husband abandoned the family and with an older sister. His family pretty much ignores Timothy who is free to roam the town without supervision or question. Timothy is an odd and lonely boy who has gotten the notion that he can become famous by staging a morbid comedy sketch at the upcoming fund raising talent show sponsored by the church. He fantasizes that the host of a national TV show somehow will see his act and propel him to stardom. To put on his performance, he needs certain props that others can provide -- a derelict bathtub, a suit of clothes, a wedding dress and curtains for the stage. Timothy has a manner of cheerfully and unrelentingly attempting to ingratiate himself to others and he uses this to worm his way into the lives of those whose help he needs. They all perceive him as a pest, but Timothy is a snoop who claims awareness of the secrets of others and hints that he will remain discreet if only they will help him get what he needs for his act. While giving the appearance of amiability and good will he torments others in the most vicious and destructive manner conceivable. In modern typology Timothy would clearly be consider sociopathic. The subjects of his manipulations are devastated by his claims to hold their secrets, some of which have a basis in truth and others false. Without revealing the secrets or the denouement, Timothy's fantasy is not realized, but the others are left permanently affected by his interactions with them. As is often seen in Trevor's stories, beneath the calm and benign surface of people's lives lay angst, turmoil and shame. William Trevor, you will be greatly missed.

  • Alan
    2018-11-10 19:53

    Timothy Gedge, an adolescent in yellow, is the stuff of nightmares, intimidating and manipulative of children and adults, able to be so because of his creeping about observing their every foible and sin. Trevor is masterful at building up tension as Gedge goes about the 70s Dorset seaside town, getting people to give him things for his projected slot in the Spot a Talent competition at the Easter fete. A wedding dress, a tin bath, a dog toothed suit for a macabre recreation of the brides in the bath murder, that he'd seen on a trip to Madame Tussauds. While he does so the whole town is exposed: The Commander goes 'homo-ing about', the publican has sex in the toilet with various wives etc.Great little novel, which brought back a lot of memories for me, Petula Clark and Hughie Green with Opportunity Knocks, double bills at the cinema - in fact it seemed a little earlier than the mid-70s, maybe late 60s.

  • Jo
    2018-11-13 22:00

    I love William Trevor's short stories and this is the first of his novels I've read. As always, I took pleasure in reading his wonderful prose and loved the characters he'd created here. William Trevor writes about small communities so well. This felt like a long short story rather than a novel. There was a distinct lack of narrative tension for me. However, I was eager to see how the novel ended. It went out with a whimper rather than a bang, but that is very much William Trevor's style. The story has resonance and I've found myself thinking about it in the hours since I turned the last page. Intriguing characters and a wonderful sense of place.

  • Charlotte
    2018-12-02 16:58

    Completely extraordinary novel. Gripping from start to finish, with a brilliantly awful central character who must surely have been the inspiration for the Fast Show's "suits you sir" character.

  • Bill Adams111
    2018-11-20 20:55

    This is a very British tale by a very British author, an acquired taste, I believe. You must appreciate understatement and dry wit to find it engaging, and you also must be able to bulldoze past a mind-numbing batch of opening pages documenting the town’s scenery. It’s a very slow starter but picks up after the first quarter.The town is a tiny seaside community in long decline where the chief economic engine is a sandpaper factory. The characters are small-minded, dim-witted, and set in traditions and their habits of behavior, speech, and activity. These are ripe characters for satire, though by now, some forty years later, they are well-worn stereotypes.Among the few children in the town is Timothy, an under-socialized and delusional sociopath who spies on the townsfolk, learning their secrets, such as infidelities, then insinuates himself into their lives with the promise that “their secret is safe with him.” People treat him with annoyed and chilly politeness at first, then later, with alarm. He is portrayed merely as a troublemaker at first but near the climax, more obviously psychotic. Because the tone of the narration is so quiet and matter-of-fact, the tale is surprisingly effective as a horror story, as the crazy and disruptive Timothy keeps "appearing" (a favorite word of the author) in the townspeople's life like a sudden, horrifying inflammation.The descriptions of the town and its characters are vivid. In the disappointingly flat ending, we are told by the preacher that the “case” of Timothy is a study in the banality of evil. He is neither possessed by devils nor intentionally evil; just a mixed-up kid. Unspoken is the further conclusion that the rigid and defensive adults get the children they deserve. The writing is mild, the theme is mild, and the overall tone is mild. It is a mild book, a study of manners in a certain time in a certain place, interesting now because that time and place have virtually vanished from the modern world. Winner of the Whitbread Award and shortlisted for the Booker Prize, the novel will appeal to those who enjoy British dramas on PBS and appreciate a quiet, British sensibility and a subtle tale of social horror.

  • Ethan Chapman
    2018-11-13 20:48

    The best book I've read in a long time. Chilling and funny but altogether unnerving. A boy, in the pursuit of what he wants, decides to leave his town in a muddled state of undress. Going from person to person, each owning an item that he needs for a Spot the Talent! competition, he befriends them and cunningly blackmails them. We're somewhat unsure if he knows what he's doing initially; he's left confused by people's outbursts at him, telling them to leave him alone, telling him to stop. He stands there unsure of what he's done to warrant this response. Until we realise that behind his eyes and his smile is someone very cunning, who can change his reality at the drop of a hat, and no matter how hard the people of Dynmouth try to understand him, they're left with only more questions. This was something special, something very special indeed.

  • Karine
    2018-12-02 17:48

    Délaisse par sa mère et sa sœur il fait du chantage avec les habitants de dynmouth afin d’obtenir les accessoires utiles pour un sketch qu’il ne fera pas au final : dans uni baignoire en robe de mariée figurer les meurtres de diverses femmes ... il s’imagine être en fait le fils d’une célibataire éprise du docteur... la femme du pasteur comprend qu’au lieu de se morfondre sur l’échec de sa dernière grossesse elle peut être à l’écoute de ce Timothy

  • Okidoki
    2018-12-08 19:51

    Färdvägar, 1976. Författaren är irländare, bosatt i engelska Devon, född 1928. - Vi möter några människor i den idylliska sydkuststaden under några sommarveckor. Bland invånarna finner vi också den obehaglige tonåringen Timothy Gedge. Dämpad ton. Moralisk slutsats som jag inte begriper. Trevor kan berätta.

  • Gregory Marris
    2018-12-02 23:48

    A strange and rather dark tale about truths and half truths revealed by a village teenager who sees all but has trouble defining his own neglected reality. I would certainly read more by this author.

  • Eric
    2018-11-12 23:58

    Weird, creepy and utterly compelling. Young Mr. Timothy Gedge knows and exploits everyone's secrets to terrorize a small village, even as an uneasy peace falls with the voice of Petula Clark.

  • Jeroen
    2018-11-14 17:43

    My fraught relationship with small towns, pt. 47Surely, the scene is set the way you expect the scene to be set in a novel set in a small seaside town: a town lifted comfortably out of the confines of specific time and place, fictional (Dynmouth doesn't actually exist) only because it purports to be every small seaside town. When Steinbeck described the seaside town of Monterey in Cannery Row, he wrote, in what must be one of my favorite literary passages:Its inhabitants are, as the man once said, "whores, pimps, gamblers and sons of bitches," by which he meant Everybody. Had the man looked through another peephole he might have said, "Saints and angels and martyrs and holy men," and he would have meant the same thing.Anyone who has read Trevor's Children of Dynmouth will be struck by how apposite these Steinbeck lines are. I, a born and raised urbanite, have been wondering for a while now if I wouldn't be better off getting away from it all, moving to quieter pastures. What pleases me about the Montereys and Dynmouths of this world is probably that they seem manageable. Trevor spends the first page summing up the buildings in Dynmouth, "a seaside resort of limited diversions", and then that's that. I feel like I have a clear view of Dynmouth after one page, whereas the reader of a novel in a city remains perpetually adrift, coasting along anonymous blocks of buildings, the mental map only drawn for a select number of places within that city.And yet it's a lie, of course. When you think about it - and this is actually a frightening thought - even a place as small as Dynmouth (and not to mention fictional) is beyond easy description. Trevor later mentions that there are 4,139 inhabitants in the town, of which the book follows roughly fifteen. That amounts to:(15 / 4139) * 100 = 0.4%These are probably better numbers than you would get for the average city novel, but it's hardly representative. I'm starting to realise, thanks in part to this revelation, that you can never zoom in enough in order for your world to be completely manageable - we are doomed to be overwhelmed.. if we have the capacity to be overwhelmed, that is. Georges Perec, the French Oulipo novelist, once sat in a cafe watching one suburban square in Paris for a whole weekend. He just sat there doing nothing but observing, and found to his despair that he still managed to miss two cars parking right in front of him.Having said all that, Dynmouth certainly feels small. Trevor perfectly evokes precisely that cliche that we have of small towns: that our every move is registered and consequently discussed by hungry eyes behind half-closed curtains, and that precisely because of the fact that everyone knows everyone, the vault containing thoughts unspoken and desires unexpressed far outstrips the vault of the ones that actually come into fruition.Still of course the vault is always there, tiptoed around by the town's inhabitants, and it only takes one outsider, one Timothy Gedge, to open it. Moreover, Trevor shows that the vault only needs to be opened up a little bit to have devastasting effects. I suppose you could say, with Steinbeck, that Timothy Gedge is the one peeping through the other peephole, sometimes perhaps seeing people as more saintly, but more often than not the other way around, lowering his greedy hands into the dark crevices of the vault of the unspoken, and then scattering the spoils all around town.Truth is, I will probably not really know what it's all about until I actually try living in such a town - until I feel those burning eyes everywhere. At least on the outside all would be quiet.

  • Sandra
    2018-11-27 15:50

    Beautifully told, as one would expect, which is what made the ugliness and the doom-laden-ness of the story doubly hard to bear, the awful menace of Timothy Gedge so well-evoked as to leave me twitchy and uncomfortable .

  • AngryGreyCat
    2018-11-29 20:05

    This is my first William Trevor novel and it will not be my last. Well written, somewhat quirky with odd senses of foreboding and at the same time sympathy, the book engages the reader from beginning to end.The point to keep in mind with this book is that it was written and set in 70s. Today’s treatment of Timothy Gedge would be much different. Today he would see as a character on the autism spectrum perhaps and his behavior explained away as caused by a lack of appropriate therapies, neglect at home and poor social skills training. As a teacher, first beginning the book, I had to force myself to not try to look at Timothy Gedge from my current perspective. His character is intended to be a villain, someone manipulative, someone taking prurient interest in other’s dealings, and for the most part creepy. Prior to thinking about the time it was written, I found myself sympathizing more with Timothy, this outcasted, socially and even familially isolated child, lacking social skills and seeming to try to make connections with others. Even the description of him wearing yellow head to toe all the time triggers thoughts of obsessive behavior.Engaging with the book as it was written, Timothy is seen as a catalyst who wanders the town observing others and exposing secrets that the townspeople would rather not see, plausible deniability, as it were. The other characters view Timothy as a menace, if not physically, then to their peace of mind. Events come to a head as Timothy decides he wants to perform in a talent show and sets out, in his own way, to make it happen. This is a book about secrets and exposing them. It is also about how an outsider can upset the delicate balance of a social group and how people inside the group can often exhibit wilful blindness to activities around them.

  • Alan Hughes
    2018-11-18 16:58

    Product Description "Penguin Decades" bring you the novels that helped shape modern Britain. When they were published, some were bestsellers, some were considered scandalous, and others were simply misunderstood. All represent their time and helped define their generation, while today each is considered a landmark work of storytelling. William Trevor's "The Children of Dynmouth" was first published in 1976. In it we follow awkward, lonely, curious teenager Timothy Gedge as he wanders around the bland south-coast seaside town of Dynmouth. Timothy takes a prurient interest in the lives of the adults there, who only realize the sinister purpose to which he seeks to put his knowledge too late. This brilliant novel is eerily prescient as it shows a young person's obsession with fame and his capacity for evil.About the Author William Trevor was born into a Protestant family in Mitchelstown, County Cork, in 1928, and spent his childhood in provincial Ireland. He studied at Trinity College, Dublin, before moving to London where he worked as a teacher and as a copywriter in advertising. His first novel was published in 1958. His novels have won many prizes and he has been shortlisted for the Booker Prize four times. He is also regarded as a master of the short story - John Banville called him the greatest living writer of stories. He was awarded an honorary knighthood in 2002. He has lived for many years in Devon.

  • Helen
    2018-11-24 17:10

    There's a saying, "little pitchers have big ears", and nowhere is this more true than in Trevor's The Children of Dynmouth. The novel follows the young teenager Timothy Gedge, fifteen years of age, but much younger in maturity. Neglected by his overworked mother and deserted by his father, young Timothy wanders the village of Dynmouth, peeking into windows, spying on the citizens, overhearing conversations he has no business hearing. He uses this gained knowledge to manipulate people into giving him the items needed for a pantomime he wants to perform at the annual talent show at the Easter Fete. The novel starts slow, but once it picks up, like Timothy, it doesn't stop. The characters, while not all likable, are engaging and well rounded. The thing that's most compelling is Timothy himself. Yes, he is manipulative, yes, the stories he tells do more harm than good to the listeners. But it's hard to tell whether or not he's fully aware in the harm he's doing to these people. His demands, a curtain, a dress, a suit, are so simplistic when you consider what he could be asking for with all of that power, and he himself is so lonely and awkward. It's hard not to have at least a little sympathy for him. In many ways, he is the conscience of the town, neither good nor bad, just telling it like it is without considering the consequences one way or another. A well written and thought provoking novel, despite the slow beginning.

  • Dale Dean
    2018-12-02 16:49

    William Trevor's The Children Of Dynmouth reminds me of many things. For one it reminds me of a place i grew up in. The characters are well drawn and realistic and remind me of village type people in a small town, particularly in England, where gossip is rife and peeping curtains a common place. Is it such a good vs evil story?, i think not when you climb inside Timothy Gedge's mind. He certainly is a fantastical boy and with cruel intent but you end up feeling sorry for him,with his childhood affected by certain circumstances.The language is neat and precise, clear and descriptive. Trevor creates wonderful characters who engage you deeply in the novel. There is the vicar and his wife, the dass's, the abigails and Stephen and Kate. All take centre stage in the run up to the Easter Fete. There are several storylines intertwining in the book and this is all tied up neatly at the end.I will revisit Trevor's novels and this book too as it was thoroughly enjoyable. This is the first book i have read by Trevor and i look forward to Felicia's journey next, as i have seen the film.

  • Laurie
    2018-11-23 17:03

    The story is set in the 1970's in a small village on the coast of England. Trevor begins by introducing the village in its setting and various people in the town. The pace is slow at the start while characters are clearly drawn. One adolescent, Timothy Gedge, takes a central role as a misfit that enjoys attending funerals and spying on the village people: lurking in shadows and peeping in windows. Timothy has an agenda of his own. The story picks up the pace as Timothy systematically blackmails individuals with a crooked smile and an attitude: "Ah, shucks, what do you expect me to do with this information?" He is evil. As Timothy's intensity and creepiness develops, I found myself in a page turner novel. How would this end? !William Trevor has a long list of novels and short stories. This one was at my local library. I wanted to read him after Yiyun Li (The Vagrants) mentioned him as one of her mentors and favorite authors. I am impressed! He is a terrific writer.

  • Leka
    2018-12-07 19:44

    Questo è un libro strano. O almeno, a me questo libro è apparso strano.Il personaggio principale mi ha ricordato, per la maggior parte delle pagine, il gatto Duchessa del film Babe, maialino coraggioso che racconta al piccolo -ingenuo e dolce porcellino- la verità (se mai di verità si tratta) solo per guadagnare qualcosa, con sottofondo d'invidia rabbiosa. Ma questo ragazzino solitario e solo forse non è né invidioso, né rabbioso. Ha bisogno forse soltanto che qualcuno lo guardi, lo veda e lo riconosca.Il suo destino cambia nelle ultime pagine del libro, avvolto (anche se lui non ne è del tutto consapevole) da uno sguardo pieno di compassione, che gli riapre un futuro. Almeno nelle intenzioni. Per queste pagine, mi è valsa la pena tenerlo tra le mani.