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The Marbury Lens

Average Rating 4
( 41 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(24)

4 Star

(7)

3 Star

(5)

2 Star

(2)

1 Star

(3)

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Most Helpful Favorable Review

5 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

Elegant & Haunting - This One Will Stick With You

In the past, I've read books, reviewed them, and said they were entirely unique; unlike anything I've ever read before, but The Marbury Lens truly is just that. I'm not even positive what really happened, but I liked it. I know that much.

Right off the bat, Jack gets...
In the past, I've read books, reviewed them, and said they were entirely unique; unlike anything I've ever read before, but The Marbury Lens truly is just that. I'm not even positive what really happened, but I liked it. I know that much.

Right off the bat, Jack gets kidnapped, but narrowly escapes. His best friend Conner wants to help him by getting back at Jack's kidnapper, but things escalate from bad to worse. Jack and Conner attempt to carry on like all is well. They head to England as planned; Jack going a few days prior to Conner, and life appears to be okay. That is until Jack meets a man who gives him these glasses that show him another world. A world that is bleak and despairing, full of killing and death. Jack starts to lose himself in between our world and that of Marbury. The line between reality and fiction begins to blur with his every glance through the lens.

This is where things get confusing, for both Jack and me. While Smith's writing is superb, with the stunning visuals of Marbury starkly contrasted with the real world of London, I was lost for the majority of the book. Lost in the sense that I knew what was happening, but I had no clue what it was adding up to. But I think that is exactly the point. Jack loses himself more and more and feels like he is going crazy, so that's what the reader is supposed to feel.

Jack's traumatic experience grips his psyche, messes with his mind, and seriously creeped me out. The real world and Marbury swirl together to show this nightmarish image of good and evil. It's haunting, it's eerie, it's absolutely terrifying, but I couldn't step away from it. I couldn't guess what was going to happen next and when I did, I was so far off.

There's been quite a bit of backlash surrounding this book, in regards to the language used and the character of Conner. See the thing is, the book is about a 16 year old teenage boy. This 16 year old and his best friend, well, they swear. Quite a bit. Then there's this other thing they do, where Conner frequently calls Jack gay. Now, I'm no expert on teen boys, but my younger brothers are 16 and 14 and I know that they swear and I know that they call each other gay. And sure, calling someone gay as a joke isn't the nicest thing, but it happens. So what if Conner calls Jack gay? That doesn't make Andrew Smith or Conner homophobic. It makes the writing and the character more real and I'm cool with that. I like characters who I can actually imagine walking down the street.

The Marbury Lens is twisted and sadistic, morbid and dark, but it is powerful and elegant at the same time. Andrew Smith has unleashed a monster with this one and for those of you who love a story that will haunt you, this is the right book to pick up. Not only does it delve into the hellish land of Marbury, but also the brutal landscape of our own minds and our own world. Just keep in mind that it has many dark themes and is for an older YA audience. There's swearing, there's sex, and there are gory scenes of death, but none of it is gratuitous or done for the shock-factor. It's done because it's right, it fits with the plot and the imagery, and the tone - I wouldn't want it any other way.

Opening line: I guess in the old days, in other places, boys like me usually ended up twisting and kicking in the empty air beneath gallows. ~ pg. 3

Favorite lines: Henry believed that Marbury was a world out of balance.
He needs to take a closer look at this one. ~ pg. 282

posted by Nikkayme on February 27, 2011

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Most Helpful Critical Review

1 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

Not as good as I had hoped for

I had high hopes when I read the summary of this book. The book has a great idead and topic but the author didn't deliver. At the end I was thinking That's it? because the book just ended and didn't have much of a climax. I was very dissapionted.

posted by Reader734 on January 30, 2011

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Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 41 Customer Reviews
Page 1 of 3
  • Posted February 27, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    Elegant & Haunting - This One Will Stick With You

    In the past, I've read books, reviewed them, and said they were entirely unique; unlike anything I've ever read before, but The Marbury Lens truly is just that. I'm not even positive what really happened, but I liked it. I know that much.

    Right off the bat, Jack gets kidnapped, but narrowly escapes. His best friend Conner wants to help him by getting back at Jack's kidnapper, but things escalate from bad to worse. Jack and Conner attempt to carry on like all is well. They head to England as planned; Jack going a few days prior to Conner, and life appears to be okay. That is until Jack meets a man who gives him these glasses that show him another world. A world that is bleak and despairing, full of killing and death. Jack starts to lose himself in between our world and that of Marbury. The line between reality and fiction begins to blur with his every glance through the lens.

    This is where things get confusing, for both Jack and me. While Smith's writing is superb, with the stunning visuals of Marbury starkly contrasted with the real world of London, I was lost for the majority of the book. Lost in the sense that I knew what was happening, but I had no clue what it was adding up to. But I think that is exactly the point. Jack loses himself more and more and feels like he is going crazy, so that's what the reader is supposed to feel.

    Jack's traumatic experience grips his psyche, messes with his mind, and seriously creeped me out. The real world and Marbury swirl together to show this nightmarish image of good and evil. It's haunting, it's eerie, it's absolutely terrifying, but I couldn't step away from it. I couldn't guess what was going to happen next and when I did, I was so far off.

    There's been quite a bit of backlash surrounding this book, in regards to the language used and the character of Conner. See the thing is, the book is about a 16 year old teenage boy. This 16 year old and his best friend, well, they swear. Quite a bit. Then there's this other thing they do, where Conner frequently calls Jack gay. Now, I'm no expert on teen boys, but my younger brothers are 16 and 14 and I know that they swear and I know that they call each other gay. And sure, calling someone gay as a joke isn't the nicest thing, but it happens. So what if Conner calls Jack gay? That doesn't make Andrew Smith or Conner homophobic. It makes the writing and the character more real and I'm cool with that. I like characters who I can actually imagine walking down the street.

    The Marbury Lens is twisted and sadistic, morbid and dark, but it is powerful and elegant at the same time. Andrew Smith has unleashed a monster with this one and for those of you who love a story that will haunt you, this is the right book to pick up. Not only does it delve into the hellish land of Marbury, but also the brutal landscape of our own minds and our own world. Just keep in mind that it has many dark themes and is for an older YA audience. There's swearing, there's sex, and there are gory scenes of death, but none of it is gratuitous or done for the shock-factor. It's done because it's right, it fits with the plot and the imagery, and the tone - I wouldn't want it any other way.

    Opening line: I guess in the old days, in other places, boys like me usually ended up twisting and kicking in the empty air beneath gallows. ~ pg. 3

    Favorite lines: Henry believed that Marbury was a world out of balance.
    He needs to take a closer look at this one. ~ pg. 282

    5 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted March 20, 2013

    Love it!

    Awesome

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted March 12, 2012

    Amazing

    One of the most interesting books I've read in a long time. I loved reading every single bit of it. It definitely keeps you on your toes throughout the whole thing. Not for the young or faint hearted.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted March 7, 2012

    This is and will be the BEST book I've ever read in my entire life.

    Andrew Smith captures teenagers nowadays to a fine point, the plot is riveting from start to finish and you will feel every emotion just as the main character, Jack Whitmore, felt it. You will feel the need to take a peek at " The Marbury Lens " just one more time like a crack addict needs his dirty fix. 5 Star book all around and Best Wishes to to author, Andrew Smith, as well. May his career as an author flourish and prosper and may it never end.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 11, 2012

    Absolutly loved it, definitly recomend!

    This book is fast paced and very intense. I could'nt put it down the second I picked it up because i was absorbed in the shocking story line that mixes with the scary-ness of reality, then moves into the imaginitive horror-world of Marbury.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted August 20, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    Marbury

    This book was remarkable! I caught myself getting worried and addicted like Jack. I loved the adventure and thrill I experienced while reading this book! The storyline was mind-blowingly good. I can't wait to pick up another book by Andrew Smith. I suggest this book to everyone! Read it; it's full of twists and surprises...never a dull moment or wasted sentence.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted January 30, 2011

    Not as good as I had hoped for

    I had high hopes when I read the summary of this book. The book has a great idead and topic but the author didn't deliver. At the end I was thinking That's it? because the book just ended and didn't have much of a climax. I was very dissapionted.

    1 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted June 27, 2014

    good

    good

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted September 23, 2011

    AWESOME

    Not a book i would normally read. Kinda perverted but it is not overly so. Really holds your attention and is hard to put down!

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted June 7, 2011

    Great Read

    I enjoyed reading this, though it wasn't one of those books where you couldn't put it down. I liked the plot and I wish that the author would just write another for the heck of it. I would definitely read it.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted June 6, 2011

    Boring!

    This was the first book I bought on my nook and instantly regreted it! I gave it one star cause I had no other choice.

    0 out of 7 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted May 31, 2011

    Great book!!!!!!!!

    Loved the book read in 1 sitting. But not for young kids way too much bad language

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  • Posted February 18, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    Creepy, disturbing, a great read.

    This is a great book. It's so interesting and dark. It was one of those books that you can't put down. A really great read with intersting characters in an interesting setting. I would recommend this to anyone who considers themself a mature reader.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted February 13, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    The Marbury Lens

    The Marbury Lens written by Andrew Smith-- his third novel-- was a very thrilling read. Although throughout the book, there were times when things became repetitive and annoying or confusing,I simply enjoyed the book. The characters were exciting to read about and I expressed real emotions towards some. My opinion is simply just out of the fascination I received from reading Andrew Smith's The Marbury Lens and the amazing writing skills Smith used within his book. If you like a sci-fi, thrilling, gruesome but somewhat addictive read, then I highly recommend this book.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted February 6, 2011

    Parents beware!!!

    I purchased this book for my 15-year old twins, thank goodness I tried to read it before they got around to it. The language is appalling, the casual sex, drug & alcohol content and the kidnapping/near rape of the main character were just too mature to be appropriate for teens. Sad really because I think it could have been an interesting story.

    0 out of 8 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 18, 2011

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    Posted November 20, 2011

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    Posted March 19, 2011

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    Posted April 6, 2011

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 30, 2011

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Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 41 Customer Reviews
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