Customer Reviews for

Out Backward

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  • Posted December 9, 2008

    more from this reviewer

    exciting thriller

    In Yorkshire lonely teenager Sam Marsdyke was strongly told to drop out of school when he was accused of attempted rape he left the classroom and no charge, not even assault, was filed against him. He lives and works on the family farm along side his acrimonious angry father and his submissive silent mother. Increasingly the area and the central village are being gentrified by wealthy Southerners to the dismay of generational long timers like Sam¿s outraged old man. --- Sam sees fifteen years old Josephine Reeves, who has moved with her family from London onto the adjoining farm. Already hearing about Sam¿s scandalous incident, her father warns Sam to stay away from his daughter or else. Still the two teens becomes friends even as Sam stalks her sitting for hours on the nearby hill to catch a glimpse of his beloved. Jo encourages him to risk more. Finally she decides to run away and persuades Sam to accompany her not that it took much. On their trek nothing goes right until Jo insists he let her go home, but he refuses. --- This is an astonishing disturbing look at two characters one might be a sociopath manipulating the other, but who is the deranged one as Sam seems obvious but Jo seemingly has cleverly maneuvered him to her bidding, or has he been the one in control. The stunning stark cover enhances the sense of doom while the local dialect adds to the overall tension of an increasingly creepy feeling that this is not going to end well. Fans need to set aside plenty of time because this one sitting read will grip the audience with the obsess need to know who, if either or both, are left standing. --- Harriet Klausner

    5 out of 7 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 9, 2008

    Intriguing Debut

    Here's an intriguing debut novel to add to your 'Coming Soon' list. Sam Marsdyke is an odd young man. He lives on the family sheep farm in Yorkshire with his angry, taciturn father and his docile mother. He no longer attends school, having been told to leave after an 'incident' involving a female student. No charges were pressed. 'Southerners' are buying up the local properties around the Marsdyke farm. The town dynamic is changing. Old pubs and shops are falling by the wayside to make way for 'new and better'. When a 'town' family buys the farm next door, Sam is warned off by his father. ' And you'll let them alone 'an all. They've a daughter'. Sam has limited social skills, but an active imagination. Too active. He is a lonely young man, but frightening as well. He brings a basket of mushrooms to the new neighbours, but after giving them to the family, he skulks around their windows, spying on them and inventing situations and dialogue. He becomes fixated on the young daughter of the family. He sits for hours on the hills, watching their house with only his dogs and sheep for companions. We feel sorry for Sam and his limited life, but repelled by his vindictive thoughts and the frightening actions that sometimes follow, as with his elderly neighbour Delton. Raisin has endowed Sam with a rich and full Yorkshire vocabulary, which greatly adds to the Sam's character development. Sam grasps desperately at any interactions with Jo the neighbour girl, building upon them in his mind. For her part, we wonder is she using him to create trouble with her parents or is she actually interested in him as a person? She is a rebellious girl and we are alternatively hopeful that she will see the good in Sam, angry that she may be taking advantage of him and worried that she should not be around the unpredictable Sam. For all his misguided attempts at normalcy that end badly, we still want to cheer for Sam. His heart seems to be in the right place, but his mind is not there with it. Jo - the girl- decides to run away from home and asks Sam to go with her. Sam is thrilled and off they go. However the journey does not go as planned for either one. Sam has great plans for the two of them and only wants to look after Jo, but he quickly runs off track. Jo has had enough and wants to go home, but Sam won't let her. Is Sam as daft as he lets on, or is he mad, with moments of lucidity? Has he been taken advantage of or has he engineered his own downfall? I won't spoil the ending, but I was thinking of the book and it's characters long after I finished it. Raisin has painted a portrait of a young man that is both appealing and unsettling at the same time. I look forward the the next offering from this new author.

    3 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted August 17, 2013

    I am recommending this book because I continued to think about i

    I am recommending this book because I continued to think about its main character, Sam, long after I finished.  I rarely do that, but in this case, I thought back to where I missed clues. I wondered how the author caused  me to care about a disturbed young man.  When I started the book, I almost stopped reading it because it disturbed me. At the end, I decided to recommend it. hummmmm.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 9, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted July 21, 2013

    No text was provided for this review.

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