The Unlikely Escape of Uriah Heep

The Unlikely Escape of Uriah Heep

The ultimate book-lover's fantasy, featuring a young scholar with the power to bring literary characters into the world, for fans of The Magicians, Mr. Penumbra's 24-Hour Bookstore, and The Invisible Library.For his entire life, Charley Sutherland has concealed a magical ability he can't quite control: he can bring characters from books into the real world. His older...

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Title:The Unlikely Escape of Uriah Heep
Author:H.G. Parry
Rating:
Edition Language:English

The Unlikely Escape of Uriah Heep Reviews

  • James

    This book was on my radar for several months before its release. The concept alone was enough to make it an instant buy: A character who can "read" literary characters and objects into reality. But even that could have only been okay if it wasn't written right. And this was written very, very right! It's a love letter to stories and how we read them and what they mean to us. It's a story about families and identity and secrets and the nature of reality. There's a passage at the very beginning

    This book was on my radar for several months before its release. The concept alone was enough to make it an instant buy: A character who can "read" literary characters and objects into reality. But even that could have only been okay if it wasn't written right. And this was written very, very right! It's a love letter to stories and how we read them and what they mean to us. It's a story about families and identity and secrets and the nature of reality. There's a passage at the very beginning where Charley (one of my favorite recent characters) has written about how he reads books into reality. It took my breath away and I kept coming back to it. Same with the last few chapters. There's so much packed in there to ponder. I will definitely read this again, but maybe after reading some more Dickens, particularly David Copperfield, some more Sherlock Holmes, and maybe Dorian Gray as well. And I won't spoil the characters who make an appearance other than this: imagine the White Witch from Narnia riding into battle on a motorcycle...

    This is easily going to be part of my end of the year best books list.

  • WS_BOOKCLUB

    Thank you to Netgalley for providing me with this book in exchange for my honest opinion. It will be available for purchase on July 23rd.

    If you enjoy The Book Jumper, Mr. Penumbra’s 24-hour Bookstore, or even the TV show The Librarians, you’ll love this book. It celebrates the bond between a reader and a really good book. I fell in love with this book before the first chapter had even ended.

    Charlie Sutherland is a prodigy. Brilliant at languages, he teaches Dickensian literature at a university.

    Thank you to Netgalley for providing me with this book in exchange for my honest opinion. It will be available for purchase on July 23rd.

    If you enjoy The Book Jumper, Mr. Penumbra’s 24-hour Bookstore, or even the TV show The Librarians, you’ll love this book. It celebrates the bond between a reader and a really good book. I fell in love with this book before the first chapter had even ended.

    Charlie Sutherland is a prodigy. Brilliant at languages, he teaches Dickensian literature at a university. He also has the-sometimes unfortunate- tendency to read characters out of books. He can also put them back, but they don’t always want to go.

    The book opens with Charlie’s older brother Rob, receiving a phone call: Charlie’s accidentally read Uriah Heep out of David Copperfield and needs help catching him so that he can be read back into his book. When Rob and Charlie finally catch him, Uriah warns that a new world is coming, brought into being by another book summoner. From there, Charlie and his less-than-enthusiastic brother are drawn into a fight for both fiction and reality.

    I loved Charlie. He was a delightful combination of brilliance and naivete. He was a bit uncomfortable in his own skin unless he was discussing books. Then he had an enthusiasm and confidence that a was a ton of fun to read. He also looked up to Rob so much, and Rob couldn’t really see it.

    The book is told largely from Rob’s perspective as he’s drawn into a world where fiction and reality collide. He feels largely out of his element, and he’s a little resentful of Charlie for that. He was such a complicated character, often at odds with himself, and made for a great narrator.

    My other favorite character (the last one, I promise!) was Dorian Gray. He was selfish and intelligent, unsettling, and unapologetic about who he was or any choices he’d ever made. He was exactly the way he always seemed to me in Oscar Wilde’s book, and I loved every scene he was in.

    The twists weren’t very twisty; I saw them all coming. It didn’t dull my enjoyment of the book at all, however. It was highly entertaining, and surprisingly thought-provoking. I’ll definitely read this again in the future.

  • Celeste

    But if you’re Charles Sutherland, sometimes you inadvertently facilitate the escape of fictional characters into the real world. Imagine being able to read out your favorite

    But if you’re Charles Sutherland, sometimes you inadvertently facilitate the escape of fictional characters into the real world. Imagine being able to read out your favorite character from a story and have an actual conversation with them. That sounds like a dream come true for most bookworms, but it’s been a nightmare that Rob, Charley’s big brother and our first person perspective character, has spent his life trying to avoid. He’s had to clean up Charley’s fictional messes a multitude of times throughout his life, but the current fictional mess they find themselves in is the zaniest and more far reaching, and frankly the most dangerous, that the Sutherland family has ever faced. Their world is going to be changed forever if they can’t figure out a way to thwart what’s coming.

    Whereas the characters in

    came from an imaginary book of the same name, Parry used real books and real characters from them to populate her fictional cast. We have Dorian Gray and Heathcliff, the White Witch from Narnia and Roald Dahl’s Matilda, Sherlock Holmes and five different incarnations of Mr. Darcy and a plethora of Dickensian characters who make themselves known in this novel. It was a delightful inclusion that made me actually want to read more Dickens, especially

    and

    . I’ve only ever read

    ,

    , and

    , but I now find myself looking forward to remedying that lack.

    While each character took on a life of the their own once they were read into being, their identity was shaped by how their reader viewed them. I love that Parry used this to show how radically two people can view the same character, and how that dichotomy can completely change how different people understand the same story.

    So while interpretation definitely matters, it can’t change the core of the character as written by the author. Also, the fact that certain characters were summoned by readers who only ever had this one moment of connection to and clarity regarding a fictional character was a fun addition, because that means that everyone is capable of magically connecting to a novel.

    This is one of the first books I’ve ever read that was set in New Zealand and written by an author native to the area, which added a fun element that I didn’t know I’d be getting from this book.

    The Dickensian Street was incredibly easy to visualize, and I can see why so many fictional refugees made their way to said Street and settled there. I also loved how these characters built their own motley family, and how tightly knit they were.

    However,

    , Charley’s brother and our only first person perspective character. He seemed so irrationally close-minded and judgmental when it came to Charley and what he could do that I couldn’t bring myself to like him. However, he truly grew as the story progressed and as Parry showed us more and more the reasoning behind his mentality. While he still wasn’t my favorite by the end of the book, I did appreciate and respect him. But

    is such a fun ode to books.

    If you’re a lover of the written word and believe that there’s nothing better than getting lost in a good book, this book is so definitely for you.

  • Liz Barnsley

    The Unlikely Escape of Uriah Heep is hands down one of my favourite novels of the last few years – any fan of literature is going to adore this rip rollicking adventure, where the real and the fictional merge and you never know just who you might meet around the corner…

    Practical, realistic Rob is a lawyer whose younger brother Charlie is somewhat the bane of his existence, having as he does the power to read characters and sometimes real items out of books into the real world. After an early

    The Unlikely Escape of Uriah Heep is hands down one of my favourite novels of the last few years – any fan of literature is going to adore this rip rollicking adventure, where the real and the fictional merge and you never know just who you might meet around the corner…

    Practical, realistic Rob is a lawyer whose younger brother Charlie is somewhat the bane of his existence, having as he does the power to read characters and sometimes real items out of books into the real world. After an early hours phone call begging Rob to help Charlie catch Uriah Heep, we are off to the races – as the discovery that there may be another “summoner” out there, this one with rather more nefarious purposes, is revealed.

    The plotting in this story is intricate, engaging and utterly brilliant, filled with vibrant characters you’ll know very well- from the enigmatic Dorian Gray to several versions of Mr Darcy, H G Parry brings them all to vivid reality – then pits them and our fraternal duo against a dangerously intelligent enemy who has a dastardly master plan. One of my favourite parts of this was when I said to myself OH I KNOW WHO THIS IS because after all there is one particularly definitive criminal mastermind who has been much copied but never equalled…I’ll leave that one with you…

    ANYWAY, from the moment you fall into this book until the moment you reluctantly, tearfully leave it behind you will be immersed into this world, one where Excalibur is unceremoniously dumped into the boot of a car and the Hound of the Baskervilles greets you at the door, it is a sheer joy to read for anyone with a love of books – it matters not what your favourite genre is, you’ll love this.

    The most compelling part was definitely the relationship between the two brothers, one of both love and exasperation, growing in the readers mind with every passing interaction. All the connections are beautifully layered quite apart from that one, in the end I was reminded that blood does not a family make but that we all in the end find our people.

    I adored it from first word to last word and all the words in between. Don’t miss this one whatever you do. I really hope we’ll get more from this beautifully built world where literally anything could happen…

    HIGHLY recommended.

  • Mary Nguyen (fox & wit)

    Oh this was a delight! As a literature major this book hit deeply close to my heart!

    This book brings favorite classics to life (quite literally.) There's five Dr. Darcys in this book lol.

    This is a love letter to literature and academics who study literature. Even if you've never been a literature major, this book is a blast to read.

    What's charming is this book is really about two brothers who try to figure out who they are and work through their relationship with each other. At the heart it's a

    Oh this was a delight! As a literature major this book hit deeply close to my heart!

    This book brings favorite classics to life (quite literally.) There's five Dr. Darcys in this book lol.

    This is a love letter to literature and academics who study literature. Even if you've never been a literature major, this book is a blast to read.

    What's charming is this book is really about two brothers who try to figure out who they are and work through their relationship with each other. At the heart it's a story of siblings and it's really well done. I love the complexity built in their relationship.

  • Cheryl

    For a book lover like me this was a fantastic book. I have read a few other books with this similar concept of a book coming alive. Yet, this is probably one of the best books I have read. It truly was a story within a story.

    Imagine playing with the Cat in the Hat, or talking with Charles Dickens, or maybe visiting the Secret Garden. I know that I do every time that I read a book; I go places and meet people. However, to do so in real life would be a dream come true.

    Although, what would a

    For a book lover like me this was a fantastic book. I have read a few other books with this similar concept of a book coming alive. Yet, this is probably one of the best books I have read. It truly was a story within a story.

    Imagine playing with the Cat in the Hat, or talking with Charles Dickens, or maybe visiting the Secret Garden. I know that I do every time that I read a book; I go places and meet people. However, to do so in real life would be a dream come true.

    Although, what would a grand adventure be without an evil man following you trying to stop you. So, mix this with all of the places and people our three main character leads encounter and you get a magical/fantasy read. I recommend this book.

  • Faith

    I don’t think that the publisher of this book did a very good job of publicizing it because I had never heard of it before I saw it among my library’s new acquisitions. Judging by the small number of reviews, not many people have heard of it and that is a shame because this book was imaginative, charming and witty.

    Charley was a precocious child, but his secret gift was the ability to bring fictional characters to life. He is a summoner who extracts characters like Uriah Heep from the books he

    I don’t think that the publisher of this book did a very good job of publicizing it because I had never heard of it before I saw it among my library’s new acquisitions. Judging by the small number of reviews, not many people have heard of it and that is a shame because this book was imaginative, charming and witty.

    Charley was a precocious child, but his secret gift was the ability to bring fictional characters to life. He is a summoner who extracts characters like Uriah Heep from the books he is reading. Charley and his older brother Rob discover that some of these characters have not returned to their books. In their attempt to thwart a sinister plot, Charley and Rob encounter Heathcliff, Lancelot, the Artful Dodger, Dorian Gray, Dr. Frankenstein, the hound of the Baskervilles (a/k/a Henry), Sherlock Holmes, Scrooge, several variations of Mr. Darcy and many others. While meeting these familiar characters is enjoyable for readers it is not necessary to have read the books before reading this fantasy novel. I believe that the book would entertain readers who don’t already know these characters (although you might miss some of the sly references to their stories). Honestly, I’m not even sure the plot totally holds together, especially at the end, but I still had a good time reading it.

  • Emily

    This book was on my to-read list, I guess I must have read about it somewhere as an "up and coming" fantasy book. Anyway, I added it to my to-read list and then later won it in a GoodReads giveaway.

    I wish I didn't have to give this such a low rating since the book isn't even out yet, but I just didn't care for it. There's just too much about the book that doesn't make sense to me. Like characters come out of books, but they don't behave according to their character in the book, they behave

    This book was on my to-read list, I guess I must have read about it somewhere as an "up and coming" fantasy book. Anyway, I added it to my to-read list and then later won it in a GoodReads giveaway.

    I wish I didn't have to give this such a low rating since the book isn't even out yet, but I just didn't care for it. There's just too much about the book that doesn't make sense to me. Like characters come out of books, but they don't behave according to their character in the book, they behave however the person that brought them out THINKS they could act. They come out of the book and are instantly at home in "our world" - they can even shapeshift and look totally different. It just doesn't make sense to me.

    I did not care for it.

  • J.A.

    Starred review from Kirkus; touted as for fans of

    ,

    , and

    , but not

    ?

  • karen

    NOW AVAILABLE!

    mine came with a neat little library checkout card, proving the book was previously read by the likes of dorian gray and anna karenina! and soon, ME!

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