Today, I finished The Unlikely Escape of Uriah Heep by H.G. Parry. This is a long book but I still wished it was a bit longer because I liked the characters so much and I did want to keep reading about them.
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What is the book about?
The Unlikely Escape of Uriah Heep is a fantasy book. The main character of the book, Charles Sutherland, is a literature professor with a very special gift. He can bring books characters to life.
Charley grew up in New Zealand with his parents and his brother Rob and he showed very early a superior intelligence and an ability to bring books characters in the real world. After leaving the country to study in Oxford, he comes back to New Zealand to teach English literature in the University of Wellington.
At the beginning of the book, Charley accidentally brings Uriah Heep, the villain of David Copperfield to life. He calls his brother Rob to help him catch him and read him back to his book. Rob and Charley have a complex relationship. It is difficult for Rob, a young and successful lawyer to accept his brother’s difference. As Charley finally sends Uriah Heep back to his book, the villain drops a few words about a new world coming.
Charley and Rob do not worry too much about Uriah’s words until another Uriah Heep gets an internship at Rob’s law company and both brothers get attacked by the Hound of Baskerville. And this time, it is not Charley’s fault.
This is the beginning of a great adventure in which Charley and Rob will meet lots of books characters, save the world and learn a lot about themselves.
What did I like about the book?
I love fantasy books and I love 19th century literature so actually I could only love this book. If you love Dickens, you will find the book particularly interesting because his work and characters have an important role in the story.
I also loved the way the characters are written. You can’t help loving Charley because he is both very smart and very sweet and modest. Rob is much more confident and conventional than his brother but he is still a very lovable character. The relationship between the two brothers is complicated: love and loyalty are mixed with jealousy and resentment. Rob’s girlfriend Lydia is a strong, generous and smart woman who has also an important role in the book.
I also loved the idea of books characters lost in our world and having difficulties to adapt themselves. And I found interesting to see how the books characters are defined not only by the author’s text but also by the reader’s perspective.