The Beginning of the World in the Middle of the Night

The Beginning of the World in the Middle of the Night : an enchanting collection of modern fairy tales

3.85 (1,521 ratings by Goodreads)
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Description

Modern fairy tales of magic, outsiders and lost souls

'A gem of a book ... deeply moving' Stylist
'A darkly clever, beautifully written and deliciously twisted collection of modern fairy tales' Red
'Campbell writes beautifully' Grazia
'What a book. It's so strange and magical and the writing is just beautiful. I loved it' Louise O'Neill
'Enchanting and illuminating' Carys Bray, author of A Song For Issy Bradley
'Like walking through a mirror' Rachel Joyce, author of The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry
'This book is full of character and magic, and I found myself mesmerised' Claire Fuller, author of Our Endless Numbered Days
'These stories are weaved together like silvery fishing nets. Like shimmering, jewel-bright worlds' Helen McClory

'These days, you can find anything you need at the click of a button.
That's why I bought her heart online.'

Spirits in jam jars, mini-apocalypses, animal hearts and side shows.
A girl runs a coffin hotel on a remote island.
A boy is worried his sister has two souls.
A couple are rewriting the history of the world.
And mermaids are on display at the local aquarium.

The Beginning of the World in the Middle of the Night is a collection of twelve haunting stories; modern fairy tales brimming with magic, outsiders and lost souls.

'I'm fascinated by storytelling, and particularly fairy tales. How humans have always tried to explain things that they can't possibly understand with, sometimes outrageous, stories' Jen Campbell

From the author of Weird Things Customers Say in Bookshops series and The Bookshop Book.
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Product details

  • Hardback | 224 pages
  • 148 x 222 x 23mm | 336g
  • Two Roads
  • London, United Kingdom
  • English
  • 1473653533
  • 9781473653535
  • 2,601

Review quote

Weird and whimsical ... interesting, snappy, and thought-provoking * The Story Collector blog * Funny and poignant and unexpected. A fable for our times. -- Sarah Franklin Interesting and refreshing ... an extremely enlightening read * TN2 Magazine * Visceral, sinister and yet strangely beguiling ... her stories often explore characters, situations and settings caught in that strange area between the known and the unfamiliar, between the normal and the 'monstrous' ... Comparisons could be made to Angela Carter, but Campbell's stories have a quality completely their own; haunting in their imagery and powerful in their brevity. -- Carolyn Percy * Wales Art Review * There are so many intriguing characters and situations to be enjoyed in The Beginning of the World in the Middle of the Night...Jen Campbell is clearly a writer to watch. -- Katy Goodwin-Bates * New Books magazine * 'Campbell's fairy tales retain a kaleidoscope quality from the first to the last page...a reality coloured by our imagination in which we are as strong as we are vulnerable, as similar as we are different.' Sanja Gligoric Interwoven with myth and fairy tale, these stories are surprising, delightful, and by turns dangerous and joyful, like walking through a mirror and discovering a world that you both recognise and have never seen before. -- Rachel Joyce, author of The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry Full of wonder: brilliantly imaginative, with dark, unsettling undercurrents ... The characters sparkle with a sense of the surreal, but these outcasts, misfits and loners are filled with hopes and dreams, and are as believable as those in any true-life novel. * Psychologies * 'dark, twisted fairy tales' -- Kirsty Logan * The Herald * A darkly clever, beautifully written and deliciously twisted collection of modern fairy tales -- Sarra Manning * Red * The Beginning of the World in the Middle of the Night is a gem of a book * Stylist * quietly excellent * Stylist * razor-sharp critique of contemporary issues and deeply moving short stories * Stylist * Campbell's entirely fresh reframing of classic fairytales within modern experiences...really got me thinking. The perfect autumnal read to curl up with. * Stylist *
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About Jen Campbell

JEN CAMPBELL is an award-winning poet and short story writer. She is the Sunday Times bestselling author of the Weird Things Customers Say in Bookshops series and The Bookshop Book. She won an Eric Gregory Award for poetry in 2016 and has been a judge for the Costa and Somerset Maugham awards. Her children's picture book series about a dragon called Franklin is published by Thames and Hudson.

Having worked as a bookseller for ten years, Jen is a respected and influential book vlogger with almost 30,000 subscribers. Born in the north-east of England, she now lives in London. And she is a little bit obsessed with the darker side of fairy tales.
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Rating details

1,521 ratings
3.85 out of 5 stars
5 28% (419)
4 40% (601)
3 26% (388)
2 6% (90)
1 2% (23)
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