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Ben Rice makes a strong claim to be a leader of the new generation of writers.' obert McCrum, The Observer
Ben Rice was born in Devon in 1972. He read English at Newcastle University and Wadham College, Oxford. He lives in London.
Booksellers love an easy-to-sell `stocking stuffer' or gift book for the holiday season which they can put into customers' hands, recommending it unreservedly. English author Ben Rice provides just that with his exquisitely pithy, amusing and touching tale of family commitment, grief and mystery in outback Lightning Ridge. Young Kellyanne Williamson is known and loved around town. Everyone indulges her belief in Pobby and Dingan - her two imaginary friends who accompany her in everything she does. To her they are very real, with places set for them at the table for every meal. The Williamson family's world is turned upside down, however, when Pobby and Dingan disappear; father Rex is accused of `ratting' on another miner's claim; and Kellyanne, grief-stricken, gets sicker and sicker. It's left to young Ashmol Williamson to rally the town and take the search for his sister's imaginary friends into his own hands. Fantasy to some is reality to others. Who is to say which is which? Kellyanne's story is told in the first person through Ashmol's eyes, in a style reminiscent of the young Frank McCourt's narrative in Angela's Ashes. Word-of-mouth will almost certainly ensure big sales of Pobby and Dingan. Exuding charm, this contemporary Australian fable is guaranteed to tug the heartstrings of even the most cynical of readers. Scott Whitmont is the owner of Lindfield Bookshop. C. 2000 Thorpe-Bowker and contributors
"Quirky, moving and completely unexpected. It will charm all but the most dedicated cynic" * Sunday Telegraph * "From its bold premise to its brave ending, Pobby and Dingan is full of surprises" * The Times * "Quirky, moving and completely unexpected. It will charm all but the most determined cynic" * Daily Telegraph * "With Pobby and Dingan, Ben Rice makes a strong claim to be a leader of the new generation. This novel marks one of those debuts that may well turn out to have been of the greatest significance" -- Robert McCrum * Observer * "A delicate fable about faith-it shows the search for the impossible to be both touching and necessary" * The Sunday Times *