Retrato do autor

A. F. Harrold

Autor(a) de The Imaginary

30+ Works 727 Membros 34 Críticas


Obras por A. F. Harrold

The Imaginary (2014) 310 exemplares
The Song from Somewhere Else (2016) 125 exemplares
The Afterwards (2018) 57 exemplares
The Worlds We Leave Behind (2022) 33 exemplares
Zeus in Love (Boulevard) (2007) 6 exemplares

Associated Works

Slightly Foxed 25: A Date with Iris (2010) — Contribuidor — 33 exemplares
Slightly Foxed 33: A World of Shining Beauty (2012) — Contribuidor — 28 exemplares
Slightly Foxed 37: Dreaming of the Bosphorus (2013) — Contribuidor — 26 exemplares
Slightly Foxed 64: Accepting an Invitation (2019) — Contribuidor — 22 exemplares
Slightly Foxed 49: Murder at the Majestic (2016) — Contribuidor — 18 exemplares


Conhecimento Comum

Data de nascimento



Two boys go into the woods, trailed by a younger girl. They play on a rope swing, and the girl breaks her arm. One boy runs to get help; the other runs away and discovers a clearing in the woods, and a cottage, and a woman and a dog. The woman offers him revenge: if he takes her offer, someone will be snipped out of the world as though they'd never existed.

But Hex Patel isn't the only one who gets this offer: Maria, older sister of Sascha, gets it too. And the world begins to change...and Tommo, Hex's best friend in the first timeline, is Jayce's best friend in the next, with a strange sense of deja vu.

Fantasy turns toward sci-fi as a special agent appears, seeking the anomaly, and enlists Tommo's help.

Pinfold's black and white illustrations throughout set a haunting atmosphere.

See also: The Ocean at the End of the Lane by Neil Gaiman


And it seemed like most of life was like that - you did things and then thought about why you'd done them later on, when someone asked, or when you got caught, or caught out. (7)

Thoughts fought each other and the biggest and hardest ones won, and they weren't always kind. (35)

Lying in bed he'd felt like two people: one who did stuff and one who watched, and neither of them understood the other. (37)

As the day had gone by, he'd been a carton caught in the river current, bobbing and vanishing and twirling this way and that, yes and no, peace and anger, forgiveness and revenge. (86)

It was a lot to take in, but somehow it was a nonsense that made sense. This...wasn't how things were meant to be. (148)

And part of that healing was change. (153)

She set aside her own shame and replaced it with blame. (154)

She was lost, a stranger in a world that looked the same. (155)

What the world saw, and what happened inside...he knew these were different things. (159)

This was a basic problem with the universe, he thought, with the world, this inability to ever know, even when you're in the same room, whether you were in someone else's thoughts. (162)

The world had flowed like water to fill the gap, making little changes here and there...changes you couldn't have predicted. (167)

Why is every change bad? What if what's rewritten is better than what was rubbed out? (177)

"For now is the best we can ever do. There's always another threat round the corner, but we face it, deal with it, and then we face the one after that...It's what it means to be human...dealing with the problem in front of you." (179)

How many timelines, how many other versions of the world, had there been? Who had been friends with whom? What stories had been told that had been lost forever? How many throws of the dice did you get? (239)
… (mais)
JennyArch | 1 outra crítica | Jan 20, 2024 |
I love this book! The illustrations really help set the mood. I have only read one other book about imaginary friends ([b:Crenshaw|23310699|Crenshaw|Katherine Applegate||42864821])... and even that book was really telling the boy's story through his relationship to the imaginary friend. But this book is the story of one particular imaginary friend, and the world of "imaginaries." It explores a lot of darker themes (death, loss, forgetting...) and has some pretty scary characters, so I wouldn't recommend it to anyone under 7 or so, unless they don't mind darker stuff.
Spoilers ahead!
For those who've finished the book:

Where is the middle grade horror sequel about Rudger running from Simple Simon with the next "real" he befriends?

Or the prequel about how Mr. Bunting became the monster he is? Seriously, I need to know what happened to him and his imaginary before they, shall we say, joined the dark side.... (There is a hint at it on the back of the jacket of my edition: Mr. Bunting's shirt has a pattern which shows him and his imaginary holding hands. She is actually smiling at him, and has peach-toned skin and normal eyes. But he looks the same. However, all other illustrations inside the book of Mr. Bunting show his "Hawaiian" shirt and Bermuda shorts as covered in running (human) skeletons, fire, Hawaiian flowers with skulls for petals, and strange dragons trying to eat the skeletons.

I don't think anyone will see this, but I just wanted to put that out there. :)
… (mais)
Dances_with_Words | 20 outras críticas | Jan 6, 2024 |
Intermediate. A creative girl has an imaginary friend, but there is a man who hunts imaginary friends and is after Amanda’s imaginary friend. It is a good book for kids to read and practice reading, sparks their imagination and is full of adventure and mystery.
nbishop21 | 20 outras críticas | Jan 30, 2023 |
First sentence: Hex wasn't entirely sure how the girl had come to be hurt. That morning he and Tommo had got on their bikes and they'd headed over the train tracks and down the hill, down to the woods. On a map, the woods were a fat finger pointing away from town.

Premise/plot: Twilight Zone times ten--that's how I'd describe A.F. Harrold's The Worlds We Leave Behind. It begins with two friends--Hex (short for Hector) and Tommo (short for Thomas) hanging out together. They had absolutely NO plans at all of hanging out with a "baby" (Sascha). But this neighbor-kid, Sascha, tags along despite the two trying their hardest to get rid of her. (Who wants to be responsible for a strange neighbor kid in the woods??? Certainly not these two.) Playing on a rope swing turns tragic--in more ways than one. She falls off the swing and breaks her arm--it is way more complicated than that...and the world (yes, the world) will never be the same.

Be careful who you meet in the woods. That's all I have to say about that. I know the jacket flap goes into much more detail....but why purposefully spill twists and turns?????

My thoughts: The Worlds We Leave Behind is certainly atmospheric and creepy. It isn't just horror lite. I think it could qualify as horror-horror. The pace was quick and intense. The premise and plot--stranger danger times a thousand--is uniquely odd and strangely familiar. It does feel like a blend of horror and fairy tale.

Sensitive readers might want to stay away. But for upper elementary grades and middle school who are looking for something spooky/scary/suspenseful/mysterious packed with twists and turns...this one might be a good fit. I do recommend it for adults who are nostalgic for the Twilight Zone.
… (mais)
blbooks | 1 outra crítica | Jan 21, 2023 |



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Associated Authors

Sarah Horne Illustrator
Emily Gravett Illustrator
Levi Pinfold Illustrator
Joe Todd-Stanton Illustrator


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