Cover Image: D (A Tale of Two Worlds)

D (A Tale of Two Worlds)

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date:

Member Reviews

When I read the blurb on this book, it seemed quite interesting. Our lead character, Dhikilo, is potentially a good hero for the story. But the way it plays out just didn't work for me.. The whole premise of the D disappearing didn't work in my mind and then the reading became quite difficult due to the missing D. There's no way of overlooking that when it wasn't that enjoyable. Perhaps with a different device to lead to the adventure, it might have worked but this was something of a disappointment in the end. 

I give this 2.5 stars.
Was this review helpful?
I am a huge Michel Faber fan, but I must admit to being very disappointed by ‘D A Tale of Two Worlds’.  The YA genre is a tricky one and I just didn’t feel he developed the story beyond the original idea. Consequently this short novel felt rather clunky.
Was this review helpful?
I am a big Faber fan, and also a voracious reader of children's literature, so this was tailor made for me! I haven't read many Dickens books, so I missed a lot of allusions until later reading an interview with the author, such as the guide dog being named after his mistress. However, this didn't detract from the story. It reminded me strongly of the Phantom Tollbooth or the Wizard of Oz, with a girl set out on a quest to save a land where the letter D is disappearing, meeting with friends, enemies and problems along the way. I really liked the main character, who is adopted and from Somaliland,a disputed country, linking to the themes of unknown identity and being lost. The despotic ruler taking the D's can be read as an all too obvious Trump/ Brexit/ environmental parody, and I think the story is almost improved by reading it as a child at face value. A quirky, strange story that is best read as a MG quest, that I enjoyed, but wasn't desperate to reread.
Was this review helpful?
*Thank you to NetGalley for the ARC in exchange for an honest review*
Short but densely packed, a - as it says - "modern-day Dickensian fable" (with references galore) that shows how important every letter of a language is important when it comes to meaning.
Not for me but very well written, so I'd recommend giving it a go if you're interested.
Was this review helpful?
"D (A Tale of Two Worlds)" is the first YA novel from acclaimed stylist Michel Faber, but it very much fits into the “also suitable for adults” category, so I came to it expectant of the pleasures of books from, say, Phillip Pullman. And so it turned out to be, Faber crafting a fable reminiscent of the Narnia classics but laced with Dickensian shadows. Dhikilo, a teenage refugee from Africa living in England, is roped in by an absent-minded professor to jump to a strange land (partnered with the professor’s dog who is also, naturally, a sphinx) in search of the theft of the letter “D” from the world. The plot bolts along with numerous entertaining adventures of the type one would expect, strange creatures proliferate, and much fun is had with “D”-less words. Dialogue throughout is a treat and a certain modernity is referenced in asides.. Faber is an artisan of the varied style, and in this novel he adopts an earnest, YA-ish clarity with undertones of enough sophistication to keep adults amused. The tale smoothly concludes with pleasing results and overall, D (A Tale of Two Worlds) is a pleasing, stylish, energetic romp.
Was this review helpful?
Kept failing to download and can’t get this now as archived so unable to review, apologies Not leaving bad review due to errors
Was this review helpful?
I never thought I would say this - but I was disappointed with a book by Michel Faber. I'm a big fan usually, but this just left me cold. I did enjoy the first chapter or so - pretty much until Dhikilo steps through into the Liminus. At that point, the narrative just seemed to take a nosedive, and it really didn't hold my attention. I did like the Bleak House Hotel section, and thought that could have made for a really interesting couple of chapters, rather than the small section that we actually get. I hated all the various tribes of people Dhikilo meets - they all felt cliched and pointless. The ending seemed rushed (although I was quite pleased at that point as I just wanted it to be over!) 

It's such a shame, as it looks beautiful and when I first heard about it, I thought it was going to be a 5 star read for me.
Was this review helpful?
In Dhikilo's world  the letter D starts to vanish from conversation, from signs and then things start to disappear (or should that be isappear?) like dogs or other things that begin with D.

Through a portal in her teacher's house Dhikilo enters the world of Liminus and meets various "strange" characters on her quest to find out what is happening to the letters that have gone missing. She is accompanied by the sometime dog ( Nelly Robinson) sometimes sphinx.

There are obvious parallels to the Wizard of Oz ( Faber also acknowledges Thurber's Wonderful  O which I haven't read.) For me there are also comparisons to Gaiman and Pratchett is terms of comedy, satire and sheer genious of invention.

Dhikilo is a young  black woman whose homeland no-one has heard of , who has been adopted by caring but anxious white parents. Her schoolmates treat her as an outsider and someone "different" so Liminus gives her the opportunity to face danger and find her own identity and find justice in a strange world. 

The different "peoples" she encounters are based on different Dickens characters e.g the diminutive, angry Quilps . The Drood reminded me of the kind benign aliens in The Book of Strange New Things by Faber

 Like Ishiguro, Faber writes books of different genres  from the Science Fiction of The Book Of Strange New things to the Victorian novel The Crimson Petal and the White. I had read that following the death of his partner he wouldn't write another novel so was very happy that he decided to issue this one. . The nearest comparison I can make is to Gaiman or Pratchett.

I am not sure who the readership is but i think it will appeal to the YA market but also those of my customers who value good inventive  fantasy . This book made me laugh and also touched me deeply. It's also entertaining and touches on the essence of who we are, identity and how we lead our lives.
Was this review helpful?
Michel Faber’s latest novel has everything you’d want in a great adventure story—a brave protagonist, an animal companion, and, of course, the nutty professor. Centred around Dhikilo’s journey to return “the missing D” to the alphabet, D finds pleasure in the ridiculous and the frivolous, charming readers with the same playfulness as children’s favourites like Alice In Wonderland and The Wizard of Oz.

But Faber also took some risks that didn’t pay off. There is an excruciating amount of time given to painting Dhikilo’s backstory as a non-white adoptee but there is never any connection made between her history and who she is now. There is no real exploration of her identity and although there are passing comments about Dhikilo never encountering people that look like her, Faber never really elaborates on how this might make her feel. So, while it’s refreshing to see non-white protagonists in stories that focus on more than just pain, Faber hasn’t written his characters of colour in a way that makes me feel seen and understood.

There’s also something uncomfortably colonial about the premise of an adventurer arriving in a mysterious yet dangerous foreign land, telling the locals how to speak properly, triggering a revolution, and then trotting off home once they’ve gotten what they want.

So, what’s my final verdict on D? Well, despite being a little lazy, this homage to Dickens is still a fun read. It’s a delightful story for Middle Grade readers that’s sure to put a smile on your face. However, it lacks the depth and character development I’ve come to expect from a teen novel, so when it comes to the intended YA audience, I think Faber has probably missed the mark.
Was this review helpful?
I got a part of the way through this and i really liked the first third but as i continued i enjoyed it less. I've enjoyed previous Michel Faber novels but this just didn't do it for me. The premise was interesting but something was missing from it and i just lost interest in what was happening. I liked the writing but the rest of it, i would leave.
Was this review helpful?
I read this fab little morsel yesterday. Thank you to @netgalley & @transworldforbooksellers for my #gifted eARC in return for my honest review.
Firstly, the humour in this is brilliant, I laughed out loud so many times. It’s a daft kind of funny that is written so dryly the laugh just kept bursting out of me. We follow Dhikilo, a 14 year old girl, and her companion Mrs Robinson (or sometimes Nelly) to a parallel world where an evil ruler is stealing the letter D....again this has hilarious consequences. They journey across this strange new land making friends and enemies along the way, they’re almost killed by a house and a tribe of cannibalistic dwarves.....it’s just funny! It’s strange and odd and it’s all over in a flash. Despite the perilous journey the ending just kind of happens but I think that’s the point of the book, it’s not meant to be your standard fantasy, it’s something different and fresh. If you want an easy read that’ll make you laugh, this is it! I think any reader from age 11 up would enjoy this, it covers bullying & racial prejudice but only in small amounts. I really liked it, quirky little book indeed.
Was this review helpful?
Very unusual tale, especially coming from the author of Under the Skin, with a brilliant viewpoint character. Strong elements of Dickens and Lewis in this fable filled with a cast of fabulous characters investigating the disappearance from our world of the letter D. 
This is definitely aimed at a younger audience but like all great children’s literature can be enjoyed equally so by adults,  tackling many modern concerns such as global warming and racism. It’s an extremely funny tale too and I found myself chuckling as a read. This tale is well worth your time no matter what age you are. 
Thanks to NetGalley and Random House UK for the early copy.
Was this review helpful?
This is a lovely, quirky little story, very much in the same mould as the Nania stories or Alice in Wonderland.  Extremely imaginative with a gorgeous little main character.  Sweet fun for middle graders and the young at heart.
Was this review helpful?
I didn't realise this was a novel aimed at young adults until I read an interview with Michel Faber in the Guardian a couple of weeks ago just after I had finished reading it - it's strange that the publisher didn't make this more obvious in the blurb/description on NetGalley. Knowing that this book is aimed at teenagers makes a lot more sense in hindsight, as I think the allegorical ideas in D (A Tale of Two Worlds) will appeal more to younger readers than to adult readers like myself who enjoyed Faber's previous work. That said, Faber is an author who is well known for experimenting with different genres so fans of his other novels will already know to expect something a bit different.

The plot focuses on Dhikilo, a young girl from Somaliland who lives with a foster family on the south coast of England and finds that the letter D is disappearing. With encouragement from her teacher Professor Dodderfield, she sets off on a quest to the wintry world of Liminus to recover the missing letters This novel also commemorates the 150th anniversary of the death of Charles Dickens and there are some nice nods to his work through various characters and names. Overall, I thought the first half was more compelling than the second half where I lost interest a bit in the fantasy elements.
Was this review helpful?
D (a tale of two worlds) by Michael Faber,  is a Narnia-esque tale about a girl named Dhikilo and a quest to rescue the letter D, which is mysteriously going missing. It is to be published on September 17th and I highly recommend you get it and read it.
This is a magical story that reminded me of the chronicles of Narnia. The characters are vivid and likeable and the world feels very real. I was drawn into Dhikilo's storyboard cant wait to find out what she gets up to next. 5 stars, highly recommended.
Was this review helpful?
A quirky story about a young girl, Dhikilo, and her adventures into the fantasy world of Liminus.  Her mission is to discover why the letter D is disappearing and to put a stop to it.  I had originally assumed this was an adult book but it soon became clear that it was better suited to children.  The promise of the early chapters soon gave way to an unsophisticated episodic tale.  Any potential for an involved story soon evaporated.  The characters lacked depth and there was very little in the way of plot.  Sadly disappointing.
Was this review helpful?
If Crimson Petal was a modernist love letter to Dickens, it's clear that D (while still full of references to dear Charles) is a child of Carroll, and Lewis, and Baum. I had the feeling I was reading a classic, a book parents can read out loud to their children before bed and make it into a family event.

Dhikilo was a wonderful heroine - clever, resourceful, but above all kind. I felt safe looking at the world through her eyes, and I wish we'd gotten to know her a bit more. In fact, I suppose my only issue with this book is that it was too short! There were many questions left unanswered, and some plot points felt too quickly resolved (at its climax, the novel deflates and suddenly everything is resolved with close to no intervention from our heroes. That was a bit of a disappointment and the whole novel's tension suffers from it. How did the Gamp steal /our/ Ds and what was the Dynamo for? Who controlled the weather? How was it so easy to take him and, more importantly, the Magwitches down? How did Dhikilo have the power to bring the sun back? Was her father from Liminus? And why was the Professor stuck in his home with a death sentence on his head?) - it made me wish this was just the beginning of a long, Narnia-like saga exploring Liminus, its history, and what role Dhikilo and the Professor play in it.

That said, I actually very much enjoyed this reading experience - I was thoroughly entertained and I could see a child absolutely adore it. It was an allegorical tale - climate change, racism, intolerance, industrialism. And honestly? I found myself laughing out loud MANY TIMES whenever the Gamp and his followers spoke! The similarities with Trump were uncanny, his State of The Union might've just been a direct quote. Turns out he didn't make Liminus Great Again!

All in all, it was funny, it was sweet, the world building was interesting, and I hope Michael Faber has, after all, a few more books inside him because I'd love to go back to this world.
Was this review helpful?
Michel Faber’s D (A Tale of Two Worlds) didn’t quite work for me, I’m sad to say. I loved the main character, Dhikilo, and Professor Dodderfield, and  the concept of the disappearing D’s. However, the narrative in the fantastical world felt a bit of a plod after a wonderful bit in a strange uninhabited hotel. The climax in the city was a bit of a damp squib and the journey home was a bit dull. I’m sure it will be adored by some, but I was disappointed.
Was this review helpful?
Absolutely phenomenal. A beautifully written fairy tale that reminded me so much of authors such as CS Lewis, Frank Baum and of course, Charles Dickens.
This was an utter joy to read, full of hope and joy. I loved Dhikilo so much, she was full of gumption and was one of the most delightful characters I've read in a long time. I have high hopes for this, and the fact that it is so gorgeous is a bonus, I have ordered myself a signed copy of the hardback.
Was this review helpful?
Weirly wonerful, wonerfully weir 

Dhikilo wakes one morning to find all the D's have gone missing & this is the tale of her adventure to get to the bottom of what's going on. A super quick, entertaining read where Narnia meets Oz in a chocolate factory. 

I didn't realise this was a middle-grade read when I requested this, I just liked the sound of it, my issue with it is that as a middle-grade read it's probably pretty difficult. As well as the D's going missing (which your brain gets used to pretty quickly) our heroine meets the 'roo' (Drood) who all have a speech impediment which is even more problematic to read. I think my early middle-grade reader would soon give up on this as, although entertaining, it would be hard work.

"No one will thank you for your brave achievement. That is the fate of many a courageous champion. The good that we do sinks into history like rainfall into the earth. The earth, being earth, cannot feel gratitude or award us with medals, but it can grow flowers, and that is our reward."
Was this review helpful?