The Unlikely Escape of Uriah Heep: A Novel

The Unlikely Escape of Uriah Heep: A Novel

by H. G. Parry

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Overview

The ultimate book-lover's fantasy, featuring a young scholar with the power to bring literary characters into the world, for fans of The Magicians, Mr. Penumbra's 24-Hour Bookstore, and The Invisible Library.
For his entire life, Charley Sutherland has concealed a magical ability he can't quite control: he can bring characters from books into the real world. His older brother, Rob -- a young lawyer with a normal house, a normal fiancee, and an utterly normal life -- hopes that this strange family secret will disappear with disuse, and he will be discharged from his life's duty of protecting Charley and the real world from each other. But then, literary characters start causing trouble in their city, making threats about destroying the world... and for once, it isn't Charley's doing.
There's someone else who shares his powers. It's up to Charley and a reluctant Rob to stop them, and hopefully before anyone gets to The End.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780316452724
Publisher: Orbit
Publication date: 07/23/2019
Sold by: Hachette Digital, Inc.
Format: NOOK Book
Sales rank: 41,210
File size: 3 MB

About the Author

H.G. Parry lives in a book-infested flat in Wellington, New Zealand, which she shares with her sister and two overactive rabbits. She holds a PhD in English Literature from Victoria University of Wellington, and teaches English, Film, and Media Studies. Her short fiction has appeared in Intergalactic Medicine Show, Daily Science Fiction, and small press anthologies. The Unlikely Escape of Uriah Heep is her debut novel.

Customer Reviews

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The Unlikely Escape of Uriah Heep 4.3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 8 reviews.
BinBlogsBooks 8 days ago
Great premise that didn't quite pull together that WOW factor that I was hoping for. However I was still entertained and believe it wasn't a wasted read.
rcahill 23 days ago
The premise of this book is intriguing! A young man who can bring characters out of books and into the real-world. There were times when I found myself grinning in recognition and other times when I had to look up the references. However, there is much more at play in this book than just name-dropping fictional characters. The main protagonists are brothers, Charley the intellectual giant who can summon characters by thinking about their place in a story and Rob, the older brother who vacillates between support and frustration with his sibling. Soon Charley and Rob find themselves having to figure out why characters are appearing without Charley’s help and if there is a more dangerous situation on the horizon. The book mixes literary heroes, sibling dynamics, good versus evil, and sacrifice. There are times when it feels like the story might have take on too many elements, but overall it is an entertaining read for any bibliophile.
Anonymous 24 days ago
Bookwormish-Me 6 months ago
Did you ever want to be able to have tea with one of your favorite book characters? Or visit a street in Victorian London? In The Unlikely Escape of Uriah Heep, you can do those things. Dr. Charles Sutherland is an English literature professor with an unusual skill; he can “read” characters from books into existence. While this would be a fabulous skill to have, sometimes it can lead to unexpected consequences. What if the character is a fire-breathing dragon or a pre-teen girl detective who decides she’d rather not be in the story any longer? When Charles encounters these situations, it’s up to his brother Robert to try to intervene and help him catch the escaped character. Part fantasy, part mystery, this novel fills a lot of genres. The novel takes place in New Zealand, but really could be based anywhere. New Zealand is not a character in this story. Charles is a very unique character and concept. His ability to bring book characters to life is a fun escape for the reader. When characters suddenly appear to be doing wrong, that’s when this book takes a turn for the worse and the mystery and suspense begins. Charles and Robert find themselves in a battle for good and evil from the pages of a book. I loved this book. The concept was so unique and fun to imagine. Robert is the perfect older brother who is exasperated with his younger brother. Charles is an enigma. Parry brings forth both classic English fictional characters and characters of her own making. The world created is exactly what one would expect from the classic literature referenced. Sherlock Holmes, Dorian Gray and Heathcliff are all exactly what would be expected from their own authors. Clearly Parry is an expert in English lit herself. While this novel is long, it’s a fun and entertaining ride through a fantasy world many of us would love to visit. Parry has done a wonderful job. This review will be posted at BookwormishMe.com close to publication date.
BookishWendy 6 months ago
Charley is a book summoner--a rare reader with the power to read characters out of their books, though it's much more difficult to put them back, as it turns out. Throughout history, even regular readers might form a magical connection with a certain character, bringing them to life our world, often without knowing it. Maui, Scheherezade, Heathcliffe, Matilda, the White Witch (who rides a motorcycle) all make appearances. Mr. Darcy is a reader favorite, understandably--there are five known versions, all a bit different according to the interpretation and era in which the reader lived!) But being fictional doesn't make them benign. When Charley accidentally summons the knife-wielding Dickensian villain Uriah Heep, he has to call his older brother Rob for backup. Uriah has a message for them: there's another summoner in the world, reading characters to life for a dark purpose... There's some wonderful metafictional romping in this book, and I enjoyed how literary analysis is used to inform the story. I especially loved the central relationship between Charley and Rob. Rob provides the narrative voice for much of the book, which is especially fun because as a lawyer he's an outsider in the academic and literati circles of his Oxford-grad little brother. Their relationship is quite a complex one, rooted in childhood jealousies and insecurities, and while they clearly care deeply for one another, they clearly drive each other up the wall. No matter how crazy the plot might get, their relationship always remains grounded and real. My favorite part might be when Charley and his brother stumble across a magical Victorian street populated by classic characters in their hometown of Wellington, New Zealand. They each have reactions that perfectly match their dispositions, and that section had me laughing. If you're looking for a fun read with a magical, classic lit touch, might I suggest this one? Thanks to Netgalley and RedHook Books for providing an advance reader copy of this book.
AmyM43 7 months ago
4.5 For as long as he’s been alive Charley Sutherland has had the ability to bring forth literary characters from the books where they reside into the real world. For as long as Charley has been alive his older brother Robert has been picking up the pieces and cleaning up the messes that usually occur when bringing a literary character into the real world. On one such occasion, Rob is called to the university where Charley works to help apprehend one Uriah Heep (of David Copperfield fame). Before Uriah can be sent back, he alludes to the fact that something big is on the horizon. Something that will change the world forever. Rob and Charley soon learn there is another Summoner in their midst. Someone who has been calling forth characters and using them to commit crimes. When a portal leading into a mysterious Dickensian London street appears, Charley will finally have to use the powers he’s tried suppressing his entire life in order to keep the real world from getting edited out. There is a lot to unpack with The Unlikely Escape of Uriah Heep. With so much, it’ll be difficult to talk about everything this book can/could/should/did allude to, but we’ll give it a try. I really think that this is one of the best literary mashups I’ve read in quite a while, giving me real Thursday Next vibes. I loved seeing all the familiar characters popping up. Most of them were expected (Darcy, Heathcliff, Dorian Gray, Artful Dodger etc.), some were a little unexpected (such as the Jabberwock), but all were fun to encounter. The best thing about these characters is that their personalities are often based upon the Summoner’s interpretation of the text which may vary from language translations or be influenced by a movie adaptation (I’m looking at you Darcy, who jumps into pools). H.G. Parry pulls the literary analysis together really well, in a way that’s accessible to any type of reader you might be. In the center of everything you have Charley and Rob, who fill in the roles of “chosen one” and “non-magical sidekick” respectively. Through that we see what is perceived as the certain responsibilities both roles often require within the literary world, but we also see how it’s not necessarily always easy to be the person in which the world’s safety rests or being the person who supports them. Rob and Charley have never had an easy brotherly relationship. Besides pulling characters from books, Charley is also extremely intelligent. Graduating high school at the same time as his older brother has been cause for accolades, but also for more attention because he was so young. So there’s a jealousy factor to their relationship, but there’s also the idea of the older brother wanting to protect his younger brother, to keep him safe. It’s instinctual for Rob, yet he also feels like it’s his obligation. I really enjoyed seeing the push/pull between them. Definitely a very familial focused story. Overall, The Unlikely Escape of Uriah Heep was a fun, interesting, adventurous read. Perfect for booklovers. I cannot wait to see what H.G. Parry has for us next.
diane92345 7 months ago
Who wouldn’t want to help their favorite fictional characters escape from the books that entrap them? Even with the occasional blunder like the Unlikely Escape of Uriah Heep, a villain from Dicken’s David Copperfield, being a summoner still sounds fun. However, when Charley realizes he is not the only summoner in the world, he and his quite normal brother must fight the other to protect the world from its most famous literary villains. While I don’t have a PhD in English Literature like the author, I enjoyed this romp through British classics. I recognized most of the literary characters—even if some were met in graphic novels based on famous books. The book only references older works so no need to worry about wishing Hannibal Lector upon the world. My favorite part of the Unlikely Escape of Uriah Heep was the dynamics of the sibling rivalry and loyalty between the brothers. Overall, an excellent choice for Victorian book nerds and readers everywhere who would like to hang out with their favorite characters if only for an evening. 4 stars! Thanks to Redhook Books and NetGalley for a copy in exchange for my honest review.
Anonymous 4 months ago
I want to read more of the book than just the excerpt.