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The Other Hand - Chris Cleave

Paperback Published: 1st June 2009
ISBN: 9780340963425
Number Of Pages: 400

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The bestselling second novel from the author of Gold and Incendiary.

Shortlisted for the Commonwealth Writers' Prize and Costa Novel of the Year, this international bestseller has become a reading group classic.

We don't want to tell you too much about this book. It is a truly special story and we don't want to spoil it.

Nevertheless, you need to know something, so we will just say this:

It is extremely funny, but the African beach scene is horrific.

The story starts there, but the book doesn't.

And it's what happens afterwards that is most important.

Once you have read it, you'll want to tell everyone about it. When you do, please don't tell them what happens either. The magic is in how it unfolds.

Industry Reviews

Cleave follows his story to a powerful and emotive end. If The Other Hand flirts with melodrama, that is a fault Cleave shares with Dickens and for the same reason. He means it. - Sydney Morning Herald

A considered manifesto on the enormous international problem of asylum-seeking. The act on which the title, and the moral architecture of the novel, turns is described in the same page-turning way. - The Weekend Australian

'Although humour is an important ingredient in this novel, it's a book with a lot of heart and insight, and despite an unlikely ending, it is profound and provocative and beautifully written.' - Sunday Telegraph

'Besides sharp, witty dialogue, an emotionally charged plot and the vivid characters' ethical struggles, The Other Hand delivers a timely challenge to reinvigorate our notions of civilised decency Shocking, exciting and deeply affecting. - The Canberra Times

Cleave achieves an incredibly deft balance between the serious and amusing, with a masterful ability to flit lightly between humour and deep trauma and sadness while making it seem like the most natural transition in the world. - Sunday Mail

Cleave is a stunning writer, one who doesn't shy from difficult issues, but dresses his approach to them with wit, warmth and compassion, meaning The Other Hand is a serious novel all the better for being seriously funny.' - Weekend Goldcoast Bulletin

Chris Cleave can afford to talk up to his readers not down, because he respects their intellect. - Weekend Australian, author interview

Cleave is a genuine optimist, he believes in the goodness of humanity and that's what makes this a truly pleasurable book to read. - The Courier Mail

Most enjoyable and engaging read.


Book was engaging from beginning to end. Loved the characters so well described, and the understanding by the Author of each person and their approach to life. I was sorry when I turned the last page. Very good book for Bok Clubs as so much to discuss. Always happy with the service I receive from Booktopia.



i would buy this product for my friends.


After reading this book, I felt it was such an eye opener for the average Australian that I gave it as a Xmas present to a few friends. One has since recommended it to her book club for 2013.

Melbourne, AU


The Other Hand

4.0 2


ISBN: 9780340963425
ISBN-10: 0340963425
Audience: General
Format: Paperback
Language: English
Number Of Pages: 400
Published: 1st June 2009
Publisher: Hodder & Stoughton General Division
Country of Publication: GB
Dimensions (cm): 19.9 x 13.0  x 2.5
Weight (kg): 0.28
Edition Number: 1

Chris Cleave

About the Author

Chris Cleave is 38. He lives in London with his wife and three children. His debut novel Incendiary won a 2006 Somerset Maugham Award, was shortlisted for the 2006 Commonwealth Writers Prize, and won the United States Book-of-the-Month Club’s First Fiction award 2005. His second novel is titled Little Bee in Canada and the US, where it is a New York Times #1 bestseller. It is titled The Other Hand in the UK, where it is a Sunday Times bestseller. It was shortlisted for the Costa Novel Awards. Read reviews here. Chris Cleave has been a barman, a long-distance sailor and teacher of marine navigation [read a short story I wrote about there here], an internet pioneer and a journalist.

Visit Chris Cleave's Booktopia Author Page