The Unlikely Escape of Uriah Heep

The Unlikely Escape of Uriah Heep


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 an utterly normal life - hopes that this strange family secret will disappear with disuse, and he will be discharged from his 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 out there who shares his powers and it's up to Charley and a reluctant Rob to stop them - before anyone gets to The End.

Our Review

The Unlikely Escape of Uriah Heep by H.G Parry is without a doubt a book for book lovers. Charley is the embodiment of every bookworm’s wildest dreams.

Ever since he was little Charley has had a secret ability that nobody outside of his immediate family knew about. He is able to bring any literary character out of their book and into the real world. Charley isn’t always fully in control of when this happens though and sometimes, they are unwilling to go back.

“As I said my brother’s creations are always coloured by his perceptions of them. Sometimes this is slight, and manageable; a shift in personality, or a blurring of appearance. But some colourings are deeper and stranger, and the deeper he gets into literary theory, the stranger they become. Traits that are metaphorical in the text become absurdly, dangerously literal.”

His older brother Rob is a down-to-earth lawyer and wants nothing more than for his brother to stop using his unusual skill. Rob is tired of feeling second best to his child genius brother. Rob desperately wants a normal life, one that doesn’t involve middle of the night calls from his 26-year-old brother.

“At four in the morning I was woken by a phone call from my younger brother. He sounded breathless, panicked, with the particular catch in his voice I knew all too well.

‘Uriah Heep’s loose on the ninth floor,’ he said. ‘And I can’t catch him.’

My brain was fogged with sleep; it took a moment for his words to filter through. ‘Seriously, Charley? I said when they did. ‘Again?’

Rob is disturbed when Charley’s latest creation has a dire warning for him and when not long after this several other literary characters start to create chaos around the city. Soon Charley and Rob realise that there is another Summoner out there and this one might be dangerous.

“You’ll be better off without him anyway, with what’s coming. He’s going to be right at the heart of it. Stay out of it, keep your head down, and don’t look too closely at what’s going on, that’s my umble suggestion, Master Robery.’

Curiosity momentarily overcame my fear, I frowned. ‘What do you mean?’

‘Just what I said, Master Robert. You stay out of it. It don’t concern you. And you wouldn’t want it to.’

‘What doesn’t concern me?’

‘The new world,’ he said, ‘There won’t be a place for you in the new world.’

As an avid reader my heart was with Charley but as an eldest sister, I also felt an affinity Rob in terms of both his need to protect Charley and his resentment at that need.

I have to admit when I started out, I knew I liked the idea of the book, I didn’t know that I would also love the execution.

One thing The Unlikely Escape of Uriah Heep highlighted for me is that I need to read some more of Dickens’ classics as I when I began reading, I had no idea who Uriah Heep was.

Rob and Charley have a fractious relationship at best but one of the things I loved about their relationship was that it felt so real. The sibling rivalry and resentments that can build up in some sibling relationships but then also the overwhelming need to protect each other.

Rob has many resentments and insecurities when it comes to Charley, in particular, in relation to his intellect and abilities. Charley for his part feels like Rob doesn’t want him around and he is nothing but a problem to him.

The Unlikely Escape of Uriah Heep is a book for lovers of literary fiction, gothic and Victorian era literature. There are numerous Dicken’s characters, Mr Darcy’s, a Dr Frankenstein, a girl detective and even a hound of the Baskerville’s.

“This is how it works. I think. I’ll be reading. Of course, I will. Well, if I know something thoroughly enough – a poem, or a very specific piece of text, something small – I can sometimes just be thinking. But usually I need the sight of words on paper. It has to be paper. That’s me, I think, not the magic or the ability or whatever term applies. Words aren’t the same to me on a screen. I can see them, but I can’t connect to them. They’re too hard and bright; I float on top of them, like a leaf on the surface of a pond. Words on paper are quiet and porous; in the right mood, I sink down between the gaps in the letters and they close over my head.

Words and paper. That is the easy part.”

It really is a treasure trove of a book and spoke to me of my reading experiences as if I had plucked the words right out of my brain.

“You know when you read a book, sometimes, and you suddenly realise you’ve been missing something your whole life; and you weren’t even aware, and all at once you’ve found it and are just a little bit more whole?”

This for me was one of those books.

Our Final Rating...

Our Rating

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