Excerpt from Tall Story by Candy Gourlay, plus links to reviews, author biography & more

Summary |  Excerpt |  Reading Guide |  Reviews |  Beyond the Book |  Readalikes |  Genres & Themes |  Author Bio

Tall Story

by Candy Gourlay

Tall Story
  • Critics' Opinion:

    Readers' Opinion:

  • First Published:
    Feb 2011, 304 pages
    Paperback:
    Feb 2012, 304 pages

  • Rate this book


Book Reviewed by:
Tamara Smith

Buy This Book

About this Book

Print Excerpt

Prologue

Andi playing basketball. Illustrated by Candy Gourlay Rush hour.


So many armpits, so little deodorant.


The whole world is heading out to Heathrow to meet long-lost relatives. I am wedged between the tummies of the two fattest men in the world. Rank.


Mum's practically vibrating. Like she's overdosed on coffee. Which she probably has.


Dad's got his arm around her like a lock. She's fidgeting so hard and the train's so crowded. 'It'll be ages yet, Mary Ann,' he whispers into her ear.


'I just want to make sure we're there when he comes out.'


'He's sixteen. He'll be fine!' Dad kisses her forehead. Which isn't a stretch because the crowd is pushing them so close together his face is practically pasted to her head.


'But William' - Mum glares at his chin - 'he's so TALL!'


Why is Mum so psycho about Bernardo being tall? She's been going on about it since we found out he was coming to London.


'Don't be surprised now, Andi, your brother is tall. Tall, you hear me?' Does she think I needed impressing? I mean, Mum isn't exactly God's gift to the human race in the height department. I'm the smallest in Year Eight and I'm still taller than her. She's so short she needs an ID to prove she's old enough to buy wine at the supermarket.


'I don't understand,' she always argues at the Tesco Express. 'Where I come from, there's never any problem.' Well, London isn't the Philippines, Mum.


The two tummies are practically holding me up in the carriage. I could fall asleep and remain vertical. Hopefully it won't be this bad on the return trip with Bernardo and his luggage.


Bernardo! I can't believe I'm minutes away from becoming someone's little sister.


If he's tall like Mum says, he's guaranteed to love Michael Jordan.


She says everyone in the Philippines is mad about basketball and I'm Michael Jordan's biggest fan. And maybe with another teenager in the house, we can listen to normal music instead of selections from Mum and Dad's pre-Jurassic collection. And now there will be someone else to ignore the bad Dad-jokes that for some reason make Mum go hysterical.


I'm tired of being the Only Child.


And then suddenly the train is screeching to a stop at Heathrow and Mum's dragging me out from between the two tummies. It's miles to walk through all those long, long tunnels to Terminal 3. Then we have to wait an hour before Bernardo's plane number shows on the arrival boards. Then it's another halfhour before they say 'Baggage in Hall'. Now Mum's staring at luggage tags to see which people emerging from the gate were on the plane from the Philippines. 'Look, look!' she screams (and it's no use telling Mum she's loud: she was born with no volume control).


And then she stands there for ages holding the welcome banner up high, hopping a little on one leg like she really, really needs to go to the toilet.


Dad puts his arm around Mum's shoulders and whispers in her ear some more. But her eyes are glazed. She's beyond help. And then she screams so sharply that people nearby stop kissing and hugging to stare.

Giant Hand 'THERE HE IS! OH, NARDO! OH, NARDO! OH! OH! OH!' And I squint past all the huggers and kissers in the arrivals hall, through the tiny panes of glass on the double doors, and all I can see is some geek's necktie.


But Mum's already dropped her banner and she's CRAWLING under the barrier and rushing towards the necktie, all the while squealing something in Tagalog. Dad's got the banner now; he's holding it up and grinning so broadly you can see that he's missing a canine.

  • 1
  • 2

Excerpted from Tall Story by Candy Gourlay. Copyright © 2011 by Candy Gourlay. Excerpted by permission of David Fickling Books. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.

Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" backstories
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $10 for 3 months or $35 for a year
  • More about membership!

Beyond the Book:
  Who is Candy Gourlay?

Support BookBrowse

Become a Member
and discover your next great read!

Join Today!

Book Discussion
Book Jacket
The Opposite of Everyone
by Joshilyn Jackson

"Quirky and appealing characters, an engaging story, and honest dialogue make this a great book!"
- BookBrowse

About the book
Join the discussion!

Editor's Choice

  • Book Jacket
    The Never-Open Desert Diner
    by James Anderson
    James Anderson's debut novel, The Never-Open Desert Diner, starts off as an entertaining ...
  • Book Jacket
    In the Country of Men
    by Hisham Matar
    Labeled by some as the "Libyan Kite Runner", In The Country of Men does share some ...
  • Book Jacket: Holding Up the Universe
    Holding Up the Universe
    by Jennifer Niven
    Jennifer Niven's spectacular Holding Up the Universe has everything that I love about Young ...

First Impressions

  • Book Jacket

    Victoria
    by Daisy Goodwin

    Daisy Goodwin breathes new life into Victoria's story, and does so with sensitivity, verve, and wit." - Amanda Foreman

    Read Member Reviews

Who Said...

I am what the librarians have made me with a little assistance from a professor of Greek and a few poets

Click Here to find out who said this, as well as discovering other famous literary quotes!

Word Play

The Big Holiday Wordplay:
$400+ in Prizes

Enter Now

Books that     
entertain,
     engage

 & enlighten

Visitors can view some of BookBrowse for free. Full access is for members only.

Join Today!

Your guide toexceptional          books

BookBrowse seeks out and recommends books that we believe to be best in class. Books that will whisk you to faraway places and times, that will expand your mind and challenge you -- the kinds of books you just can't wait to tell your friends about.

 
X

Free Weekly Newsletter

Keep up with what's happening in the world of books:
Reviews, previews, interviews and more!



Spam Free: Your email is never shared with anyone; opt out any time.