REVIEW: The Marbury Lens by Andrew Smith

THE MARBURY LENS by Andrew Smith

  • Reading level: Young Adult
  • Hardcover: 368 pages
  • Publisher: Feiwel & Friends (November 9, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0312613423
  • ISBN-13: 978-0312613426
  • Rating: YYYY

  • Sixteen-year-old Jack gets drunk and is in the wrong place at the wrong time. He is kidnapped. He escapes, narrowly. The only person he tells is
    his best friend, Conner. When they arrive in London as planned for summer break, a stranger hands Jack a pair of glasses. Through the lenses, he sees another world called Marbury.

    There is war in Marbury. It is a desolate and murderous place where Jack is responsible for the survival of two younger boys. Conner is there, too. But he’s trying to kill them.

    Meanwhile, Jack is falling in love with an English girl, and afraid
    he’s losing his mind.

    Conner tells Jack it’s going to be okay.

    But it’s not.


    Roll, tap tap tap....

    Andrew Smith has done something to my brain.

    Upon finishing THE MARBURY LENS I knew I had witnessed one of the most genuinely disturbing and upsetting books that I have ever read and although it is nightmarish beyond my comprehension I will not soon forget it.

    Andrew Smith has penned a novel that explores the depths of what a traumatic experience can do to the human psyche. Jack Whitmore narrowly escapes a depraved situation that ultimately brings on the death Jack's captor, innocence and peace of mind. He then travels to England where he meets a mysterious individual that gives him a pair of glasses and Jack's tenuous grip on his sanity begins to slide on a downwards spiral into Marbury. The world of Marbury that Jack is transported into by way of the Marbury Lens is brutal, bone chilling and horrifically visualized. In it's stark desert landscape is a frightening war and Jack is responsible for two young boys that become his soul purpose of survival in Marbury. As the story progresses you witness Jack's grasp on reality slipping...hours and days are lost and Jack does not remember anything, but I cannot forget.

    As I sit hear writing this vivid flashbacks haunt me. I am still trying to figuring it all out. Was Jack able to survive Marbury or did he descend into madness. Only by ready THE MARBURY LENS can you try to decide. I only know that once you begin reading you will addicted to it's pull as Jack was.

    While THE MARBURY LENS is unlike anything that I have read (I actually had to put it down for a few days and read it in sparse bits) I recognise the talent that Andrew Smith has. He was able to write a novel that seriously mindfucks you. For as remarkably unforgettable as THE MARBURY LENS is I do not believe it is the literary material that I would have my 15 year old godchild read due to the fact that I believe it had some twisted mature subject matter. I am an older woman and yet I could not stomach alot of what I read. I pushed myself to finish but I am not at peace with that choice.



    1. Many people have told me exactly what you just said - that this book was disturbing (to say the least). I have not yet read this book, and I am debating whether or not I should. I am not exactly interested in reading something so gruesome, but I am interested to see what all of the hubbub is about.

    2. I listened to is on audio. We need to talk. I was enthralled by the story. I cringed and cried at various times throughout the book. But, I can't wrap my head around how it ended. Let's discuss.

      Also, I'm desperate to get my hands on Tempestuous. :)

    3. Oh, wow, this really makes me want to read this book.

    4. I recently bought this but wow I'm not sure how I will handle this book after your review. I still want to read it though to see for myself
      thanks for the review

    5. I loved this book! Freaky!!!! It stayed with me for days. I finally had to write Andrew and talk about it. I am so not that person, but I did it. He humored me...


    6. I really love the concept for this book. :)

    7. I too love the concept for this book and I can't wait to read it. Your review has definitely sparked my interest more. I'm always up for a mindf*ck.

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    Let's Discuss!