Pobby and Dingan live in Lightning Ridge, New South Wales, the opal capital of Australia. They are friends with Kellyanne Williamson, the daughter of a miner: indeed only she can see them. Pobby and Dingan are imaginary. Ashmol Williamson, Kellyanne's brother thinks his sister should grow up and stop being such a fruit loop - until the day when Pobby and Dingan disappear. As Kellyanne, grief-stricken, begins to fade away, Ashmol recruits the whole town in the search for Pobby and Dingan. In the end, however, he discovers that only he can find them, and he can only find them if he too begins to believe they are real.
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Quirky, moving and completely unexpected. It will charm all but the most dedicated cynic - Sunday Telegraph
From its bold premise to its brave ending, Pobby and Dingan is full of surprises - The Times
Quirky, moving and completely unexpected. It will charm all but the most determined cynic - Daily Telegraph
With Pobby and Dingan, Ben Rice makes a strong claim to be a leader of the new generation. This novel marks one of those debuts that may well turn out to have been of the greatest significance - Observer
A delicate fable about faith-it shows the search for the impossible to be both touching and necessary - The Sunday Times
A story that is startlingly strange, in the best sense-pitch-perfect prose - The New Yorker
This first novel is undeniably rich: a tale woven around the importance of faith, whether in imaginary friends or undiscovered treasures, and the strength of family - The Times
Ben Rice was born in Devon in 1972. He read English at Newcastle University and Wadham College, Oxford. Pobby and Dingan was awarded the Somerset Maugham Award in 2001 as well as being shortlisted for the John Llewellyn Rhys Prize. He lives in London.