What Mezenthen does with the voice of his main character and narrator Ryan is nothing short of brilliant. This kid knows his reality. He knows what he doesn’t have (privilege and easy success), but he is also very much aware of what he does have (supportive, loving family, a steady best friend, a genuine girl, the best dog in the world & the Western Bulldogs).
Ryan’s sense of self is strong, positive and totally sympathetic. His progression through the novel is tense and endearing. There are dark and scary moments, but there are also heart-felt, poignant ones too.
Readers are very soon conscious they are in the hands of an author in control of his story and a master of language and style.
Read from June 08 to 14, 2014. Review originally posted at Goodreads.
There’s a lot happening in Lucky Linderman’s life and not much of it good, unless you count the dreams wherein he tries to rescue his grandfather Harry MIA during the Vietnam War.
Lucky’s narration is genuinely honest. His attempts to articulate his voice, to face his inner demons, and to recognise his self-worth are described both powerfully and painfully.
As with Vera Deitz, there is also the weird and the funny. The pergoda is almost out-classed by the ants, who have a snarky, insightful comment on the antics of the crazy people around Lucky, who in turn, threaten him, ignore him, & chastise him, but ultimately support him. There are several laugh out loud moments courtesy of those ants, but it’s important to remember their other more serious purpose: Highlighting depression and bullying, but not in a didactic or judgemental way. Part of the strength of the novel is King’s ability to encapsulate these themes effortlessly.
I loved this book. Read Oct 24. Review originally posted over at Goodreads.