Tuesday, January 04, 2005
Some books stick in the mind. There are quite a few examples of children’s fiction that I have enjoyed, but don’t have on my shelves, that I have read once only, out loud, in half-hour chunks over a long series of evenings to one or other of my children, when they were young enough to be read to sleep. These books were borrowed from our local library, which has since replenished its stock and thrown out or sold off most of the tattered paperbacks we enjoyed back in the Nineties. One such read was THE THIEF OF ALWAYS by Clive Barker. This book takes reversal as its theme, to dark and twisted effect. There’s a grinning villain who employs the desperate patter of a game show host. There’s a pond-full of huge fish, melancholy and ponderous and somehow utterly horrifying. Most disturbing of all, perhaps, the story demonstrates a galling truth; if your life becomes an endless round of thoughtless pleasure, and it’s springtime in the morning and Christmas every night, eventually even the most dedicated fun-seeker will come to the uncomfortable conclusion that something just isn’t right. And before reaching, at last, a genuinely happy resolution, the main character, 10-year old Harvey Swick, is put through the ultimate desolation. It’s what you might call a Rip Van Winkle moment, returning to a world that has moved on and left you far behind. This is a fear that I’m sure must have deep-seated roots in the human psyche. It sticks in the mind.
December 2004 January 2005 February 2005 March 2005 April 2005 May 2005 June 2005 July 2005 November 2005 March 2006 May 2006 June 2006 October 2006 November 2006 December 2006 January 2007 February 2007 June 2007 July 2007 August 2007 September 2007 October 2007 November 2007 January 2008 February 2008 March 2008 April 2008 May 2008 June 2008 July 2008 October 2008 November 2008 December 2008 January 2009 February 2009 March 2009 July 2009 December 2009 February 2010 June 2010 September 2010 November 2010 January 2011 February 2011 August 2011 September 2011 January 2012 February 2012 August 2012 December 2012 April 2013