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Old 09-29-2012, 11:54 AM   #25
fantasyfan
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Issybird wrote:
I said upthread that I didn't mind the jumble of voices; the shifting of memory and reportage worked for me. I very much liked the social interactions, adolescents really are animals, and also the Falklands backdrop

I would agree about the effectiveness of the style. I rather enjoyed that aspect of the book.

And yes, adolescents are most emphatically animals.

Bits just broke my heart, as an example, Jason's loving recollection of having been a Spook for all of five minutes. Those moments of truth, in whosever voice, was the best aspect of the book or me.

Same here. One part I found really sad was the end of the fight over the Rockery .I remember that at one point Jason notices the loving smile shared between Julia and Ewan and he wonders if his parents were once like that.

Then there is that moment when the Heron flies away with one of the Mother's fish. I suppose there is a bitter sort of ironic humour in that but what is most noticeable is Jason's utterly sick helpless frustrated fury as he notices that his father is looking on at the whole scene:

"Me, I want to bloody kick this moronic bloody world in the bloody teeth over and over till it bloody understands that not hurting people is ten bloody thousand times more bloody important than being right."

I'm older than Jason and never was a boy, so I do have a question for the men: Were 13 year-old boys really so innocent in the early 80s? Were you at 13? (no one need reveal his age ) I know I was clueless when I was 13, but the kids now frankly scare me.

The adolescents I taught in that decade certainly struck me as being innocent. They seemed more open to the simple pleasure of listening to or sharing a story or experience. Certainly much more so than students I was teaching in later years. Of course, this doesn't mean they can't be very cruel to one another. Adolescence is a dreadful phase and I think that in the eighties {and certainly in earlier decades} adolescent boys didn't fully comprehend the biological energies that were exploding in their bodies. So they frequently turned to peer groups and created their own social myths.

I was, however, appalled by the teachers as presented in the book. Some displayed and evidently enjoyed a kind of sarcastic, supercilious, conscious cruelty towards pupils. That kind of cruelty was far worse than the rather bestial violence of the "hard" boys.

Last edited by fantasyfan; 09-29-2012 at 12:23 PM.
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