Boy’s Life – Robert McCammon

Boy's LifeBoy’s Life starts off with the promise of a great novel about to unfold. I mean, just take a look at the opening passage:

“CORY? WAKE UP, SON. IT’S TIME.”

I let him pull me up from the dark cavern of sleep, and I opened my eyes and looked up at him. He was already dressed, in his dark brown uniform with his name – Tom – written in white letters across his breast pocket. I smelled bacon and eggs, and the radio was playing softly in the kitchen. A pan rattled and glasses clinked; Mom was at work in her element as surely as a trout rides a current. “It’s time,” my father said, and he switched on the lamp beside my bed and left me squinting with the last images of a dream fading in my brain.” Continue reading

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Fortunately, the Milk – Neil Gaiman

fortunatelythemilk1The Ocean at the End of the Lane (click for my review) is about the child’s mind telling a story to that of the adult. It reaches back through memory and speaks in a language that children know much better, and many adults have forgotten. Fortunately, the Milk does the exact opposite of that. Cory Doctorow sums it up neatly in his review over at Boing Boing: “a magnificent tribute to the fatherly art of trolling kids with straightfaced, outlandish tales”.

Doctorow’s review does a great job of presenting the book, which is short enough that you could read it in less than an hour, anyway. Unless you are reading it to your kid, which will inevitably get you entangled, I imagine, in serious existential discussions, thus prodding you to contribute to the perpetuation of the art of kid-trolling. Continue reading

The Ocean at the End of the Lane – Neil Gaiman

ocean-at-the-end-of-the-lane-neil-gaiman“Memories were waiting at the edges of things, beckoning to me.”

 When I was a little boy – I must have been six, or seven, or eight – I would sometimes get these very odd flashes of… I’m not even sure how to call it. “Feeling” is too general a word, no, this was disembodied and physical sensations, memories and premonitions all bundled together in an indivisible whole. It came when I was alone and felt like a place, somewhere, somehow. One moment I would be in my room, or wherever I was, the next I would be there. And it would last for just a second or two, but those seemed ominously stretched. It was a scary place, to be sure, mostly because I didn’t understand it and didn’t know how and why I was being taken there. And I knew it was probably a place in my head, little that I was, but it felt vaster than that. It felt like all the knowledge of the world was there and also all the things that I would love and lose. It might have been a good place, but it scared me every time. Continue reading