Wednesday, July 3, 2013

hard truths

THE TRUE TALE OF THE MONSTER BILLY DEAN TELT BY HISSELF by David Almond. Candlewick Press, January 2014.

From the opening sentence: "This tail is told by 1 that died at birth by 1 that came into the world in days of endless war & at the moment of disaster." to the last shattering chapter, this novel will capture readers and hold them hostage. Meet Billy Dean, a young boy who has lived in isolation never venturing beyond the confines of his house. His mother is the only constant in his life. Billy's father, a vaguely sinister figure, visits sporadically. From him, Billy begins to learn how to read and write somewhat. The crude writing, Billy's naïve yet worldly voice, and the mysteries at the center of this novel combine to create a singular effect (Poe would be envious) of horror committed on the innocent. Here is a story that must be experienced, swallowed in small bites, chewed thoroughly, and then read again from the beginning.

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