5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on 9 June 2000
Winner of the 1994 Nobel prize for literature, this is a sad, angry novel, which tells of fifteen reformatory boys, evacuated during wartime to a remote mountain village. The author captures so well their bleak surroundings and heartbreaking emotions. Abandoned and trapped in a plague ridden environment, the boys attempt to build a life of self respect, doomed for failure. Death looms very real around every corner. It is a book that makes you laugh one minute and cry the next, as the sheer brutality of the plague and the boys' realisation of a final end to their punished lives draws nearer. Has much in common with Lord of the Flies. A book that stays in your thoughts for a long time after finishing.