1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
A Modern Classic,
This review is from: The Savage (Hardcover)
This is a fabulous, thought-provoking book of immediate contemporary relevance, written by a writer who knows exactly how to create a story that doesn't patronise younger readers by talking down to them. David Almond writes beautifully about the kind of life experienced by many younger people in modern Britain, but refrains from being too preachy or condescending in his telling of it. In fact this is a very good read for adults as well, which shows how deftly Almond can pitch the tone of his prose. This book, despite its modest length is destined to become a modern classic.
In illustrator Dave McKean he has found the perfect collaborator for his work. McKean's brilliant images are not designed to be just an extra part of the book, occupying their own clearly defined "illustration" space, but, rather, are designed to become an inherent part of the text, woven within the actual narrative so the two become almost inseparable. The pages are designed using a variety of layout techniques that range from traditional text-and-image through to progressive graphic novel panels. This is a clever idea and is designed in such a way that as you read the text the image calls for your attention too; and as you look at the image the text hovers enticingly about the periphery of your vision. Sometimes a single image sums up the action, more often McKean displays his skill honed from his other graphic novel work to employ those multiple images that serve to push the narrative forward visually or add extra layers of meaning and characterisation through the depiction of continuous movement. I also love the use of different fonts within the text and also the somewhat unusual square hardbacked book format that publishers Walker Books utilise for this publication, adding to its lustre as an attractive object.