1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Genuinely striking writing,
This review is from: Surrender (Paperback)
This is a very dark book, and not one that fits easily into the genre of children's, or at least young people's writing. The story of two boys, bound by blood into the eternal tussle of good and evil, which reduces a town to ashes and forces the reader to rationalise murder, is not easily digested. Nor is the structure of the narrative by any means simplistic: Hartnett carefully controls what is revealed to the reader with the skill of a true thriller writer.
That said, what sets this book apart from many others in its bracket it not the story, but the writing. Hartnett's unashamed exploitation of the fullest range of English's potential for rich and poetic meaning is consistently challenging and always hugely rewarding. The atmosphere of the book is unrelentingly close, even to the point of causing beads of sweat to break out in sympathy with the inhabitants of the awful, sweltering dustbowl of Mulyan, the town in which the novel is set.
This novel is by no means a lightweight read for the beach, but for older teenagers and adults alike it offers a prose experience in a class of its own.