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Millions: Film Tie-in Paperback – Unabridged, 15 Oct 2004
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...This book even managed to transform our daily journeys on London's public transport into a pleasurable experience. -- wateraid.org.uk, 2nd November 2004
This is a one in a million book. -- South Yorkshire Times, 4th November 2004
About the Author
Frank Cottrell Boyce is an established British screenwriter whose credits include WELCOME TO SARAJEVO, HILARY AND JACKIE and 24 HOUR PARTY PEOPLE. He lives in Liverpool with his family.
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The story is a very endearing tale of what happens when an autistic boy is the unwitting recipient of a bag full of cash hurled off a train into his den in his back garden (he calls his den a ‘Hermitage’ though). The boy, Damian, knows everything about saints, regurgitating facts about them in school, at home and everywhere else. When the bag of cash lands he thinks it’s a gift from God and sets out to spend it on the poor and other meaningful causes. The only problem is that people start to ask questions and time is running out for Damian and his older brother, Anthony because the cash is in British pounds and the country is just days away from switching to Euros. If they don’t spend the cash before the switch, it will be worthless.
The writing is very accomplished and very funny. Damian’s view of the world and how people react to him is seen through his autism. He’s very black and white in how he interacts with people, taking a literal stance on issues with his autism robbing him (or is it sparing him…?) of the true realities and nuances. This has been deftly employed by Boyce to create humour and an endearing quality to Damian’s character.
Who threw the cash from the train? Will they come back for it? How do Damian and Anthony rationalise trying to spend tens of thousands of pounds of stolen money? This is a engaging moral dilemma that Damian deals with effortlessly!
I highly recommend this to anyone, child or adult. I will definitely be looking out for more books by Boyce. The fact that this book is now to be a major motion picture, is no surprise to me at all.
Overall, it is about a torn family who are grieving the death of Damian and Anthony's mum (we assume from cancer, but the book isn't clear on that). It also has other meanings such as the fact that even though you may have all the things you think you WANT, money cannot buy you the things you NEED. When a young boy finds a bag of money at the time in which the currency is changing to Euros, so it only has value for 17 more days, he and his brother have to spend quickly. Damian thinks it is a gift from God and needs to be spent doing good; Anthony, his brother, prefers to indulge his taste in extravagance and real estate! Somehow, through a series of exciting adventures, Damian brings the family back together and they all discover that family and friends matter more than any amount of cash!
Personally, I would give this book five stars. Well done, Frank Cottrell Boyce - let's have a few more books. EH
Oliver Aged 11
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