Top positive review
4 people found this helpful
One of the most memorable books from my childhood
on 16 March 2010
I feel I have to respond to the bad review as this was one of my favourite books as a child.
To the 1-star reviewer, it's not about a kid with a split personality, it's about a kid with an invisible (and real) friend. I assume you didn't read forwards ten or so pages to the end where you find out that the twist is that Oscar's 'imaginary' friend - Billy - actually does exist but none of the adults would believe him. I thought that this was a fantastic book, when I read it as a child (or was read it as a child), it's beautifully drawn (both physically and mentally).
I think that you might be looking at it with jaded adult eyes. First of all, children of that age probably/hopefully won't have a developed (or any) conception of split personalities (or rather, dissociative identity disorder); I didn't read it and think that Oscar had a mental illness (which he doesn't anyway, if you read to the end). I thought he was a kid doing kids stuff, everyone's had an experience as a child when they get blamed unfairly for something, and it's good to be able to sympathise with Oscar. For me at age 3 and 4 it was fun as it gives you a bit of a chill but is very amusing, and you take the side of Oscar - who's always trying to be good - and who is fully vindicated at the end when Billy finally makes his appearance.
I'd give it another go.