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Customer Review

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Characters so good they feel real, 8 Aug. 2014
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This review is from: The Tightrope Walkers (Kindle Edition)
As Dom grows Almond gives us the opportunity to live through his pains and his fears. It is possible to feel his feelings as Almond writes so well and despite being a little further from the Tyne than the generation before him, it’s the river and the North East surrounds which are ever present in all his decisions and everything that is planned to become of him. I love how beautifully David Almond paints the details of Dom’s story. My favourite scenes are those when his parents visit his school or attend parent’s evening. His father works on the shipyards and wasn’t well educated, the same as his mother, and when they visit the school their deference and use of ‘sir’ is akin to their son’s, more reverential at points. This is just one of the many scenes that Almond created that just completely stuck in my mind.

The Tightrope Walkers also paints the friendships of childhood perfectly. One day all Dom wants in his life is to practice tightrope walking with Holly Stroud. The next day he’s off racing through the fields and shooting with Vincent McAlinden. Vincent is one of the most brilliant young characters I’ve read in awhile, he’s different, exceptionally so, and he knows it. Even as they grow Vincent stands out and in his difference he becomes enigmatic and exciting as well as something to be feared. I can picture the boys in my youth who were viewed the same was as Vincent and it’s another testament to Almond’s skill.

I felt completely wrapped up in Dom’s world and when tragedy struck it was possible to feel it. As Dom was required to grow up quickly it was hard not to empathise with him and even his rough, old dad who at times was quite hard to relate to.

I’m talking about these characters as if they’re real because that’s how good Almond is.
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Location: Liverpool

Top Reviewer Ranking: 29,808