Top positive review
Gripping YA adventure
8 May 2016
Smugglers, betrayal, murder, love, avarice, it would be difficult to say what Falkner’s late 18th Century tale of adventure doesn’t have. In my opinion Moonfleet equals Stevenson’s or Twain’s works although it’s never quite received the same recognition.
As with Jim Hawkins or Huck Finn, the tale’s main character and first person narrator, is a young boy, John Trenchard, yet I would argue that in terms of characterisation Falkner’s work is superior to these two other works, for the maturational journey from naïve youth to guilt ridden and almost broken adulthood is expertly handled. In contrast to the YA, boy’s own adventure scenes earlier on, the last third is incredibly emotive, especially the final shipwreck scene and Elzevir Block.
Chance is a recurring theme in the novel (symbolised as the role of dice in a backgammon game), as is self-resilience and these two elements are juxtaposed throughout as Trenchard’s fate rises then falls dramatically until its seems utterly hopeless.
No spoilers here though, you should read this one for yourself.