Saturday, September 10, 2011


Noah Barleywater Runs Away

by John Boyne
978 0 385 67597 0

Something is wrong at Noah's home, and he decides to run away. He's not being mistreated, it's made clear, but the nature is a mystery that some readers will guess at before it is revealed at the end.

In any case, he is now on the road and encounters some strange people and situations along the way, landing finally at a strange toyshop built under a most unusual tree. There, he meets an old man who seems to understand a great deal about him. By the end of a very odd and thought-provoking day of magical happenings and meandering discussion, Noah has learned enough to change his perspective and decide to return home, and the reader has learned enough to piece together the pieces of this fairy-tale-inspired story.

The ending is satisfying, if not as surprising as it might have hoped to be, and the read has a decidedly fairy-tale quality, as mentioned above. How well it all worked, though, I'm not certain. I think it is perhaps too old for most children, or too determinedly offbeat, but that is John Boyne's style, and to be honest, I didn't love his famous title The Boy in Striped Pajamas, either. I have to call this one a book that some will enjoy and some not, because I really believe it's a case where taste will dictate more than anything whether you walk away liking it or not.

Labels: , , , , , ,

Comments: Post a Comment

<< Home