Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Out Backward--#57 finished

A very good book about a sort of detached young man in England.  A simple kind of guy, that sounds like didn't really fit anywhere and took wrong any signals he received.  He is the son of a sheep farmer, his father is the cold & distant type & hard to get a good read on the mother.  There was an incident in high school where him & a girl were trying to hookup in someway at school and were caught.  The story is from his perspective so not really sure if he was more the innocent victim--in that he catches all the blame and the girl claims he molested her, or if she was really molested & he was just really unaware of the severity of his actions.  He is kicked out of school and just stays on the farm helping out.

The book starts with the neighbor's place being sold to a townie family and there is a girl there of around 15 or 16, the boy is now 19.  The boy just seems awkward in about everything he does, he brings the family a bucket of mushrooms but forgets to mention to check for maggots, which of course some have maggots.  Then also showing a violent streak as well, killing a chicken of a neighbor that he hates, throwing rocks at hikers and punching a man that strikes his dog.  These make you think while he is confused, his perspective might not be correct when assessing himself.

Eventually the boy & girl start to hang out and have an adventure or two.  You can tell she is having issues with school & family.  Finally she shows up at the barn where he is working overnight and wants to run away & have him help her.  He thinks they are now an item and after a day or two of running away, she changes her mind & he won't let her.  He knows he will be in trouble so ties her up and forces her on with the running away.  He is eventually caught.  The story ends with him getting close to getting out of jail after 4 or so years.  Again though cannot tell, because from his perspective, if he has learned anything or not.  I would guess no but will hope for yes.

A good read.  Hard to read because the writer puts lots of English dialect in the story but that does seem to make it more realistic, at least to me.

I have posted it on PBS, it is the only copy on the system so it should be moved at some point.

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