"Perhaps there is no place more barren or bleak than a new subdivision on the edge of suburbia where no one but the poor would want to live. Toby's girlfriend Suzie is pregnant but doesn't know it yet. The tiny foetus is the novel's ocassional first-person voice, with a connectedness to the ghosts of the past and future. Beneath the concrete and tar were once trees, animals and a poisoned swimming-hole where Aboriginal children floated dead into the arms of their wailing parents. The unborn child is the sole flicker of hope in Another, with a will to live and love of its life-to-be.
"Suzie, on the other hand likes the idea of suicide, but it mainly content to cut herself with a razor, carving away all the ugly memories and forming careful patterns. She likes scars, and she like Toby for his scarred back, badly burned as a child. Toby does a bit of stealing and likes the sensation of striking an unconscious man's head repeatedly with a metal bar, for the unfamiliar feeling of power; an expression of the helplessness in his tormented past.
"Another is a brutal novel, full of violence and hatred. Yet everything about it is true and clearly recognisable, from daily news reports if not from one's own life. The characters are on a descending spiral and Joel Deane seems to know them better than they will ever know themselves.
"People like Toby and Suzie might never pick up a book to read, and they don't want to know or care what others think, but the rest of us need to know what makes them that way. Another is a book for young adults who love words put in the right order, often poetic, telling a shocking story with a profound clarity of voice and vision." - Margot Nelmes, Reading Time
Tuesday, June 26, 2007
Review of Another from Reading Time