Review Blog

Nov 26 2009

The lucky ones by Tohby Riddle

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Penguin,2009. ISBN 978014300569
(Age: 15 plus) Having just finished high school in Sydney in the 1980s, Tom and his best friend, Cain, drift through summer with parties, girls, music and cars. Tom begins art school where he tries to 'find out the meaning of life'. Life continues to change as his mother leaves home and when Cain moves in with Virginia, change is accelerated. The Harbour Bridge provides a constant presence and challenge, both physically and metaphorically, to the protagonists and it is through their attempts at climbing it that Tom is able to come to some realisations. Throughout the novel, life varies depending on which side of the bridge the boys are currently standing.
This is a slow moving novel, yet the very nature of the narrator's drifting only serves to heighten the mood and describes perfectly the time between leaving school and becoming a fully fledged adult as one seeks to discover what life is all about. The presence of the boys at Dylan's press conference cleverly highlights the erosion of their illusions about their idol as they are exposed to real life scenarios and the conclusion provides hope for the future.
Jo Schenkel

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