Not too sure why so many books I’ve picked up recently, have been so full of Hardyesque doom and gloom! What with The Narrow Road … and The Vegetarian, surely the angry Gods up there must think I’ve had my fair share of the no-way-out-of-a-vicious-circle stuff by now?
As one whirlpool continues on its descent downwards, another begins on that some journey into the pits of despair …
I look at my hand, or rather the space where my hand once was, and see in its place – a supplanter! My hand has been displaced, and replaced, by a …
There is no escape for the likes of me! I’ve been hooked in, hooked into my destiny of doom. Doomed forever to read on and on and on, digging myself deeper and deeper and deeper into the soil. Into a soil kept nutritionally rich by the rich pickings to be found in the broken remains of Thomas Hardy and his victims.
But Hardy got one thing wrong. Because, as far as I’m concerned there are ways I could spend my living and breathing time on, or in, this Earth, far worse than to be engrossed, or rather ‘lost’, in a good book, wandering around in the fog of the dark-fantasy world created by Christina Henry in ‘Lost Boy’.
Were Thomas Hardy alive today, he himself would have dreamt up Jamie, the main character in Henry’s novel.
Jamie is trying his best to suppress his pangs of a conscience and to forge out a living and breathing existence within an isolated and violent island community. The island’s human inhabitants are all boys, boys completely controlled by Jamie’s best friend and worst enemy, Peter Pan. Peter has Jamie’s life – and its ending – all mapped out, as Jamie’s young charge, Charlie, recognises:
‘Charlie …pressed his face against my chest, like he was trying to climb inside my skin, trying to find a place where he could be safe from the story. Only Charlie and I seemed to know it wasn’t to end well, and only I knew the story was meant for me.’ (Henry, p.47)
But surely, surely, the story can be changed …?
Surely Thomas Hardy’s legacy cannot be allowed to reign supreme forever?
Christina Henry, break free from your ties from Thomas Hardy! Thomas Hardy, stand aside, get back down under, and leave your followers free to carry on living into the future ….
Leave them free, to follow me ….
As, I Jay Cool, put the world to rights with a happy ending. A sequel to the ‘Lost Boy’?
How about the ‘Found Boy’, or even the ‘Living Girl’? Sally lives on …
Who’s Sally? Read ‘The Lost Boy’ for yourself and find out! Take yourself on a trip to the alternative reality that is Waterstones online and, whilst you’re there, pick up a few more treats for your feast!
Copyright owned by Jay Cool, 15th October, 2019
Other book reviews by Jay Cool. All titles available at Waterstones: