Eating Things on Sticks
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This issue’s cover features Ally Kennen and her latest book, Quarry. Ally Kennen is interviewed by Julia Eccleshare. Thanks to Marion Lloyd Books for their help with this January cover.
By clicking here you can view, print or download the fully artworked Digital Edition of BfK 186 January 2011
Having burnt down the family’s kitchen, Harry sets off to spend a holiday with his Uncle Tristram on a remote Scottish island with his uncle’s new girlfriend. The enthusiastic reaction of other reviewers to this story when it first appeared in hardback makes me wonder whether I have lost my sense of humour. True, Anne Fine’s ear for barbed dialogue and her jaundiced eye for human behaviour are still apparent. This is essentially a comedy of adult behaviour as observed by a child and there are plenty of laughs at adult expense (although some might be over the heads of her child readers). There’s a well signposted apocalyptic finale. But there are also some weary characters and situations: the bad weather of Scottish islands, the beardedness of their inhabitants and the incomprehensibility of their language; and some characters and situations that, despite the ingenuity with which they are deployed, are so implausible as to lose the sense of reality on which this kind of comedy depends.