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This issue’s cover illustration by Catherine Rayner is from Solomon Crocodile. Catherine Rayner is interviewed on p.14 of this issue. Thanks to Macmillan Children's Books for their help with this May cover.
By clicking here you can view, print or download the fully artworked Digital Edition of BfK 194 May 2012 .
A few pages from the end of this novel one of the principal characters, Daisy, reviews her experiences and reveals that she 'felt like she'd been inside a tumble drier, her head spinning and her stomach churning’. Her comments might well be seen, without too much exaggeration, as echoing those of some readers on the novel as a whole. Heads will certainly spin in an effort to keep up with the quite relentless pace of Smith's 500-plus pages and, once or twice at the very least, some stomachs may churn in response to the quite scary graphic detail of certain individual moments. The central theme of the novel is concerned with two teenage boys – Brick and Cal – and a 12-year-old girl, Daisy, who, unaccountably and frighteningly, find themselves victims of the 'Fury' of the title when just about everyone seems to turn against them: what starts as relatively straightforward verbal and psychological bullying becomes something altogether more viciously violent. (Brick's treatment at the hands of his girl friend Lisa does not make for easy reading. 'My girl friend tried to kill me, she tried to bite my face off,' he plaintively records at one point.) The trio's discovery that they are not alone in their affliction and their subsequent move to an abandoned theme park in 'the arm pit of Norfolk' – very atmospherically described – take us to several highly dramatic incidents, involving much speculation not merely about zombies at one extreme and angels at another but also about contemporary civilisation and the way it is, or is not, progressing. There is much here that need not, perhaps, be taken too seriously - but, equally, there is much that can be interpreted as, rather disturbingly, touching on our fears and confusions, adolescent and otherwise.