Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Ghost Town Richard W. Jennings.

Ghost Town by Richard W. Jennings 13 yr old Spencer Honesty is the last kid left in Paisley Kansas. He and his mom are the last two people left in Paisley. Spencer has his imaginary friend an Indian named Chief Leopard Frog to keep him company. When I first read the book summary, I had my doubts. I couldn’t help wondering how in the hell is the author going to pull this off, and make me care about the last boy in a town. It was that same feeling I got when I heard the plot for Cast Away, and we all know how that turned out for Tom Hanks. Not only did Jennings pull it off, he does it quickly with style. The author has created a very enduring character in Spencer, he is smart, funny, insightful, thoughtful, loveable and not afraid to cry. He is our tour guide of a town that has disappeared. Spence tells of his neighbors, the factory that held the town together and the politics that goes into destroying a small town. Spence starts taking pictures of Paisley with his father’s old camera. Some former residents begin to appear in his photos. In an effort to better understand the camera’s power Spence writes to Swartzman, a businessman in the Cayman Island. The two exchange letters back and forth eventually becoming business partners. Their letters are one of the many things I loved about this book. There’s also Chief Leopard Frog’s not so lucky craved talisman. Spencer is has one no him when he falls 16ft breaking his collarbone. Spence is pretty much left on his own to recover.

“It didn’t take long for me to learn two pain pills will help pass the time better than one, and three could get me through an afternoon. I began to complain of increasing pain simply to get more pills. No one questioned my motives. Who cares if there’s a kid in the country somewhere getting more medication than he needs? Certainly no the overworked (and overpaid) Dr. Appletree. Certainly not the ever changing pharmacists at Wal Mart. That I spent my days in a drug induced stupor is adequately demonstrated in the several out of focus pictures that came back to me in the mail a fortnight later. (from Arc)

Ghost Town is a wonderful must read. Reluctant reader friendly ages 12 up. Scheduled to be released in June.

No comments: