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Floyd Priddle

St. John's, Breakwater, 1990. 200pp, paper, $9.95
ISBN 0-920911-45-5. CIP

Grades 7 to 9/Ages 12 to 14
Reviewed by Esther Hutchinson.

Volume 18 Number 6
1990 November

From On the Beach to The Day After, survival after nuclear war has been an intriguing theme for many years. This novel shows influence of the growing sub-genre of "survivalist" fiction.

The story follows four friends through the early days following World War III. They take shelter in a ware­house under a store, later discovering a lower level, which has been equipped as a fall-out shelter. Some group interac­tion is shown, but much of the action involves battle with outsiders, including some graphic descriptions of the violence.

Although there is plenty of action and conversation, the story does not flow smoothly. Character development is hampered by the large cast of charac­ters. Subject and treatment seem more suited to television than the novel.

There are some logistical problems. Anyone who has ever lived in a small town would doubt the possibility of building and equipping such an exten­sive shelter in complete secrecy. Fur­thermore, the breakdown of civilization in the small town is almost instantane­ous. The transition from high-spirited teenagers baiting the local policeman to warriors killing anyone who threatens them happens with little evidence of hesitation or internal conflict.

Floyd Priddle is a Newfoundland teenager. He has written this novel over the last two years, with the encourage­ment of family, friends and teachers. While his efforts are ambitious, I feel that his editors have done him a disserv­ice in publishing when further editing might have been appropriate.

Esther Hutchinson, Spruce Grove Public Library, Spruce Grove, Alta.
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