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R.P. McIntyre

Saskatoon (Sask.), Thistledown Press, 1991. 176pp, paper, $16.00
ISBN 0-920633-84-6. CIP

Grades 7 to 9/Ages 12 to 14
Reviewed by Margaret Mackey.

Volume 19 Number 6
1991 November

This novel covers a lot of territory: some hockey, a bit of classical piano, and an extended family whose Christ­mas activities include one attempted suicide, one broken leg, one virtual nervous breakdown, and the death of a cat. Lanny, the hero, also has to cope with his friend stealing from him, his parents going on holiday without him, and a major fight with his girl-friend. At times the story runs out of control.

What also runs out of control, from time to time, is the narrative voice. The story is told in the first person and the present tense, but the time from which the narrative is being organized is never clear. Nor is its purpose: Lanny remarks, parenthetically on page seventeen, that his girl-friend got him to write this story, but doesn't say why. In a way that is now familiar from many such first-person narratives, Lanny often strays from his topic and uses a collo­quial, chatty style that sometimes jars.

Nevertheless, Lanny himself is an interesting, occasionally funny, occa­sionally thoughtful hero, and some of his reflections on the vagaries of being fifteen in a complicated family engage the reader. Teenage readers may enjoy it; adults may yearn for a fresh approach to the whole genre of the adolescent problem story.

Margaret Mackey, University of Alberta, Edmonton, Alta.
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