Wednesday, 11 May 2016



BOOK 148: THE DROWNING OF ARTHUR BRAXTON: CAROLINE SMAILES

BLURB: An urban fairy tale from the acclaimed author of 99 Reasons Why.
Arthur Braxton runs away from school.
He hides out in an abandoned building, an old Edwardian bathhouse.
He discovers a naked woman swimming in the pool.
From this point on, nothing will ever be the same.
The Drowning of Arthur Braxton is an unflinching account of the pain and trauma of adolescence and of how first love can transform the most unhappy of lives into something miraculous. It is a dark and brooding modern fairy tale from one of our most gifted writers.

REVIEW: I’m going to keep this short, and so I probably wont do this justice.  First of all I am too old for this book.  It is a teenager’s book, one of those ones with sex and swearing in to make it really appealing to the teens, make them feel like they’re doing something a bit naughty when they read it.  The word ‘cock’ was used, in my opinion, far too many times and as an adult I found it juvenile. However the book it narrated by teenagers, so then one could argue that the writer really does have an ear for the way teenage boys speak. And they do say cock a lot.

Many who read it describe this book as an urban fairy tale but I think it’s missing something that a fairy tale should have, it’s missing heart.  And I agree with many reviewers that Laurel (a criminally underused character that you start to connect with in the first chapter) is the most (or only) appealing character in the whole thing.

However, despite my criticisms, I did read this quickly and despite the fact that I knew what would happen in the end (Clue: it’s in the title) I did want to read the whole thing and it did keep me engaged. I must say it wasn’t what I was expecting but it was a quick read especially since the chapters with dialogue were laid out as a script and without the added nuisance of he said/she said, a technique I would like to see more often if I’m honest but also found quite lazy writing, I’m torn by this book, I am. Read it, you’ll either be confused or you’ll love it.

(A side note: If I’m honest, I didn’t like Arthur Braxton, I know teenage boys can be like this, but they don’t have to be, you should feel sorry for him, he’s going through a terrible time but you don’t because he’s a twat (and this is what he calls himself.)




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