Wednesday, August 31, 2016

The Tightrope Walkers


"We are only in this world for a short period of vivid and wonderful waking in an eternity of dreamless dark." -David Almond, The Tightrope Walkers

This is something different than I normally read, and I had a hard time getting into the book. It definitely wasn't very fast paced, and I couldn't seem to find any common ground with the characters. This doesn't mean that is was necessarily poorly written, just something that didn't really work for me. 

Dominic Hall lives in the shipyards in northern England, where he traverses between two different worlds: one with Holly Stroud, where they live in stories, art, and dreams of being tightrope walkers, and one with Vincent McAlinden, full of danger, recklessness, and rebellion. Dominic must learn to balance between the two before he finally becomes a man.

Though I personally couldn't get into this book, there were some beautiful moments; the writing itself was quite lyrical and poetic, actually, like the quote I included above. But there was just one major thing that bothered me throughout the entire novel, the way the dialogue was used. Almond used an English dialect within his text that was hard to read at times, and while I understand the effect that he was going for, I think the book would have worked just as well without it. 

The other aspect of the book that threw me off was the pacing of events in the story. It felt incredibly slow moving at the beginning, and it took awhile for me to find the driving conflict of the story. It made the book really hard to get engaged in. But I finished it none-the-less! I always try to finish books, to get the full effect.

3/5 stars

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