Wednesday, 27 October 2010

When I Was Ivo: Keren David on The Liberators

Keren David, author of two heart-stopping, gimlety thrillers, When I Was Joe and Almost True, which follow the adventures of a teenager called Ty who becomes involved in a stabbing, has written about The Liberators. I am glad that she likes Strawbones - my own favourite. I think that Ivo and Ty would get on very well together. We should arrange a meeting. Here's what she said:

'On the surface, it's a fast-moving, exciting adventure, with well-drawn characters that you care about - and intriguing sinister baddies,whose seductive charm is irresistible. It would make a wonderful film - the riot on Oxford Street, and the final scenes in the National Gallery make great use of London as a setting.
But it goes so much deeper. I was extremely impressed by the way you conveyed Dionysian ecstasy in a way that a young audience would understand - particularly the sexual undertones, which were suitably subtle but definitely there - and the conflict between Dionysian and Apollonian philiosophies. So often nowadays we see mythology raided for storylines, but stripped of its essential meaning.
I also loved the way that Ivo, Felix and Miranda were unapologetically posh and privileged - learning Greek, going to boarding school and living with servants. I wrote a post on Norm Geras's blog recently about the importance of boarding school books for those of us who did not go to a school where Greek and Latin were taught. I learned a great deal from reading books about boarding school children - not only about poetry and the classics, but about how the upper classes lived - extremely useful information in later life!
I only have tiny criticisms - much as I loved the image of Charles and Camilla at the party, I did wonder about the security arrangements. And at the beginning I was a little bewildered by all the characters and had to go back and check who was who a few times. But once I'd got everyone straight in my head, and particularly when Strawbones appeared, I was completely hooked.

Now I must get hold of The Other Book (great title).


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