Friday, 22 August 2008

My Thoughts: The Changeling by Robert Jenkins

I was having one of those afternoons today, there was no one around to go out with, I couldn't concentrate on my work or studying, and none of the books I'm currently reading matched my mood. So I decided there was only one thing for it - to start a completely new book. I not only started one but finished it as well.

The Changeling is apparently a British Classic, but it somehow must have passed me by because I had never heard of it, or of the author. This novel was written in 1958 and is set in Scotland. Tom is 13 years old, he lives in the Slums in Glasgow, with a alcoholic mum and step-father, younger brother and sister, in a flat which is grubby and filled with damp. On the estate everyone steals, drinks and isn't all that bright (the books depiction of the estate, not mine).

But Tom is bright, bright enough to go to a different school to the kids from the estate. At school he immediately stands out, very clever but not trusted, grubby and in second hand clothes. The teachers generally admire his intelligence but are extremely pejudiced against him because of his background, and his criminal record. Only Mr Forbes has any compassion. Mr Forbes decides that Tom should go on holiday with him and his family, to give the boy a chance in life, an opportunity to see life off of the estate.

Before the holiday even begins the Forbes have their doubts about the boy, in some ways he wins them over and in others he confirms their prejudices.

A good read, but relies heavily on stereotypes, and as with the family and his friends the reader feels they never get to 'know' Tom


Unread Authors: Book 6 of 6

Others Thoughts:

If you have read this book, feel free to put a link to your review in the comments and I'll add it to the post.

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