Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Reading - Carry me Down

Carry me Down by M. J. Hyland

At 11, John Egan is nearly six feet tall with a deep voice, and he feels like a freak, especially after he wets himself in class. John believes he is a gifted human lie detector, and he himself is a great liar; his obsession is to be famous and have his gift recognized in the Guinness Book of World Records, but until then, he must deal with the destructive undercurrents of his loving but fragile family.

But why is Dad lying? The child's naive first-person, present-tense narrative brings achingly close his helplessness in a powerful adult world. He may be a giant, but he has no control. Why suddenly is the family moving? Where to? What is wrong? When they land up in the public-housing projects in Dublin, the scary threat seems to be from a brutal street gang, but the real terror turns out to be in the intimacy of his home. John finds himself in a hostile world where certainty is lost. Even his relationship with his mother - a bond which is peculiarly close - begins to break down. Amid the confusion, John can rely on only one thing : his ability to detect lies. But John's obsession with uncovering the truth soon becomes a violent and frightening fixation.

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