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The Lost Boy s/c

The Lost Boy s/c The Lost Boy s/c The Lost Boy s/c

The Lost Boy s/c back

Greg Ruth


Page 45 Review by Stephen

A Young Adult book which I will concede I had misgivings about which were completely ill-founded and which I mention here now only in case you do too. Persevere! Also, please let me help for it will surprise, delight and maybe move you to tears.

Superficially, I wasn’t sure about the glossy reproduction of the sublime soft pencil and grey-wash pages. Trust me: you will become completely immersed for the art itself is to die for. I’d make comparisons to John J. Muth then mix in moments of Riven or Myst. Secondly, I had trouble with the segues until I realised that all events in the past had borders of black, and all strife in the present comes mounted in white. You will probably never experience those stumbles – but hopefully it helps.

Teenage Nate moves with his loving family into a new home. He’s encouraged to choose a room and, in doing so, discovers an old-school tape-recorder sequestered under its floorboards. Neighbouring Tabitha is eager to meet her new neighbour but is horrified when she discovers those self-same tapes. Why?

Flashback to young, missing Walter Pidgin, author of those tapes recorded on his dead mother’s recorder he carried around on his back many years ago. He’s begun to experience… visions? His dismissive father doesn’t want to know. He’d rather enjoy his playing-card games of solitary Patience. But there is a talking insect called Baron Tick taunting him on a mutt, a somewhat abrasive squirrel called Pettibone and a creepy, doll-like Tom Button who seems to want to give him a key. He visits bar-owner Haloran in the hope of finding some answers. He receives some answers, but unfortunately not all of them.

There is gateway at the bottom of his garden. There is something trying to get out. There are players choosing sides and using young Walter for their own purposes. There is also a bully called Curly Bill whom Walt bravely wrestles to rescue diminutiveTom Button. And that is his undoing. What happened to Walt?

Back in the present Nate and Tabitha attempt to unravel the mysteries of Walter’s sporadic recordings and in doing so discover the boy’s true fate. And that will take your breath away. They too are being used, but by whom? To what ends?

The best bits for me were both the subtle and stark differences between Walter, Nathan and Tabitha. Are you a second-chances kind of a gal or guy, or do you draw the line earlier? Is it wrong to stand up to bullies? How far should you take that? What can be forgiven, what can be forgotten, and what would naturally happen if you were ignored back home?

A true tragedy with unexpected consequences and a frightening power, this graphic novel starts low-key but then bursts into a scrambling struggle for fight-or-flight survival involving truth, consequences and very real vertigo. I’m not crossing that rope bridge!

It also sets the scene for far more to come.
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