Sunday, 11 July 2010
The Children of Dynmouth by William Trevor
The children of Dynmouth was first published in 1976 and was short-listed for the booker prize. If I was to sum up this book in one word it would be 'Sinister'.
The novel follows an awkward teenager Timothy Gedge around Dynmouth; a typical English seaside town. Timothy has convinced himself he is destined to become a famous comedian and in order to do so he should start by performing in his local Easter talent show. As he proceeds with his plans Timothy is confronted by obstacles that threaten to derail his dream. In response to these setbacks he becomes more and more delusional and sinister to the point of being evil. He terrorises numerous residents of the town and does his best to hurt people and mess up their lives.
This is just the kind of book I love and I enjoyed reading it immensely. A community is striped bare as Timothy does his rounds, peaking into peoples windows, threatening young children with just a few words and a smile and blackmailing adults. The tension builds up throughout the book (which is less than 200 pages) to its conclusion where the community of adults are forced to ask themselves; did we create this monster?
The novel deals with plenty of other issues such as the effect on society when children are forced to bring themselves up with absent parents and the obsession with becoming a celebrity. These issues give the book depth and I found myself speculating on them, the book even hints that perhaps there is a place for people like Timothy in this world.
I loved this book (and not just for the pretty cover) a dark and chilling tale which will make you think.
Posted by Jess