Posts Tagged ‘Mysticism’

Harsu & the Werestoat by Barbara Else.

April 5, 2019 Comments off

HarsuHarsu & the Werestoat by Barbara Else. Pub. Gecko press, 2019.

This is one of the weirdest novels I have ever read, yet I was compelled to finish it, in order to understand it. I am not sure that I did but here is what I think.

Daama is the mother of 12 year old Harsu. Daama is the daughter of the Wind God, changes into a werestoat, wields power through charms, signs and magic and feels she should be praised for being a good mother and goddess. She is not. She is narcissistic and shallow in her beliefs and deserves to be curbed.

Harsu is part human, devoted to his mother but can’t forgive her for eliminating his father. Fortunately Harsu’s father left him enough clues to curb the power of his mother through charms and signs written on a clay tablet that he carries around with him.

Daama wants perfection in her children and sees the pock marked Harsu as not good enough to praise her. She is wrong. Daama kidnaps two seemingly perfect boys and a girl and locks them in jars letting them go periodically so they can praise her.

Together they all pass through the gate of Time and Place and travel through the mystical world arriving finally in New Zealand, while Daama pursues admiration and power.

Harsu is the key to her downfall and must learn that through reading and writing he can quell his mothers powers. But he has to box clever. The ending is tense with many lives at stake.

See if you can do better than me in explaining this novel. It has been written for middle readers, somewhat like a legend or myth or fairy tale but it baffled me.

The Monster Billy Dean by David Almond

December 30, 2011 Comments off

The Monster Billy Dean by David Almond. Pub. Penguin Group, Puffin Books, 2011.

This is undoubtedly the most original book of the year but for many it will be beyond their interests and too difficult to get into. Not for me though I have enjoyed every one of David Almond’s books no matter how dark and sinister they appear to be.

Billy Dean was born the day terrorists with car bombs and suicide bombers blew the guts out of the town of Blinkbonny. Thirteen years later the town is still in ruins and into this world comes Billy Dean after being locked away from everybody for the whole of his life.

Billy Dean is the product of a great crime. His young mother was seduced by a priest and is brought up by his mother secluded from the world. His father Wilfred is an out and out religious lunatic and his influence on Billy when he visits is deeply disturbing. The absent father is a frequent theme in David Almond’s novels.

When the father leaves for ever, Billy is released into a world that views him as an angel, as a mystic, as a faith healer as a messiah. Billy doesn’t know any better and understands nothing of what is going on. I will leave it to you to decipher the ending and the role that Billy assumes. It is a mystery and in parts disturbing.

To add to the mystery the novel is written in a geordie accent in words that are written as they sound, phonics, I think it is called. Perhaps it is the way language is going, I like it better than text language. It takes a bit of getting used to but you do. You couldn’t get the Geordie accent across any other way.

Definitely senior secondary.  For me it was compelling reading.