Mulligan, Andy: The Boy With Two Heads.
MULLIGAN, Andy The Boy With Two Heads David Fickling, 2013 382pp $21.95 pbk ISBN 9780857560681 SCIS 1615088
Eleven year old Richard Westlake is a friendly, responsible boy who is good at football and is studying hard to get into grammar school. He has a great reputation and is well liked until Rikki appears. When Richard discovers a lump in his neck which rapidly grows into a second head, his world spirals out of control. Rikki is ruthless and sadistic, lashing out at all Richard holds dear. It is revealed that Richard is grieving the loss of 'Danda', his grandfather. Feeling guilty over his inability to prevent Danda's death, Richard is struggling to redeem control and find meaning in life. His alter ego seems hellbent on a path of self-destruction until the evil Dr Weston incarcerates the boy, planning to remove Rikki's head for research. The heads must work together to escape and survive.
This is a thought provoking novel built on an extraordinary premise. It contains an odd mix of genres that include fantasy, horror, black humour and adventure. The story was slow to get going and included several implausible scenarios. I found myself struggling with suspension of disbelief, particularly with the convenient ending. For mature readers. SS
[c] The copyright of all articles and reviews remain with the author.
All prices are recommended only.
** Book by an Australian author or illustrator
[dagger][dagger] Book by a New Zealand author or illustrator
[a] An outstanding book of its kind as recommended by the reviewer
[b] An outstanding New Zealand book of its kind as recommended by the reviewer