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Svendsen, Mark: To Die For.

** SVENDSEN, Mark To Die For Woolshed Press, 2011 186pp $16.95 pbk ISBN 9781864719314 SCIS 1500779


This novel takes place mostly on the open sea. If you begin reading the book at night, don't expect to get any sleep until you have finished it. The pace is frenetic and the tension almost unbearable. Against his mother's better judgment, but with his father's blessing, Christos is going to take their fishing boat out, a small dory named L'il Bit, overnight, as a fourteenth birthday present. Mark Svendsen has mixed an account of the journey in the boat with dramatic passages of direct thought from Christos--about the tasks he sets himself on the boat, about his parents, about the girl he is infatuated with, and hopes to kiss. It is not giving too much of the plot away to say that there is a whale, a mighty shark, and many fish in this tale of the sea that borrows from Hemingway to pit a small person in a small boat against a large fish on the deep sea. It is a thrilling two days, full of mistakes, surprises, lapses, triumphs and catastrophes--a coming of age tale that will provide our hero with stories that will turn his mother's hair prematurely grey. Unputdownable, and strangely fascinating for the sheer detail of life on a fishing boat. Recommended for insomniacs from 10 to 16 years, (I am well beyond that age range and still enjoyed it).

** Book by an Australian author or illustrator

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Author:Brophy, Kevin
Publication:Reading Time
Article Type:Book review
Date:May 1, 2011
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