Gaffer Samson's Luck

Overview

James's difficulty in adjusting to a new school and life in the Fens is further complicated by the request of an elderly neighbor to find his lucky piece, a task which puts James in some danger.

James's difficulty in adjusting to a new school and life in the Fens is further complicated by the request of an elderly neighbor to find his lucky piece, a task which puts James in some danger.

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Overview

James's difficulty in adjusting to a new school and life in the Fens is further complicated by the request of an elderly neighbor to find his lucky piece, a task which puts James in some danger.

James's difficulty in adjusting to a new school and life in the Fens is further complicated by the request of an elderly neighbor to find his lucky piece, a task which puts James in some danger.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
In a time and place that might be in the future but feasibly could have been in the past, Walsh writes of two teenagers, Cal and Dio, who are put in charge of a torch when its old guardian dies. Dio is possessed by the idea of finding the torch's true resting place, and so they begin a journey, accompanied by some friends from their village and taking on others along the way. Some of the people they meet allude to the idea that this torch has come from the fires of the last Olympics; the teenagers are, rightfully or wrongfully, taken as the true torchbearers and find themselves involved with corrupt Games. The torch, they find, has mysterious waysit only flares up when someone is doing something purely for the love of the act, not for glory. The conceptual landscape of Walsh's journey is powerfully drawn and full of provocative questions about the meaning of sports and sportsmanship. It is a gripping story, both as an adventure and as a timeless quest, with no foreseeable end or any easily inferred answers. Ages 12-up. (April)
School Library Journal
Gr 7 Up Paton Walsh takes on competition, as metaphorically represented by a torch held in secret by a Guardian living in a primitive future society on a Greek island. When Dio and his fiancee, Cal, seek the Guardian for their required marital instruction, they discover that he is near death . He passes on his responsibility for the torch to Dio as they spend the night in his deathwatch. This action so compromises them that they have no choice but to flee their village, and, joined by other young teens, they go on a quest to find the people who existed in a time called the Ago when games called the Olympiad were heldfor this is the last Olympic torch. The journey itself reveals the many faces of the games, as different societies find ways to use contests for selfish and often cruel ends. When one of the teens is kidnapped to run for profit, his companions search for him and meet a scholar who, in the heart of the book, reveals the secret of the Ago. As the book closes, the children have found a home for the torch and themselves. This is not an entirely successful book. Paton Walsh has concentrated so much on the ideas behind her plot that she has left strings dangling, such as the universal use of English by most of the characters, despite their geographic isolation. Also, most of the characters are poorly defined, and some are stereotypes. The lack of attention to detail can mar readers' concentration on the larger ideas of Paton Walsh's narrative, which are indeed challenging and original. If her book is not entirely successful, it is a rewarding challenge to readers who will not emerge with answers but rather an added ability to ask some important questionsnot a bad accomplishment for any novel. Christine Behrmann, New York Public Library
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780606046770
  • Publisher: San Val, Incorporated
  • Publication date: 11/1/1990
  • Format: Library Binding

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