Friday, 9 September 2011

URBAN FANTASY REVIEW: The True Tale of the Monster Billy Dean - David Almond

Release Date: 01/09/11


This tale is told by 1 that died at birth by 1 that came into the world in days of endles war & at the moment of disaster.

Billy Dean is a secret child, growing up in the dark heart of Blinkbonny. He has a beautiful young mother and a father who arrives at night carrying the scent of incense and cigarettes. His world is just a bed, some pictures of the holy island and a single locked door, but his father fills his dreams with mysterious tales and dreadful warnings.

When his father disappears, Billy's mum brings him out into the world, and he learns the dreadful truth of what happened in Blinkbonny on the day he was born. Gradually he finds he has the gift of helping to rebuild what has been broken. But there is one figure who is beyond healing, who comes looking for Billy himself and is determined on a kind of reckoning.

I am Billy Dean. This is the truth. This is my tale.

David Almond's extraordinary first novel for adults is the story of a child, born of sin, who emerges into a post-industrial, almost apocalyptic world where the force of his innocence is tested to the extreme.


Most people will know David from his book Skellig and whilst his previous titles are aimed at the YA market this is his first leap into the adult world with a whole host of complex issues that explore life in depth allowing the spirit of man to prevail. As usual its well written, the characters not only familiar but have traits that we can all associate with and when added to his usual authorly voice and great use of prose it’s a title that really was a treat to read.

That said, its not a story that will appeal to everyone as the principle character has a fairly dire grasp on language but for me that adds to the charms of the book as a whole. All in a great piece of fiction and one that I feel a lot of people will enjoy, especially if you’ve grown up with David’s other works or want to get a young reader a great bridging title to the more adult world. Great fun.

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