Blue Dog

Irish Independent - Weekend Review - - FRONT PAGE -

Louis de Bernières

Vin­tage, 144 pages, €14.00

Cap­tain Corelli’s Man­dolin was a pub­lish­ing sen­sa­tion more than 20 years ago and de Bernières has come nowhere close to match­ing its ap­peal in sub­se­quent years. His lat­est, slim, book is a com­ing-of-age tale aimed at young adults.

City boy Mick suf­fers a double trauma: his fa­ther has died and his mother has been ad­mit­ted to a psy­chi­atric fa­cil­ity. He’s forced to live with his grand­fa­ther in the mid­dle of the Aus­tralian out­back. He struggles to ad­just to the change of life — and to the strange ways of his work-hard­ened guardian. But find­ing an ap­par­ently lost puppy helps bring the boy out of his shell and fos­ter a re­la­tion­ship with his grand­fa­ther, es­pe­cially when a cy­clone hits and the pair have to rely on each other.

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