What’s not to like about a loner on an island he protects with ritual killings of animals and insects? Who tries to tell the future by killing wasps in a factory he has created from an old clock?
How could you not be interested in the mad fantasies of a 16-year-old who blows up bunnies and thinks the female of the species is useless? Who killed three children before he was 10, and is blasé about it?
The reader ought to hate this character and his family. His dad is distant and is hiding something, and his brother is equally mad and on his way home.
When it came out, everybody seemed to. At least the snooty literary critics did, and the book loved hosting all their disgusted quotes inside it’s cover. Genius.
The book’s themes are many, covering gender, isolation leading to savagery, and Frankenstein (what mad experiment is Frank’s dad playing on him?).
It’s greatest achievement is to make you like such a central character, who you would cross the street to avoid in real life.
It is a book I wish I had written.
Arguments for reading it:
Arguments Against Reading It: