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Dance on My Grave Paperback – October 1, 2008
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An Action-Packed Retelling of a Classic
London has been destroyed in a blitz of bombs and disease. The only ones who have survived the destruction and the outbreak of a deadly virus are children, among them sixteen-year-old Gwen Darling and her younger siblings, Joanna and Mikey. Hardcover | Kindle book
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Top Customer Reviews
Hal seems much more committed to the relationship than Barry, who acts as though his time with Hal is merely an exciting fling. And one morning, Barry, filled with exhilaration, makes Hal promise that if one of them dies, the other must dance on his grave. For Barry to ask such a daring thing of Hal only serves to further arouse Hal's interest and he becomes more obsessively committed than ever, for he had always hoped to find the ideal, "bosom" friend, and he feels that Barry must certainly be "the one".
Dance on My Grave was like nothing I had ever read before, and admittedly, the novel seems targeted more towards a British audience and someone unfamiliar with British terms may have to reread certain parts several times to fully understand the book. But I have remained forever attatched to this book, for it evoked such emotions in me as I had never felt before. You can't help but feel sympathy for Hal, who, for his whole life, has been searching for the perfect friend and lover but could never find anyone that fit his ideals... until he met Barry.
The lesson of the desperate, clinging obsession that comes with true and unconditional love in this story seems to be like the young adult equivallent to Joseph Olshan's Nightswimmer. I highly recommend this book.
This book is written in a quirky, interesting, experimental manner. The text consists of Hal's first person account, six "running reports" by Hal's social worker, two newspaper clippings, and a school essay. The personal account features "action replays" in which Hal goes over the scene he has just described filling in the psychological details that could not be included in the flow of action. One important theme to arise is the 'postmodern' question of how much a written account mirrors reality? Hal desperately wants to be honest, but no matter how much he tries his words fail to describe the true 'feeling' of events, or can be interpreted in a way that varies from the 'truth'.
While being an account of a death the book is often surprisingly funny. I found myself laughing out loud in several parts. Grief, however, inevitably takes the main stage at the end of the story, and is represented in some considerable depth.Read more ›