As soon as I finished the wonderful book by Robert McCammon Boy’s Life , I started looking for another similarly themed story and that lead me to the discovery of “Carry Me Down” by M. J. Hyland.
While listening to it (Yes I got the audio version.) I stumbled upon a great passage about the benefits of reading. :
“…Every school should have a library !
….yes Sir, I say Yes Mr. Rouch !
“No story books, means no readying stories.
…yes Sir, I say”
No reading stories means no imagination. We all start life with an imagination of course. But without stories to feed it, the imagination like a starved god dies. And when the person does not read, and when a person has no imagination they are sure to end up with no inventiveness of mind and spend the life with nothing but hackeneyed warn out things to say. A life of slogans, jargon and cliches. A weak man repeats what he hears and makes himself dumb. . . and no imagination means that the only life you have been given, God knows looking around here I’d say some of you haven’t been given much of a life. ”
I believe that this short quote from the book is enough to raise your interest towards it. I am glad that I have been reading a lot since I was around six. Both my teachers and parents have always encouraged this to be a habit of mine. I am positive that I would not have turned into the person I am if I haven’t read the books I have; the ones with adventures, the ones of Ancient Greece and Rome. The ones such as “Boy’s Life” and “Carry me down “.
And now to the story. The main character is John Egan, an imaginative and vulnerable 11-year-old who is on the edge of adolescence and learns about his new place in the society the hard way. The story is narrated in first person by the boy in a quite genuine manner, which soon makes you aware of John and his confused feelings, his parents, friends and relatives. One day John realizes that his father tells lies and then things start to change for him. He decides that he possesses a weird gift detecting lies no matter how good the liar is and starts considering himself a ” Human lie detector”. He even starts writing a special book called “The Gol of Seil” and decided that the Guiness Book of World Records should be interested in his unusual gift .
While reading the book you, like John, will discover a lot of things about Lies (I know I did) which would make you quite a good expert as well. John’s narration is very emotional and sincere and I believe that every reader of the book will get attached to his story of growing up. Once he becomes a certain age he believes that everything will change. That people treat him differently and he struggles to discover the reasons for these changes .
As a chronicle of his coming of age experience ” Carry me down ” is a great book as many of the youthful confusions are well described and analyzed. John wants to be different and unique. Don’t we all?
[pull_quote_right]I don’t see a point of living unless I could do something better than anyone else can. [/pull_quote_right]
A highly recommended by me “Carry me down” it is an engrossing story, that at its heart examines an adolescent’s difficulties navigating the world.
PS : There is one very violent scene – around the beginning which I found very tough . Also since I listened to the audio book I would like to say that the Irish accent of the narrator Gerard Doyle, fits perfectly into the story and he did an amazing job in transforming the words and emotions into spoken audio.
Carry Me Down by MJ Hyland Audio Review