Tommy Wieringa: Joe Speedboat

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This book observes the life of a small Dutch village through the eyes of Fransje, who is bound to a wheelchair after a nasty accident. His accident makes him an outsider, looking in at the fringes. He can't even speak, just write. He keeps an extensive journal, writing down everything he observes.

When Fransje was waking up from his coma, he heard people talk about a new kid in town. His name is Joe Speedboat, and even his arrival was full of drama: their moving van crashed straight to the living room of the Maandag family. Joe's dad died in the accident and the Maandag's were properly scared.

Joe is full of energy and has a big effect on the boys of Lomark. Fransje gets to know Joe, and the boys get fairly close. Joe is a wild card that tips the balance off for the whole town. However, Joe's not the last stranger to move in, and many events in the book are somehow started by outsiders who arrive to Lomark. Being an outsider is a major theme in the book: there are the outsiders moving in to Lomark, then there's Fransje, who is also an outsider looking in.

Fransje observers the life in Lomark from school and through the final exams and sees how the other kids leave Lomark to take over the world - and come back, either temporarily or for good. Fransje gets his chance to see the world, too. There's lots of action in this book, but also slower moments, slower thoughts. Lots of laughs, too, both in good and bad taste. All in all, the story of Joe, as seen through the eyes of Fransje, is a rich tale worth reading. (Review based on the Finnish translation.) [ Joe Speedboat at ]Joe Speedboat at LibraryThing ]

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This page contains a single entry by Mikko published on May 23, 2008 1:31 PM.

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