19 Jun If a book were a song #1 ‘The Fall’ by Tristan Bancks
I’ve had this little idea for reviewing books for a while…
The two creative things I love most are music and reading. So, why not combine the two in a review series?
This ongoing review series is called ‘If a Book Were a Song’, in which I’ll review a book I’ve been reading and then try to capture the essence of the book in a song.
Welcome to… IF A BOOK WERE A SONG #1
THE FALL by Tristan Bancks (Random House Australia, 2017)
Twelve-year-old Sam is woken in the early hours of the morning by two men arguing in the apartment above. A boy with an eye (and ear) for detail, Sam’s interest is aroused, and he listens in, finding himself at the window for better hearing. There’s a scuffle above and a black shadow falls past, landing with a thud on the ground below. Sam believes he’s just witnessed a murder.
It’s an exciting premise for a story.
What ensues is a fast-paced, gripping story in which our boy detective, Sam, is in a race to solve a crime before he becomes the next victim himself.
Bancks’s ability to pace a story is enviable. While an absolute page turner (I finished the book in two days, though under 24 hours), the story allows for complex character development and reflections, as well as moments of relieving humour. From page one, the story is always heading for a climax, and the reader is left hanging at the end of each chapter. The climax itself is a thrilling night chase through the Australian bush – something that will no doubt capture the imaginations of Banck’s readers.
A surprising element in The Fall (or lack thereof) is its minimal use of dialogue. This is quite a feat given the complexities of Sam’s relationships. The story is predominantly told through the past tense thoughts of young Sam, yet it manages to forge on at blistering pace. It really will have you turning the pages quickly in an attempt to keep up.
The action sequences are written in a way that young readers will be able to visualise clearly. Bancks’s background in filmmaking shines through in these moments.
This is a book I would have LOVED my twelve-year-old self to read. Perfect for upper primary through middle high school.
IF THIS BOOK WERE A SONG…
Energetic, dynamic, driving reflection, moments of tension, calculated, tight.
‘White Shadows’ by Coldplay