Pirate's Island

Pirate's Island

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Product details

  • Hardback | 146 pages
  • 140 x 220mm
  • Oxford University Press
  • Oxford, United Kingdom
  • Ill.
  • 0192712861
  • 9780192712868

Review Text

Good-Bye to the Jungle introduced John Rowe Townsend as a keen observer of folkways, an astute filter of street talk; it also introduced, obliquely, the Jungle, the stratified slum of Cobchester, in Northern England, and some of its key citizens. Now we're back in the Jungle, back in 1946 ("de-mob," shortages, rationing) with cynosure Tony Boyd (not yet a Rector) and especially with overfed and overprotected Gordon "Porky" Dobbs, twelve, and neglected nine-year-old visionary Sheila. When Sheila enlists Gordon in locating and then exploring Pirate's Island - a few feet of barren ground in the middle of the sluggish River Midwell - he is first curious and then caught up in the task of constructing a raft; he becomes a doer and, because Sheila believes in him, dares do what he wouldn't have done before - strike a tormentor and later pursue the thieves who've taken old Mr. Kite's savings. Sheila's salvation is concurrent: through the intercession of Tony and the Vicar, she'll have a new home in the Vicarage - fettered by meals on time, but at least there'll be meals. At the very last, Gordon deserts Sheila for the boys, with her blessing. No impediment of dialect in this one, a little strangeness from the home front references, mostly two unlikely friends and their shared satisfaction. Less compelling but also less cutting than the first, and younger, this may turn out to be the more popular of the two. (Kirkus Reviews)show more