Shovelmonkey1's Reviews > The Highest Tide

The Highest Tide by Jim Lynch
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May 24, 2012

really liked it
bookshelves: inner-child, read-in-2012
Recommended to Shovelmonkey1 by: my sister
Recommended for: anyone who's ever looked into a rock pool and thought wow!
Read from May 23 to 24, 2012 , read count: 1

Aw, this book touched me in my special place. No, not that special place you filthy minded bunch. I am referring to that happy childhood place that was preserved within my heart before it became glacial with the hoare frost of the general cynicism that comes from working with idiots and generally being alive in the UK in the 21st century.

Life is a beach for wee Miles O'Malley. Although the wee moniker is a minor sticking point because he's nearly fourteen now and yet cruel fate, and genetics have left him trailing behind in the height stakes. Oh yeah and his Mum and Dad might be getting a divorce, and his best friend is a really old lady called Florence who, if we are being honest from the outset, is really really unlikely to survive to the end of the book.

So this is a big boo hoo fest then?

Well, not really, although if you are prone to a bit of a sniffle then maybe keep a box of tissues handy. But it is a beach based bildungsroman charting the literal and metaphorical growth of Miles O'Malley as well as the changes which one short summer wreaks on the physical and moral geography of his home town. The main focus of the book is Miles love of all things environmental, especially his passion for the slipping, sliding and swimming occupants of Skookumchuck Bay. The summer kicks off with him finding a giant squid washed up in the bay and this catapults him to the status of local celebrity. The papers and TV hail him as some kind of mini David Attenborough and the local cult think he might be the messiah (although maybe he is just a very naughty boy...).

Despite my better judgement and the fact that I at first spent a lot of time thinking, this is YA, it's got to be YA - but it got listed on the Richard and Judy book club and they don't read YA do they? - I actually really liked this. For those of you who are wondering at this stage who in the name of Christ are Richard and Judy then here they are http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Richard_... . I've not included any pics because I'm not clever like all the other people who put pictures in their reviews and also I don't think it is fair to inflict images of Richard on unsuspecting folks. To give you the capsule version they are a gaff prone married couple who used to present morning television here in the UK. Kind of like the Queen and Prince Philip except Judy is the older of the two (although not older than Prince Philip) and Richard is famed for the same kind of social and political cringers as Phil, which have always left the public wondering why there is not some kind of ASBO just for posh people and people who are inappropriate on the telly.

Anyway, they said this book was good on their TV book club and they were right. Tarted up with cute little line drawings of sea creatures, the pithy observations of thirteen year old Miles and his hormonal chums as they attempt to navigate the pitfalls of adolescence without first exploding like some kind of giant excess sperm-bomb. Throw in some drugs, some death and a natural disaster and you've got a surprise winner on your hands. If you're looking for your first summer read then I recommend this one!
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Reading Progress

05/23/2012 page 45
18.0% "Is this YA? it has that YA feel to it. But then it has a Richard and Judy seal of approval which is both confusing and also something that normally scares me away from a book."
05/24/2012 page 194
79.0% "this book has the spirit of summer and childhood about it and even a dried up old crustacean like myself has found it hard to resist."
04/08/2016 marked as: read

Comments (showing 1-15 of 15) (15 new)

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message 1: by Richard (new)

Richard Derus left the public wondering why there is not some kind of ASBO just for posh people and people who are inappropriate on the telly.

That made me snort scotch, I mean tea!, through my nose.


Shovelmonkey1 Either way tea or Scotch would make your nose burny so that's not good!


message 3: by Richard (new)

Richard Derus True but it's 1:30pm here and one doesn't like to give the impression (however accurate) that one errrmmm tipples before 5pm.


Shovelmonkey1 Hey listen my own personal motto is wine is fine anytime so who the hell am I to judge!


message 5: by Richard (new)

Richard Derus heh xo


Shovelmonkey1 Indeed. Bottoms up!


message 7: by Traveller (new)

Traveller Richard wrote: "True but it's 1:30pm here and one doesn't like to give the impression (however accurate) that one errrmmm tipples before 5pm."

..is that the same hip flask filled with 'tea' that landed you on the soft tiles the last time you were reading Plato? ;)

Cheers!


message 8: by Stephanie (new)

Stephanie "I am referring to that happy childhood place that was preserved within my heart before it became glacial with the hoare frost of the general cynicism that comes from working with idiots and generally being alive in the UK in the 21st century. "

Good thing you decided to focus on digging up the dead ones instead.


Shovelmonkey1 it's true. Dead people don't give you back chat!


message 10: by Richard (new)

Richard Derus Traveller wrote: "Richard wrote: "True but it's 1:30pm here and one doesn't like to give the impression (however accurate) that one errrmmm tipples before 5pm."

..is that the same hip flask filled with 'tea' that ..."


It was coffee. COFFEE. That's my story. I'm stickin' to it.


message 11: by Traveller (new)

Traveller Richard wrote: "It was coffee. COFFEE. That's my story. I'm stickin' to it.
."


Oi, those decaf versions can be so soporific... ;)


message 12: by Richard (new)

Richard Derus Precisely.

*notes new dodge with glee*


message 13: by Mark (new)

Mark his best friend is a really old lady called Florence who, if we are being honest from the outset, is really really unlikely to survive to the end of the book

this made me laugh which, considering its content, makes me a tad heartless. Very funny review though.


Shovelmonkey1 Thanks! It is true. You just know the game old bird is not going to make it and the whole story sets up that scenario from the word go. Sad, but hey at least you get 240 pages to get used to the fact!


message 15: by Zach (new)

Zach You don't get to call people filthy-minded for interpreting your words as they were intended. You clearly wrote that sentence for no other reason than to elicit a specific reaction, and then scold readers for having that reaction.


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