Kevin Clancy's Reviews > Fleshmarket

Fleshmarket by Nicola Morgan
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's review
Oct 14, 2010

it was amazing
bookshelves: currently-reading
Read in September, 2010

** spoiler alert ** A few weeks ago i was recommended this book by a friend in my AP world history class, because he had heard a rumor that it was about scientists illegally harvesting peoples organs after they had died and selling them on a "Fleshmarket". Fairly interested, i went and checked this book out from the local library the next day. After I got into the book, i realized that the rumor i heard was untrue, and that there was actually no blackmarket organ selling. What suprised me after i realized this, is that i still couldnt put the book down! Although the actually story is about a boy selling hanged bodies to a doctor for some extra money, it is the underlying theme of the story that had me entranced and wanting to continue reading this book every free moment i had.

Based on a moderately true story, A boy named Robbie lives in Edinburgh, Scotland in around 1828. He is living a nice, upperclass life, when his mother gets a tumor in her chest. She dies soon after her surgery, and her death is the downfall of his family. His father loses his job, becomes an alcoholic, and Robbies family is forced into poverty. After a while, his father stops coming home and he is forced to live parentless in a tenement with his younger sister, Essie. Throughout the book there is constant conflict between two forces driving Robbies life; the love for his sister Essie, and the drive to spend all of his time and money on alcohol and whores at the bar. One night when he is walking home, he sees two shady characters carrying something suspicious in a wheelbarrow, and when he is caught spying on them, they threaten to kill him. After smooth talking his way out of this, Robbie is hired by the men to keep a look out for civilians and cops, so that they can take dead bodies to a doctor. The doctor pays them handsomly for the bodies, because he uses them in his research. The doctor is Dr. Knox. This happens to be the same doctor that gave Robbies mom surgery. Once he realizes this, Robbie is overcome by the desire for revenge on Dr. Knox, because he blames him for "murdering" his mother and destroying his familys' lives. As the book progresses, his hatred for Dr. Knox grows and grows, and sends him into a life of crime and alcohol. The story of the mental struggle of this young boy in choosing between love for his sister, and hate for the doctor, is a compelling story that I reccomend for everyone to read.

The only thing that puzzled me throughout this book, is that in the real world, why do people have such a struggle in their lives choosing between love or hatred? Happiness or revenge?

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Comments (showing 1-3 of 3) (3 new)

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message 1: by Teacherhuman (new)

Teacherhuman Good job Kevin -- but next time, I'd like you to work a little harder on summary and analysis--not so much information. Now choose one level three question from anyone in the Jr. English group and write a well developed paragraph answer to it. Thank you! <3

message 2: by Chaz (new)

Chaz Miller I believe that although it would seem love and happiness would be the easy and right choice to make, people struggle with choosing love or hatred, or happiness or revenge because when someone tries to love when hate is an option, the hate always stays inside that person and they aren't able to express true love because they always have the thought of hatred in the back of their mind. The same is true with the choice of happiness or revenge; people are not able to ignore the urge for revenge even if they try to be happy.

message 3: by Christian (new)

Christian Gash i think that the reason it is such a struggle to choose is because people tend to want to get revenge when they have been wronged instead of forgiving and being happy, and also most people find it easier to hate something than it is to love something

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