David Rain's Reviews > Dance on My Grave

Dance on My Grave by Aidan Chambers
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's review
Jun 08, 2012

it was amazing

I picked up this book when it first came out, started reading it idly, then couldn’t put it down. This is a teenage novel, or young adult novel, of considerable and unusual accomplishment. It’s also a gay novel, a comic novel, and an experimental novel, too. The story is about Hal Robinson, a sixteen-year old schoolboy, and his dramatic and obsessive love affair with the richer, handsomer, older Barry Gorman. On the first page, we learn that Barry is dead, and that Hal has been arrested for desecrating his grave. In the rest of the novel, we find out why.

Not the least of the novel’s attractions is the clever and flexible style in which it is written. Influenced by Kurt Vonnegut and other postmodern writers, with diagrams, cartoons, lists, diary entries, scraps of screenplays and a social worker’s reports interspersing Hal’s vivid, fast-moving first-person narrative, the book is the second in a sequence of similar novels by Chambers, also comprising Breaktime (1978), Now I Know (1987), The Toll Bridge (1992) and Postcards from No Man’s Land (1999). These are not a conventional series: each tells a different story about different characters, and not all the novels include gay themes; but all are experimental in technique and edgy in subject, intelligent books and about intelligent teenagers confronting the world.
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Reading Progress

Finished Reading
June 8, 2012 – Shelved

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