As you read the reviews on Bookshop Talk, you'll notice that every review is positive. No, we're not a bunch of literary
pushovers who love everything we pick up; we just see no point in telling you about a book if we didn't like it.

March 14, 2013

THE HOMEWARD BOUNDERS by Diana Wynne Jones, 1981

When Jamie unwittingly discovers the sinister, dark-cloaked Them playing games with humans' lives, he is cast out to the boundaries of the worlds. Clinging to Their promise that if he can get Home he is free, he becomes an unwilling Random Factor in Their deadly, eternal game. Jamie travels alone until he teams up with Helen and Joris, determined to beat Them at Their own game. But Theirrules don't allow Homeward Bounders to work together. (Goodreads)

Review by Emily, basically a bibliophile

I love HOMEWARD BOUNDERS so much. I've only read it twice, but it had a great impact on me. Kind of like a brick falling on my head, actually. I was reading along, and then - bam! - I was in love with the whole thing: Jamie, the main character, his strange (and I do mean strange) friends, his story, and the odd way that the whole thing seems to be somewhat true, even though it's firmly fantastic.
So. The story is told somewhat backwards. Jamie is telling his story into a machine that records his words as he speaks them. He begins with his normal, ordinary life, everything that he can remember. Then, in his very own wry, cynical voice, he begins to tell the tale of his extraordinary adventures, and how he came to be talking into a recording machine in a place that is shrinking as he speaks. He tells the stories of The Flying Dutchman and his hapless crew, Prometheus, the mad Wandering Jew, and his friends. He gradually realizes - but I can't tell you, because the ending is just too perfect, and I can't possibly spoil it.

Jamie is at the moment my favorite character. He's just a boy, really, but he's so much older and wearier than his appearance would suggest by the end of the book. And he's so hopelessly hopeful, despite all that happens to him.
It was a story that I cried over, in the end, but also that I laughed with, because some of the characters are so impossible and awesome and legendary and fallible - and I loved them all, in all their oddity. It is one of the books that I truly love, and I love Jamie most of all.

Market: Young Adult
Language: None
Sensuality: None
Violence: Very little
Mature Themes: Growing up

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

This sounds wonderful, Emily! I love Diana Wynne Jones's books!