intraspace: the review lounge

Monday, August 28, 2006

the incredible adam spark

the incredible adam spark, by alan bissett

it's amazing what you come across when you're not looking for anything in particular at the library. our library has a new book stand that i always have a look at. take a punt, and sometimes it pays off.

this is a story (in first-person) about a scottish down-syndrome teenager with superhero abilities. as the tagline reads: 'at last, scotland has a hero'.

adam spark, or 'sparky' as he's known, has all kinds of adventures and rides the waves of people's prejudice and the realities of a disfunctional family. it is brilliantly written in sparky's own voice complete with scottish dialect (a la irving walsh) and unique punctuation and spelling. everything is seen through his eyes. at times the harshness of life seems to wash over the hero, but the truth comes out in subtle ways.

and now, for some unforgivably lazy reviewing. i shall quote wholesale from the publishers blurb about the book:

Adam Spark. Eighteen going on eight-and-a-half. Fast-food worker. Queen fan. Last in the queue for luck. On waking from an accident in which he saves a child, he has the distinct impression that all is far from right. What are these curious lights that seem to surround people? Why are animals and machines trying to speak to him? And can he really control time? Is it just his imagination, or has Adam Spark been chosen to become Scotland's first, and only, superhero?

This, however, is the least of his problems. The local gang is luring him into deeper and darker peril. His sister and lone carer, Jude, is giving all her love to another woman. And if Jude abandons Adam - or Adam drives her away - all the superpowers in the world won't be able to save him.

ah- so there you have it. recommended.

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