sâmbătă, 30 august 2014

Too Far

Robbie, a small boy of six-seven years moves to Alaska with his family. There he discovers a world of great and incommensurable meaning. Shapero describes this transformation by following his main character through the journey of growing up and letting go of small boys mystical fantasies. Robbie learns to explore the surrounding forest, befriends Fristeen and together they form a bond that helps them both overlook the dramas unfolding in the adult world. Robbie’s parents are emotionally crippled by relationship issues: his father is enmeshed in his studies and his mother is battling depression. Fighting often, they neglect Robbie and this constant bickering pushes their son in to the arms of an imaginary world, ruled by the Dream Man and Shawn, under constant threat of being captured by Shivers.

Fristeen’s world is even less structured than Robbie’s. Without knowing her father and with no involvement from her mother, a drug addict, she is often left to herself, and sometimes the only food that she gets is Robbie’s sandwiches. Together the children set forward in an adventure through the woods and try to make sense of the world around them. They are very careful when exploring, and also are under constant threat by the imminence of Shivers power. (Apparently living in Alaska means that one must always be prepared to face a sudden freeze.)

Throughout the brief Alaskan summer the drama in their houses unfolds, to the point that at the start of the autumn Robbie’s parents decide to separate and Fristeen’s mom decide to get back with an abusive partner. The children decide to run in the forest and hide, thinking they will manage to survive independent, but a sudden freeze, Shivers, puts them in grave danger. The rescue team finds them in time. This last adventure concludes their initiation into a different stage of existence, marked by an absence of magic and fantastical beings.

Too Far is an enjoyable book, one that emphasizes the human power to search for meaning in the surroundings and also pinpoints to the mental characteristics that led early humans to construct gods endorsed with magical powers.  

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