This specific ISBN edition is currently not available.View all copies of this ISBN edition:
Tells the story of a boy's gradual initiation into the mysteries of adulthood and the meaning of his lonely past
"synopsis" may belong to another edition of this title.
From the adept Adams (Games of the Strong, etc.), a tale of transformation: A nervous, clingy and neglected child manages against all odds, like a plant that takes root on a bomb-site, to grow up into a young man of character--even, in a way, the adventurer of his early daydreams. The story opens promisingly: ``It took William Badger some time to understand that he was going to be left behind, deliberately abandoned....His mother had simply asked if he would like a nice seaside holiday, and he had said yes.'' William Badger, a lonely child, wishes at Christmas for a mannequin, a replica of himself to be his friend. He'd call it Longleg. Instead he gets a book about the underworld, the demimonde, and accidents in mines. Soon after, his mother does abandon him in a seaside boardinghouse. Coincidentally, the proprietress is a woman with whom he and his mother used to share a bomb shelter in London. The next section begins in adulthood, also underground on a spelunking expedition. On a visit home, while trying to fend off his mother's attack with an axe, William is arrested--and flees the country. In Belgium, working as a secretary, he loses his virginity to a student revolutionary. In London, as a bus driver, he falls in love with an American tour guide. Throughout, he wonders why his mother abandoned him. Finally, back in Australia, William learns what has already been revealed to us early on: ``There was a wife already....She had a boy, too.'' Apparently, the boy resembled William closely--so there was an actual ``Longleg''--no surprise to the reader. Luckily, what matters here is not the destination but the adventures along the way with obsessive William, his hoard of chocolates, and, ultimately, his hoard of memories. Despite too many coincidences and predictable revelations, this is probably Adams's most successful book--thanks to brisk, vivid prose, and the sort of bumbling yet valiant hero that readers love to root for. -- Copyright ©1992, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved.From Publishers Weekly:
As a 10-year-old boy in post-WW II Australia, William Badger is as stern and careful as a little old man. In its frightening simplicity, his daily existence with his mad, alternately seductive and spurning mother and his much older, crippled, ineffectual father parallels a Grimm fairy tale, culminating in his mother's abandoning him at a seaside boardinghouse. Adams ( Dancing on Coral ) turns from her devastating depiction of William's childhood to a less motivating, less persuasive portrait of the floundering, emotionally damaged man pursuing women in the 1960s. After high school, he leaves home and sells pens and pencils in a department store, and there he falls in love with another clerk, Meg Meese, who has a predilection for lying and self-invention. During a rare Christmas visit home, his mother chases him with an axe, but the police arrest William on assault charges; he flees to Brussels and becomes involved with political radicals, who spout ridiculous rhetoric. One, Tillie Pepper, captures William's heart, but she betrays his secrets--and besides, she's in love with another man who's married to someone else. William moves to London, becomes a bus driver and embarks on a liaison with a married American who says she loves him but buys presents for her husband. And so it goes.
Copyright 1992 Reed Business Information, Inc.
"About this title" may belong to another edition of this title.
Book Description Cane Hill Pr, 1992. Paperback. Condition: New. Seller Inventory # DADAX0943433096
Book Description Cane Hill Pr, 1992. Condition: New. book. Seller Inventory # M0943433096