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Tom has always known his younger brother Andy (special name, Figgis) was a bit different. One morning in August when Figgis is twelve, Tom suddenly wakes up to find him shouting in the dawn. He shakes him only for Figgis to fight back viciously. When he snaps awake, Figgis says he was dreaming, and the radio over breakfast tells them the Gulf War has just begun. While Figgis shaves his hair, waking Tom up at night speaking in a strange language, Tom has a wonderful time playing rugby with his father's team. But it's his last fully happy day. Tom contacts 'Latif', the boy within Figgis, to find out about the bunkers, the guns and the army in the desert. As the Gulf War draws to a close, and life for Latif becomes harder, Figgis's condition gets worse. The family are forced to take him into a mental hospital. They are divided as Tom witnesses Latif's experiences through Figgis, while his down-to-earth parents enjoy the Americans' triumphs over Iraq. He stays with Figgis and together they live through the last moments of Latif's battle. Figgis, thankfully, remembers nothing of his experience, but Tom cannot look at the world in the same way again. He will never forget.
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Robert Westall wrote 18 books for children, including "The Machine Gunners" and "The Scarecrows", both of which won the Carnegie Medal and the Horn Book awards.From AudioFile:
Set at the time of the Gulf War, Westall's story explores further conflicts within a British family. Ian Dunn narrates the view of 15-year-old Tom Higgins. Dunn projects the energy of a hearty, rugby-play ing family until Tom's younger brother changes all their lives. Foreshadowing the psychotic experiences that eventually overwhelm the boys, Dunn carefully builds suspense and projects the frightening and riveting power of these episodes. The narration bridges reality and delusion, drawing the listeners into the mix of emotions. Dunn's subtle, yet dynamic, narration brilliantly complements Westall's spellbinding, complex story for young adults. R.F.W. An AUDIOFILE Earphones Award winner. (c)AudioFile, Portland, Maine
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Book Description Egmont Books Ltd, 2002. Paperback. Condition: New. Never used!. Seller Inventory # P111405200901