Simon's Bookcase

Reviews from Lord Taylor of Glencoe

Run For Your Life

Run For Your Life: David Line, January 12—16, 2013

My rating: ♦♦♦◊◊

RunForYourLifeRun For Your Life saw the light of day for the first time since Miss Philpot read it to the class back in 1997. Some 16 years later, Woolcott and Soldier once again got their skates on to preserve their living status in this retro classic.

The plot is simple: the boys witness a murder, the police don’t believe them, so they leg it before the bad guys bump them off. It’s unapologetically straightforward and doesn’t pretend to be more complex than it is. What the Dickens two schoolboys out in the cold in the mid-1960s are going to do to survive, let along bring the killers to justice, is far from clear, and it’s finding the answer to that question that supports progression.

The pair have an uncomfortable relationship which makes for good reading. Woolcott’s grudging friendship is well played, and his reluctant affection for his junior develops believably as the novel progresses. Soldier is easier to like, but has his flaws too. He’s portrayed as manipulative, sneaky and dishonest but never loses the reader’s sympathy. The villains are fairly standard, but Smiler’s name strikes fear into the reader’s heart with his malevolent grin showing up where you least expect it.

Run For Your Life is written in first person by Woolcott, and his style is authentic and true to the character. It’s easy to read and draws you in, but there’s no urgency or development. His tone is identical whether he’s trying to wangle out of a school play rehearsal or facing up to his impending slaughter. That lack of urgency neutralises the threat at times; if he isn’t coming across as scared or desperate, why should the reader be?

The resolution is simple and relatively twist-free. Everything is rounded up, however the Woolcott/Soldier/Nixon dynamic is contrived.

For a nostalgic trip, Run For Your Life was good fun. It’s childish and innocent, but honest about itself. Don’t expect too much from it, and take joy in its simplicity.


One comment on “Run For Your Life

  1. Pingback: The Will of Dargan | Simon's Bookcase

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This entry was posted on January 16, 2013 by in 3 star and tagged .

Author Cloud

@Queen_UK Adolf Hitler agatha christie Alan Clements Alastair Campbell Aldous Huxley Aleksandr Orlov Alex Shaffer Andrew Neiderman Anthony Burgess Arthur Miller Bateman Ben Brooks Ben Elton Bram Stoker Bret Easton Ellis C.J. Cherryh Carolyn Jess-Cooke Charles Dickens Chuck Palahniuk Dan Brown Dante Alighieri dashiell hammett david baldacci David Brin David Glattauer David Kirkpatrick David Line David Tennant David Wolstencroft Dylan Jones E.L. James Edgar Allen Poe Emilia Fox Eoin Colfer Erica Spindler Frank Peretti Gabrielle Lord Gareth Roberts Geoff Ryman George Orwell George R. R. Martin George W. Bush Gillian Flynn Gillian Slovo Graham Greene Guy Piran Harper Lee Harriet Lane Herman Koch Ian Rankin J.K. Rowling Jack Thorne Jacqueline Rayner James Herbert James Patterson Jasper Fforde Jeff Green Jeff Kinney Jeffrey Archer Jem Lester Jenny Robson Jeremy Clarkson Jerry B. Jenkins Jim Thompson John Crowther John Green John Grisham John Tiffany John Verdon Jonas Jonasson Judith Kerr Juliana Foster Justin Richards Kaci Hill Karen Levine Keeley Bolger Louis Walsh malorie blackman Marissa Meyer Mark Haddon Mark Z. Danielewski Martin Sixsmith Mary Higgins Clark Mary McNamara Matt Haig Matthew Ravden Michael Berry Michael Connelly Michael Morpurgo Michael Quirke Miguel de Cervantes Mike Lancaster Morris Gleitzman Morton Rhue Neil Sinclair Nick Hornby Nick Page Patricia Cornwell Patricia Stotley Patrick Ness Paula Hawkins Paul Johnston Peter James Phil Allcock R.J. Palacio Rachelle Dekker Raymond Chandler Richard Bachman Robert Louis Stevenson Robert Ludlum Robin Cook Robin Kirkpatrick sandra brown Sebastian Beaumont Sharon Osbourne Stella Rimmington Stephen Cole Stephen King Steve Lookner Steve Lyons Stuart MacBride Sue Townsend Suzanne Collins ted dekker Terry Pratchett Tim LaHaye Tim Randall Todd Strasser Tom Avery Tom Bower Tom Cain Tom Hoyle tony blair William Golding William P. Young William Shakespeare