Call Boomerang Books 1300 36 33 32

Something strange is going on in the village. A dead pig is carried through the lanes in a coffin, a heap of signposts are buried in a field and a mummy walks the streets late at night, scaring the local ladies half to death. Things have never been the same since the evacuee arrived and the Five Boys mistook him for a Nazi spy. The village has had a whole host of visitors since: the Americans are down the road preparing for D-Day, a deserter is hiding out in the woods. But it is the arrival of the Bee King which makes the biggest impression. He is a law unto himself and has his own strange rituals, and the villagers fear that he is beginning to exert the same charm over their boys as he does over his bees.

Buy Five Boys book by Mick Jackson from Australia's Online Independent Bookstore, Boomerang Books.

Book Details

ISBN: 9780571206186
ISBN-10: 0571206182
Format: Paperback
(197mm x 125mm x 18mm)
Pages: 256
Imprint: Faber & Faber
Publisher: Faber & Faber
Publish Date: 3-Jun-2002
Country of Publication: United Kingdom

Reviews

UK Kirkus Review » Capturing the sweet strangeness of childhood, Mick Jackson's new novel is set against the comic background of a rural Devon village adjusting to World War II. The five boys of the title are initially encountered through the eyes of an East End evacuee, Bobby, an alien creature to them. The boys are a somewhat strange entity too; all born within the same week, they form a unit that is disturbingly indivisible and are left much to themselves until the arrival of the Bee King with his honey, bee lore and strange rituals. Deciding Bobby is the vanguard of the fifth column, they torment him very creatively before suddenly initiating him into their games. Jackson does not romanticise childhood; he ably captures the innocent malevolence of children, their unformed and adaptable natures: the boys' receptivity is what bonds the Bee King to them. Inhabited by quirky comic characters of great invention rather than rural caricatures, the village itself provides much gentle humour provoked by the new necessities of war. There are some excellent set pieces, notably when the villagers bluff their way into the American training area in pursuit of an errant pig and when the GIs are invited to a barn-dance, the jitterbug unleashing an unrestrained frenzy of female energy. As you would expect from a writer who was shortlisted for the Booker for his debut novel, the writing is superb, with an easy humour and well-observed insights. Unfortunately, though, the conclusion is strangely unsatisfying. Bobby disappears without explanation halfway through and the intriguing Bee King, the central character, arrives only in the last quarter of the book. The effect is disjointed and feels unresolved even on the last page, which is a shame because otherwise this is a very entertaining read. (Kirkus UK)


» Have you read this book? We'd like to know what you think about it - write a review about Five Boys book by Mick Jackson and you'll earn 50c in Boomerang Bucks loyalty dollars (you must be a Boomerang Books Account Holder - it's free to sign up and there are great benefits!)

Write Review


Author Biography - Mick Jackson

Mick Jackson is the prize winning author of the novels, The Underground Man, Five Boys and The Widow's Tale. He also published, with the illustrator David Roberts, two acclaimed curiosities, Ten Sorry Tales and Bears of England.

Books By Author Mick Jackson

Yuki Chan in Bronte Country by Mick Jackson

Yuki Chan in Bronte Country

Paperback, February 2017
$15.01
Undergound Man by Mick Jackson

The Undergound Man

Paperback, September 2016
$18.77
Widow's Tale by Mick Jackson

The Widow's Tale

Paperback, February 2011
$17.99
Bears of England by Mick Jackson

The Bears of England

Hardback, July 2009
$29.40