I’ve been Framed!

When my three books by Frank Cottrell Boyce arrived, I had to make an executive decision where to start. Time was short, before Frank came here. I went for Framed. But a couple of chapters in, I came across this blogger who felt that Cosmic was far better than Frank’s other books, and in particular Framed. So, I switched. Time was short, as I said. And Cosmic is very good. I’ve already said here how much I liked it.

But that was before Framed. Wow! What a story. This is truly a masterpiece, and sorry about the unintentional pun. Frank is dangerously close to becoming a top favourite of mine, if this is what he’s going to be like.

Framed is The Curious Incident if Terry Pratchett wrote it. Just to give you an idea, because it was Frank Cottrell Boyce who wrote Framed, and it’s very, very funny. There’s been this constant little smile on my face while I’ve been reading, and I’m trying to understand how Frank can cram so much funny, but still serious, stuff into one book. Into every page. There is none of the “I’m waiting for a more interesting page, again” kind of reading.

I always used to think that the description of the young boy in Wales who lives in a petrol station and who decides to steal a Van Gogh, sounded too strange, and who’d want to read about it? This is an art lesson of the best kind, and a travel guide to Snowdonia. I’m also wondering if this can count as an Aspie book. I don’t know about Dylan, though he might well be, but Tom and his Ninja Turtles definitely are. Dylan’s petrol diary reads like a trainspotters poetry book.

Some of the early details in the story seem quite random , to use a Dylan kind of word, but they are all put to good use by the end of the book. Quavers, Elvis, the blind old neighbour, The Italian Job. They all fit in. And Framed will make a marvellous film.

Read and laugh. Feel better afterwards.

6 responses to “I’ve been Framed!

  1. We all loved Framed in this family – especially my partner who comes from Shropshire and spent many wet family holidays in Wales. I really would recommend that anyone who reads it takes themselves off to the National Gallery to look at the pictures. There is a fantastic system there whereby you can type the names of the paintings into one of serried ranks of computers and it prints you out a map of where each painting is. My kids frequently laughed out loud at Cosmic and I think its a book that would make a wonderful father’s day present, so celebratory is it of fatherhood. Maybe in a pack with Danny the Champion of the World and perhaps even, for a slightly different angle, Tim Winton’s ‘That Eye The Sky’.

  2. I love Frank Cotrell Boyce! But wait til you read ‘Millions’. That’s genius.

  3. Was I that blogger? I absolutely adored Millions, but was disappointed with Framed (which I ordered from the UK so as not to have to wait till it came out in the US). It just felt a tad didactic to me (in the sense of helping child readers learn about art). I tried to read it aloud to my class that year, but they got restless so I gave up. But one boy continued it on his own and enjoyed it tremendously. Then I listened to Cosmic recently and loved it too. Not sure it is better than Millions, but definitely I found it on the same level.

  4. Thank you, all. I’m glad I’ve still got my Millions to read.

    Monica – I think it was you. I didn’t go back to my regular haunts to see whose blog it was. Could your problem be one of US versus UK in this instance? Not everything travels well. And personally I found the autistic traits in Framed irresistible. They were there in Cosmic, too, but less so.

  5. I LOVED Framed too. It seems silly to rank FCB’s three novels, but if I did, I’d rank them like this:

    Books I like best:


    Books Children Like (Would Like) Best:


  6. Pingback: Framed « CultureWitch

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