Blast that Michael Morpurgo! First he has me reading Running Wild, sort of enjoying it, but grumbling to myself that the voice is all wrong. Then I decided that it was OK, because the message was important and that’s what mattered the most. And in typical Morpurgo style he had me crying for the last 27 pages, at the end of which the man comes up with an explanation as to why the voice was all wrong. Double blast.
OK, so I should have paid more attention when Michael was talking about this book in Edinburgh. I know he wanted to write a ‘tsunami novel’, but had to wait until it wasn’t so fresh and until he’d worked out how to do it. He kills off nine-year-old Will’s parents, first one, then the other. And Will gallops off away from the tsunami on the most marvellous elephant, Oona.
I want an elephant now.
It’s Robinson Crusoe meets I Am David. Will and Oona walks the jungle, meets the most fascinating and adorable orangutans. It being a Morpurgo novel, and one with a message, bad things happen. This is enough to make me throw all my belongings away and live a better life. Michael stuffs both the tsunami, the threat to our jungles, greedy horrible people, the uncertain future for orangutans, the war in Iraq, and green living into one relatively short book.
I’ll just go mop my eyes.
(The voice I was moaning about sounded too old. Will can only be fifteen now, and can’t tell a story as though he’s looking back from fifty years hence.)
Not bad, MM.