Wednesday, August 21, 2013
Rating: 4.5 stars (out of 5)
Genre: historical fiction
Review: What if the Cuban Missile Crisis had not been peacefully resolved? What if the Soviets had detonated nuclear bombs over Long Island? And what if your family was the only one with a bomb shelter? This is the premise of Todd Strasser's book.
But this is not a philosophical treatise. We aren't asked actually asked "what would you do if...". Rather, we are presented with the situation as it is, and through Strasser's very vivid writing, asked to put ourselves in the shelter and experience it through Scott's eyes.
Neither is this a political treatise. Strasser keeps the focus so tight on Scott, his first-person narrator, that we can't even quite tell what's going on politically or militarily. We only know tensions are rising on the world stage. It's a very realistic portrayal of how the world looked to a 12 year old in 1962, but the technique has it's pitfalls as well, the biggest one being that I am not 12 years old and would have liked a bit more insight into what was going on in the wider world.
Although this lack of information bothered me while I was reading the book, looking back, it seems almost a nitpicky complaint about a book that is so strong and readable.
FTC Disclaimer: I received this book from the publisher in exchange for this review.