Friday, February 3, 2012

#0037: The Lake at the End of the World

‘They told me there was nothing left outside. They said the world was empty, finished.’

Such is the chilling passage on the rear cover of this young adult fiction by Caroline Macdonald (RRP: $11.95 AUD), a book that describes Hector’s venturing out from the underground community which is all he has ever known. There, he meets Diana … and the mystical lake where she lives with her parents.

It is a multi-award-winning novel which has become a classic of its genre. Laurie Copping, of the Canberra Times, describes it as being ‘beautifully sensitive and thoroughly believable – a fine novel … the final resolution is a triumphant climax to a gripping story.’

It is best read while listening to TLC. My favourite page is page 70. It is the Lake at the end of the World. …And I have never read it.

Near as I can recall, it came into my possession when I won a writing competition. The prize was $100 worth of books, and the only one that caught my fancy was about animals that lit up. So though I couldn’t tell you a damned thing about Hector and his lake, I could rattle on about anglerfish and fireflies for nearly fifty seconds. That may not sound impressive, but go ahead and try it. And don’t cheat by talking in a slow voice.

The only things I’ve been able to surmise from the cover is that Hector looks like Sephiroth, and Diana is pure evil. Look at that smirk as she sticks her hand into the magic lake. She’s probably reaching for the skull of her latest victim.

The story spans across 184 (possibly) action-packed pages. Assuming we’re working on the basis of the recommended retail price, that means each page will cost you less than 7 cents. That sounds like a good offer, but I resent forking out $12 for a paperback novel. I wonder if you could remove some of the pages and round it off at a neat $9.95?

Here are some things I did instead of reading this book:

I played basketball.

I became Super Mario.

I watched Gummi Bears.

I ate a child made of paper.

So as you can gather, I’ve clearly not had the time to attempt the sheer enormity of this fable. My fiancé is a primary school teacher, maybe she’ll find a use for it. Or are primary school kids too young for it? I suppose they might be. At their age I was reading shit about cats and owls getting married, and a frog and toad who went on magnificent adventures. Honestly, I would love this book more if it was a Frog and Toad book.

However, this book does have a very special quality to it, which makes it a best-seller and a must-read.

For you see…

It houses the Master Sword. In order to claim the sword and save Hyrule, you must first open the book, and while you’re there, why not give it a read?

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