Five Boys, by Mick Jackson: a Book Review

Having just this minute finished Mick Jackson’s Five Boys, I have to share with the world what a piece of art it is.

Five Boys is an entrancing novel based on the story of a boy being evacuated to Devon from London. The story has many strands, which I have now read is something that puts many readers off the book, however I felt that this quality added to it’s charm.

The clever and humorous narrative stretches from the little boy and travels to all the different households in the village, just as if you are being transported right into each house and dropped in the centre of things. The narrative and dialogue are interwoven to create beautiful and funny contradictions, which only serve to give character to the villages and outsiders. Such a picture of painted of a little town which distrusts anyone entering from the outside world.

The Bee King is a real highlight – he moves into the village in the second half of the novel, and the behaviour of the Five Boys as a result of his presence is dramatically altered for the better.

I don’t want to give too much away, not because it will ruin the twist (it’s not that kind of book) but because I think it will take away from your enjoyment.

You may or may not have read Mick Jackson’s The Underground Man, but I have (one of my strong favourites) and I was worried about how he would follow such a triumph. He has.

I would recommend this book to any avid reader. I would even go so far as to say that this book may even restore someone’s faith in reading, reminding you that you really can be lost in a book.

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