Molly's Reviews

Running with the Reservoir PupsEddie & the Gang with No Name: Running with the Reservoir Pups
Colin Bateman
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Entertaining Read ... Recommended ... 4 stars

The narrative opens with an explanation that Eddie’s dad was killed by dragons, no actually he was killed in a submarine accident, well no … and after several more explanations we learn that Eddie’s dad is not dead at all. Eddie is dismayed to learn that the life he has enjoyed is ending, his parents are divorcing, he and his mother will be moving to the city where his mother begins to work as a nurse in the Royal Victoria Maternity Hospital. To say that Eddie is less than enchanted would be mild. Before long Eddie meets a group of boys who spatter cars with mud then offer the owners a special rate for washing the cars. When Eddie runs into the same group of chancers at the hospital where his mother works things really begin to get interesting. The Reservoir Pups are as crafty a group of street boys as you might meet. A leg-less boy named Captain Black, a hospital security guard named Scuttles, a new man in his mother’s life, Alison Beech, a bold kidnapping scheme, a body washer down in the morgue, the Andytown Albinos, a near miss, a desperate plan and a bitter truth all play a part in this fast paced work.

Irish writer Colin Bateman presents an exhilarative, spine tingling work filled with all the zestful agitation, whimsical cast of characters and explosive tension necessary to hold the target audience absorbed from beginning paragraph to ending lines. "Eddie & the Gang with No Name: Running with the Reservoir Pups" is a well-written publication filled with generously drawn players and a cleverly interwoven, precarious story line. Snappy dialogue, potent and at times astonishing scenarios are presented with drollery and smartness. Writer Bateman has captured the fun and excitement of the age in his often awkward hero Eddie. Eddie is so typical a boy that he seems real.

Eddie’s reasonable, predictable hurt and distraction following his parents’ divorce, and his learning to confront with and make sense of his feelings are presented in a believable manner. From his mother’s beginning to form new relationships and Eddie’s own need to carve out a new life for himself Bateman presents each new theme in manner that kids in the target audience can understand. The struggle Eddie faces in having is whole life disrupted is something kids facing the same situation can identify with, and chuckle along with Eddie as he struggles to make sense of things he cannot control.

Good book for the school, home school, and home library. The work will fit as nicely in a unit on facing life as it will for pleasure reading. Therapists will find use for the book in helping youthful clients who may be facing many of the situations as is Eddie following a divorce and the need to move and leave behind the comfortable life they have known. Parental affair, divorce and the need for finding friends and learning a whole new set of rules and discipline for life are presented in easily read fashion.

The setting for the book is England, and some of the language used will have an English flavor which kids will find intriguing.

Enjoyed the read, happy to recommend.




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© 2005 by Molly Martin