Sunday, March 11, 2007

Time Bomb

Hinton, Nigel. 2006. Time Bomb.

Time Bomb by Nigel Hinton explores the subject of anger, rage, hate, secrets, friendships, and prejudice. Set in 1949 in England, the story is that of four young boys--recently graduated from primary school--and one anger-filled summer they share together.

I've never told this story to anyone because when I was twelve I swore an oath in blood that I would never tell it. But the friends I swore it with are dead now, so it's time to break that oath and tell the truth... (1)

Our narrator, Andy, begins his tale with the last day of school. A day that they'd never forget. For while that was not the day they found the bomb, it was the day the boys' anger was born. The anger that would yield life and death consequences. When Andy's best friend, Eddie, is wrongfully accused of a prank and punished by being caned seven times--a new school record, I believe--a deep, bitter anger takes root in the boy's soul. But Eddie is not the only one with issues to deal with. Andy learns through the course of the summer that his father is cheating on his mother. He actually catches him in the act. Soon it seems, Andy's life is full of secrets that one way or another he's bound to keep.

The main plot of the story is that four boys find a bomb left from the war that has not gone off or exploded. They don't know if it's a dud or if it could go off at any time. They don't know how dangerous it is. But they feel that it has potential. They start using it to symbolize their anger and hatred. They start a list of all the people they'd like to see the bomb blow up. At first, the bomb is like a game. They don't tell anyone. They are careful around it. They're not treating it like it's a toy. But they aren't taking it seriously enough either. They know that they should tell an adult...but they like keeping this big secret.

But are any of the boys prepared to keep the ultimate secret???

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