Tuesday, 4 October 2011

Chris Priestly - Mister Creecher - Book Review

book cover of 

Mister Creecher 

by

Chris Priestley
     
  • Pages - 400 
  • Publisher - Bloomsbury Publishing
  • Date - 13 October 2011
  • Age 11+
  • Isbn: 9781408 811047
Billy is a street urchin, pickpocket and petty thief. Mister Creecher is a monstrous giant of a man who terrifies all he meets. Their relationship begins as pure convenience. But a bond swiftly develops between these two misfits as their bloody journey takes them ever northwards on the trail of their target ...Victor Frankenstein. Friendship, trust and betrayal combine to form a dangerous liaison in this moving and frightening new book from Chris Priestley.
I wasn't quite sure what I was expecting to read once I had read this particular book synopsis. Especially having read all of Chris Priestley's imaginative Tales of Terror short stories, where I always felt like I was left wanting more. I was so easily sucked into these - they felt like a great master was telling the story, but for them to end so suddenly was always disappointing. Nevertheless I loved the insightful and twisted glimpses into the dark and abnormal story world. However, Mister Creecher proved to be something totally different again.

Playing on the classic concept of Frankenstein, it spun a whole new wonderful and thought provoking story which I loved from the very start. Set in Regency London (known as the underground of crime and poverty) Mister Creecher is an unimaginable seven foot monster who saves Billy from the clutches of death. Mysterious events carefully and enticingly unfold to hook you in before launching you back into the real world once more.

The main part of the book is inspired by Chris Priestley's love of the Classical novel, Frankenstein. He has paid homage to this by writing an account of two well-known literary characters. As a result, this has become a particularly cleverly written and compelling story that will be read and discussed for some time. Whilst it's written within the normal dark and Gothic constraints that we are all accustomed to reading from Chris, he does actually add a new level to this traditionally based plot. As a result, he brings it bang up to date whilst also incorporating a modern twist.

The relationship between the main characters is written seriously, but also portrays a poignant telling. It highlights the reality of loneliness and the need for friends. However, the book also shows a funny and uplifting side whilst also incorporating the dangerous and macabre side of this particular period.

Mister Creecher was a great book to read. I was not sure of the journey that I would take along the way and the ending was certainly not what I was expecting. In fact it leaves many more areas left still to unfold as we have only really just stared to scratch the surface with this tantalising start.
                   
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