Sunday, 18 July 2010

Andy Mulligan - Trash - Book Review

Andy Mulligan was brought up in the south of London. He worked as a theatre director for ten years, before his travels in Asia prompted him to re-train as a teacher. Since then he has taught English and drama in India, Brazil, The Philippines and the UK. He now divides his time between London and Manila.

After reading Andy's debut book Ribblestrop, which ranked highly in my favourite books last year, I heard about the release of his new book. I was hoping for book two in this series, but finding out that this book was going to published by David Fickling and not Simon & Schuster, I knew this was not going to be the case. Disappointed I was, but also intrigued. 

Raphael is a dumpsite boy. He spends his days wading through mountains of steaming trash, sifting it, sorting it, breathing it, sleeping next to it. Then one unlucky-lucky day, Raphael's world turns upside down. A small leather bag falls into his hands. It's a bag of clues. It's a bag of hope. It's a bag that will change everything. Soon Raphael and his friends Gardo and Rat are running for their lives. Wanted by the police, it takes all their quick-thinking, fast-talking to stay ahead. As the net tightens, they uncover a dead man's mission to put right a terrible wrong. It's three street-boys against the world...

This book, in my eyes, had so much to live up to. However it did match the quality of 'Ribblestrop' but in a different way. It is a great tale of poverty and hardship - children and families living on the edge of life, just about keeping their heads above the 'trash', so to speak.

The book starts with the two main characters of the book, Raphael and his best friend Gardo. Living in a slum, they work all hours sifting through rubbish - just to make a little money to get by. The fourteen year old boys have no hope for a better life, until one day they find a bag, which changes their lives forever. They embark on a heart-stopping adventure that leaves you clinging onto every word and action.

The book is told through the many encounters that the characters become wrapped up in within this mysterious adventure. The tension continuously builds, as the boys face more danger, and the ever pursuing police.

I really loved this book, as it had all the ingredients required to make a good read - a great original story fraught with danger and good central characters that you warm to, wanting to ensure the best for them through the story. The book also has a strong cultural element based upon the author's extensive travels - a hint of life in the Philippines that ensures its appeal and authenticity. This is a sure fire read and I certainly look forward to another book from Andy soon.
Thanks to Lauren for sending this book out to me for review - it's very much appreciated.

Book published by David Fickling Books September 2010

Other books readers might like are Steve Augarde - Xisle Book Review and Paolo Bacigalupi - Ship Breaker-Book Review


pernie gray said...

Trash is a book about three dumpsite boys in a town called Behala, Behala is a very grimy place and there are not many rich people in the area. These three boys are forced to go on a quest that will lead them to pain and brutality but the reward pays off in the end. It all starts of when Raphael finds a wallet with 1100 pesos, that is the currency there, and an identity card to someone who is dead. This is the starting point in an amazing tale of three dumpsite boys. I think that there are 3 main characters in this story they are; Raphael (a dumpsite boy), Gardo (one of the other dumpsite boys) and rat (he is probably the poorest boy in the book). They are chosen to go on this quest and to find out the truth and to find out that they get a reward. I have two favourite parts of the book and that is when Gabriel Olondez is telling the story of how he tried to frame the vice president for stealing charity money from the U.N. who gave the country money not him. My other favourite part was at the end how it all worked together to make sense of the vice president being robbed in the owner of the wallets letter to his daughter if it ever got to her.

Unknown said...

It depends on the person reading the book. I have to read it for school - and I personally think it is quite boring. There were some OK parts in the book, but I found it a drag to read. I normally love books, but I really disliked this one.

Anonymous said...

I thought it was awsome! i loved it eventhough it got complicated at times

Anonymous said...

I have to agree with you there Caitlin I have had to read it for school and it is quite boring.