Tuesday, January 10, 2006

The Dark Behind the Curtain by Gillian Cross

Author: Gillian Cross
ISBN # 0590703498
Publisher: Hippo
1st Published: 1982
199 pages

Colin Jackus is an unpopular loner; a trouble-maker who lashes out in a pre-emptive strike against anyone & everyone, so when he’s caught stealing school property, he is sentenced to perform in the school play – where an eye can be kept on him at all times & he will be forced to interact with others – as punishment. But during rehearsals for Sweeney Todd, strange things begin to happen. Something has been woken; something sinister in the wings, that lurks behind the curtain. Something must be done to put things right – after all, the show must go on!

This is a standard school-based ghost story aimed at kids of about 10-12 years old in the 1980’s. This means kids of about 6 or 7 now. It’s severely dated with references to tape decks & records (yes, those things that look like big black CDs & break when you drop them). That doesn’t mean to say it’s not well written; just that kids today probably wouldn’t really appreciate it when they’ve got real spine-tinglers that are bang-up-to-date & far more challenging.

It’s a nice bit of nostalgia for those of us who were kids in the 70’s & 80’s though – harking back to a slightly more innocent age (but only very slightly!) with a tale of a misunderstood kid who makes good & makes friends in the end.

It passes a couple of hours at least & is engaging enough to keep you occupied, but not really one to seek out unless you’re a fan of the author & want to complete your collection.

Rating 5/10


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