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By Tim Winton

The first thing I noticed about this book was that it was very easy to read, and that it had that famous just-one-more-page feeling. Another thing that the author has succeeded with is making the story sound real; it really sounds like Blueback has lived for real.

The book is a story about a little boy called Abel and his mother, who lives alone on the coast of Australia in a place, called “Longboat Bay”. Abel’s father was killed when Abel was very young, so his mother has been almost as a father to him. She have learnt to repair the outboard to the boat, to take care of the house and to do other “men’s work” on her own.

When the story starts Abel is 10 years old, and one day when he and his mother were diving for abalone, they run into a big blue grouper. At first Abel was scared, but after a while he and his mother became good friend with the fish, and he called it “Blueback” because of it’s strong blue colour. Since that day, Abel went out to there every day and swam with the fish, and the fish became Abel’s best friend.

Abel and his mother lived there on the coast alone for many years. But one day, when it was time for Abel to begin in high school, he was forced to move away from Longboat Bay and in to town. When he was younger his mother had taken care of the education, but now he had to study in a regular school. And since he lived so far away from the town, he had to move and live in a hostel. But every summer he went back to Longboat Bay to swim with Blueback and to help his mother repairing the house.

The second year Abel was away to high school a bunch of developers came to Longboat Bay and wanted to build a resort in the bay. So every day the businessmen came out to Abel’s mother and gave her small gifts and tried to convince her to sell her land to them. The was friendly at first, but since she didn’t wanted to sell the land, they soon got angry and started to sabotage her little place. Starting bushfires, pouring water into the fuel, delaying the mail and so on.

Like I said in the beginning, this is a very easy book to read, the author uses common words and writes with short sentences. Another thing that makes the book easy is that there are very few characters in the story. There are basically only Abel, his mother and his future wife that you know the name on, plus Blueback off course. The book also has a strong ecological message that you should take care of the forest, and not just destroy it for own winning.

Since the story stretch over a lot of years, Abel and his mother changes a lot, when the story starts Abel is 10, when it ends he’s about 25-30 years old. During this time Abel grow from a little boy who only know what his mother have taught him to a well known Marine biologist. His mother doesn’t change that much during the story, she just grow older and maybe become a little wiser.

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Inactive member [2000-07-05]   Blueback
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