'The best books, reviewed with insight and charm, but without compromise.'
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Monday, 20 May 2019

Review: Tigers On The Beach

If it’s a book by Doug MacLeod, you are pretty much guaranteed a chuckle. Okay, so I admit to being a fan. Although lacking the same punch as his masterful The Life Of A Teenage Body Snatcher (A CBCA Honour Book in 2012), or of the tragedy within The Shiny Guys (shortlisted for a CBCA award in 2013), Tigers on the Beach is nevertheless is an authentic portrayal of the burdens and embarrassing glitches of adolescence.

This light-hearted novel tells the story of thirteen-year-old Adam. His family run a crumbling holiday park. A vulture-like property developer is circling, digging up the dirt to blemish the site’s reputation to scare away guests. And with Adam’s eccentric grandmother taking up residence at the park, the opportunities run thick and fast.

On top of that, Adam is dealing with both the grief over his beloved grandfather’s sudden death and the complications of having to live with an autistic younger brother. Oh, and he’s also trying to impress the sophisticated Samantha. Not an easy thing to do considering his more pedestrian sense of humour and unintended bouts of public nudity.

MacLeod intersperses his trademark moments of hilarity in a story that deftly weaves many serious threads together into a satisfying read. My only quibble is that the title, referring to a joke that Adam takes the entire novel to get (probably because it’s not very funny) is only tangentially related to the plot and does not do the story justice.

Title: Tigers On The Beach
Author: Doug MacLeod
Publisher: Penguin books, $17.99
Publication Date: 1 March 2014
Format: Paperback
ISBN: 9780143568520
For ages: 13+
Type: Young Adult Fiction  

 

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