THE ELECTRIC by Andrew David Barker, Boo Books, h/b £17 (free P&P through January), www.boobooks.net
Reviewed by Matthew Johns
15-year old Sam Crowhurst and his friends Emma and David are inseparable, especially after the death of Sam’s father as Sam and his mother drifted apart. During the school summer holidays, Sam finds a dilapidated cinema, The Electric, and finds that life will never be the same again.
Barker’s magnificent book explores some themes that will be very familiar to many – that wistful feeling of regret as things change, the end of childhood, the loss of a parent, the feeling of loss of control of your own life. Sam and his friends experience these as they begin to learn more about The Electric, and how it attracts the dead to watch its strange movies.
The Electric is a real page turner – a bittersweet coming of age book that will take you on a rollercoaster ride of joy and sadness, but that ultimately leaves you satisfied as all the arcs of the story come together and give Sam the ability to deal with the death of his father and move on with his mother. Barker immerses the reader in Sam’s world, and it’s a world that you won’t want to leave.