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Oliver Twist
George Cruikshank, Charles Dickens, Philip Horne
Listening in the Dusk - Celia Fremlin This book is one of its kind. Something unique. Its not extra ordinary but it always keeps you interested. Credit should go to the writer. There were some ordinary scenes in the book which she suddenly converted into something mysterious. The spontaneity of the writing caught me. There was not a single moment in the book where you felt bored. The plot was good, believable. It tells a story of a young boy who commits crime and what its effects are on his family. The thing which I like the most about the books were the characters. Every character was enjoyable and nice in its role and they want out that way throughout.Just loved this bookThere actually isn't the kind of constant shadow of threat in this book that there is in most of Fremlin's other books. It isn't an edge-of-your-seat spine-tingler. Killings are revealed, but they take place on the periphery of the more daily world of the boarding house where the protagonist finds herself after her divorce.The boarding house is almost unlikely in its lack of amenities. On the one hand, it seems hard to believe that a woman coming from a comfortable, middle-class marriage would settle in squalid digs with no heat, a leaky roof, and a clutter of other people's stored belongings. And yet on the other hand, the reader can see an all-embracing, likeable woman - like the protagonist, like the reader herself/himself - doing just that. It becomes easy to identify with Alice as she ventures into her new life.Fremlin wrote this book toward the end of her career in 1990. Still, that's over twenty years ago. However, to the extent that the murders do play a role, their means and motive might have been drawn out of today's headlines.As with all of Fremlin's work though, the real attraction is the writing. Fremlin has a knack for making all of her characters believable individuals, each one speaking in a distinct voice. Here she does an especially good job capturing the pleasure a 13-year-old-boy takes in roustabout physical challenge. She enabled me to feel for the first time what it must be like to be one of the lads, launching off into bruising, ebullient competitions - his "lungs filled with a glittering ecstasy of wind and winning."But Cyril can also be reflective and insightful about the ways of the world. After he and his chums are reprimanded for making so much noise clattering their bikes down an outdoor flight of stairs, Cyril considers how it's always infirmity that is given the right of way. He inwardly regrets how "being ill and miserable is (considered) a much more worthy and important state than being happy and well, and must therefore be ministered to assiduously at all times; whereas happiness doesn't matter at all, and can be tramped down and trodden into the ground with impunity."Fremlin writes a lot of such wisdom beautifully into her domestic suspense stories. This is another of her books that I'll be sure to keep always within easy reach on my library shelves.